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Rodney Harrison explains why the 0-2 Patriots are not out of the playoff race

Morning Sports Update

Harrison said it was still “early days” and he “wouldn’t bury a team after a few weeks.”

Rhamondre Stevenson and Hunter Henry celebrate a Patriots touchdown during a Week 2 game with the Dolphins. AP Photo/Steven Senne

Rodney Harrison’s take on the 0-2 Patriots: Although the Patriots opened the season with two losses, former New England safety Rodney Harrison reserves judgment.

Speaking to MassLive’s Karen Guregian on a recent episode of the “Eye On Foxborough” podcast, Harrison – now an analyst for NBC Sports – explained why he thinks it would be foolish for Patriots fans to quickly write off the chances of the team to change things.

“It’s stupid for the fans to sit there and say that,” he said. “It’s just stupid. I mean, if you know anything about Coach Belichick – you know, every week, I don’t care what the record is – they’re going to fight and claw.

Harrison highlighted the opponents the Patriots have faced, observing that the Eagles and Dolphins are talented teams at 2-0.

“They are giving themselves a chance to win against two good teams in a row,” he added. “These two teams should be in the playoffs that they lost to. They are good football teams.

“I don’t understand. You bury a team after a few weeks. I mean, there’s obviously a learning curve,” Harrison said. “Just like Christian Gonzalez being a young player. There is also a learning curve on defense. You try to understand what you have on defense. What do you have on attack? It’s early.”

The good news for New England is that the game could be easier in Week 3, when the Patriots face the Jets 1-1. With Aaron Rodgers out for the season after suffering a torn left Achilles in the season opener, New York will start backup quarterback Zach Wilson.

On the subject of the Jets, Harrison was blunt.

“I don’t think they’re very good,” Harrison told Guregian, explaining that he doesn’t think New York is a playoff team without Rodgers and “the hope he brings.”

Wilson, who will start Sunday, currently has two touchdown passes and four interceptions in two games with a completion percentage of 54.2.

“It just looks like this kid is scared to death,” Harrison ventured. “He carries all the weight of the world on him. It plays in New York, the most scrutinized media market in the world. And I don’t think it’s getting any better. I think it continues until they make a change.

Anecdote: According to Pro Football Reference, Rodney Harrison scored four touchdowns in his career. The only one he scored with the Patriots was also the only one to make the playoffs. Can you name the quarterback he intercepted during the game?

(Answer at bottom).

Hint: The quarterback in question was one of four taken in the first round of the 2004 draft, along with Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and JP Losman.

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That day: In 1913, local amateur golfer Francis Oimet won the US Open. Living in a house directly across from the Country Club’s 17th hole, the Brookline native overcame all odds to defeat British golf champions Harry Vardon and Ted Ray, all with the services of 10-year-old caddy Eddie Lowery.

Boston GlobeFrancis Ouimet

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Trivial answer: Ben Roethlisberger


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