New England Patriots wide receiver N’Keal Harry is trying to take a massive leap forward this year after a forgettable rookie season in 2019.
However, a lost fumble that resulted in a touchback in the third quarter of Sunday’s win over the Miami Dolphins left a sour aftertaste on what had hitherto been Harry’s most productive game in the NFL. Patriots quarterback Cam Newton was asked about Harry’s fumbling, and Newton did his best to instead focus on Harry’s contribution to the team.
“Let’s just put a lot of things in perspective here,” Newton said via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. “Did he have a good game? Yes he did. I think a piece overshadowed the production he had. He saved me out on a game, on a kind of inaccurate pass, which he came down with and got the first one down. He did quite well in the race. He had a couple of contested catches. And all this was kind of in vain because a lot of people focused on the fumble. ”
Harry never had more than three catches or 29 yards in any of the seven games he appeared in for the Patriots last season. Against the Dolphins on Sunday, Harry caught five passes in 39 yards for an offense that attempted just 19 passes overall in the game.
The Patriots led 14-3 late in the third quarter with a first goal on the Miami 10-yard line as Harry caught a move from Newton and sprinted to the end zone. However, linebacker Jerome Baker caught Harry within the 5-yard line and fought the ball out of his grip. It went through the end zone for a touchback that kept the Dolphins within reach of New England.
“It was just a mistake,” Newton said. “He is still a young player trying to come to his senses, things like that will happen. You just want it minimized as much as possible. But he makes leaps and bounds that everyone would expect him to be. He grows up in his best self. ”
The error ultimately did not ask the Patriots as they earned a 21-11 victory over the Dolphins last week. However, the margin of error could be significantly smaller against the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday night.