Las Vegas Raiders safety Erik Harris may not ever be more than a spot starter. Nevertheless, he was one of just two players to achieve a defensive milestone in 2019.
Harris is an adequate player. He’s a grinder that will overachieve every now and then. Last season, he started for a bad Raiders defense but made the most out of it. In 15 games, he saw 40 targets his way and allowed 24 passes. Likewise, he allowed four touchdowns. On the other hand, he had eight passes defensed and three interceptions.
Overall, 24 players registered three interceptions during the 2019 season. However, only Harris and cornerback Stephon Gilmore were able to return two interceptions for touchdowns. Gilmore did it against the Dolphins and the Bengals. Meanwhile, Harris did it against the Chargers and the Colts. The one against the Chargers came on a Thursday Night game that was a highlight in the Raiders season.
Many of the wins the Raiders had last season where last-minute outing that could’ve gone either way. Their Week 10 matchup against Los Angeles felt different. It was one of the rare cases in which they showed defensive dominance. That was in big part thanks to Harris.
It’s unlikely Harris will repeat his feat. As it is, it’s quite a challenge to score a defensive touchdown once in a football game, more so twice in the same season. Regardless, he delivered when the Raiders needed him the most in that Week 10 game against a division foe.
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Top Photo: D. Ross Cameron/Associated Press