The New England Patriots didn’t play well on Sunday vs. the Denver Broncos, but thanks to their defense, they still had a chance to win late.
Unfortunately, Cam Newton’s fourth-down pass to N’Keal Harry sailed to the left of the second-year pro and was incomplete. The Patriots turned it over on downs and the Broncos took a knee to cement their 18-12 win.
Here is a look at the final play:
To the layman, it may have appeared as though Newton’s misfire was all on him, but a closer look suggests Harry might have been the one at fault.
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Who’s to Blame For the Final Incompletion?
If you take a look at the pass that ended the Patriots’ chances of winning, it looks as if Newton and Harry got their wires crossed. Harry breaks inside when it appears Newton was expecting him to break to the sidelines.
CLNS’ Evan Lazar says this is on Harry. Lazar tentatively posted the following message and then added some context with perhaps a few clues from Newton’s post-game speech to support his point.
The Patriots Need More Weapons
Newton didn’t have his best day against the Broncos, but when looking at the player most likely to make a mental error in this situation, the less-experienced Harry is more likely to have run the wrong route.
Newton has repeatedly defended his receivers throughout the season, and he has seemingly taken a particular liking to Harry whom he’s taken under his wing. Because of this, and Newton’s traditionally team-first approach, it’s highly unlikely he’d throw Harry under the bus to confirm the person at fault in this situation. Nonetheless, if Harry did run the wrong route as it appears he did, this only further confirms the Patriots’ dire need to add an experienced and talented pass-catcher to their roster.
The Patriots might not be able to snag a big name like the New Orleans Saints’ Michael Thomas, Cleveland Browns’ Odell Beckham Jr., Cincinnati Bengals’ A.J. Green, or the Chicago Bears’ Allen Robinson, but it’s becoming more clear Bill Belichick and Co. need to do something.