Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Henry McKenna

Why N’Keal Harry is right not to make a big deal of his TD in Week 13

N’Keal Harry has done nothing but downplay his 5-yard receiving touchdown in Week 13 when the New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Chargers, 45-0. A touchdown shouldn’t be notable for Harry, a 2019 first-round pick. At this point, it should be exactly what he’s doing on a regular basis. And he’s not.

The touchdown was a brief demonstration of Harry’s potential, with the 6-foot-4 wideout managing to box out Chargers cornerback Chris Harris Jr. to haul in a high and high-velocity pass from Cam Newton. But the play was also a reminder of how sparingly Harry has made big plays, with just four touchdowns and one play for more than 20 yards in his two seasons as a Patriot.

He was asked Tuesday whether he felt like he needed the touchdown.

“No, I don’t feel that way. I just feel like I need to keep building week by week and game by game,” Harry told reporters. “I don’t feel like I absolutely needed it. It was a good feeling, and it was good to contribute again and to help the team get the win. But no, I don’t really feel like that.”

Did it build his confidence?

“I don’t know what everybody else feels like. Me, I’ve been getting more confident each week,” Harry after the game on Sunday. “I know the amount of work I’ve been putting in. My confidence has been getting better week by week. There’s been nothing wrong with my confidence.”

The play was what we’d been waiting for. Harry did what had made him a promising prospect coming out of college: He used his big frame to get in position and haul in the ball, even under difficult circumstances. That’s what No. 1 receivers do. The problem? We rarely see him make plays with a high degree of difficulty. Frankly, with 38 catches for 333 receiving yards and four touchdowns in 17 games, we rarely see him make plays. Period.

Harry didn’t make a big deal of the touchdown, because that’s the kind of play he’s supposed to make. And the media shouldn’t make a big deal of it, because he’s doing what he’s supposed to do at a shockingly sparse clip.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.