Patriots’ N’Keal Harry doesn’t think he needed touchdown vs. Chargers, but it ‘was a good feeling’

"I just need to keep doing it week by week, game by game."

N'Keal Harry's touchdown felt good, but he doesn't think he needed it.
N'Keal Harry's touchdown felt good, but he doesn't think he needed it. –AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo

New England Patriots wide receiver N’Keal Harry has had a disappointing season, but his catch against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday with just under nine minutes remaining in the third quarter was an encouraging rarity on two fronts.

First, the aggressive grab was Cam Newton’s fifth touchdown pass of the season. It was also just Harry’s second touchdown catch, and the fourth of his career.

So Harry might be excused if he drew a little extra encouragement from the play. Did he?

“I don’t feel that way,” Harry told reporters on a video call Tuesday. “I just feel like I just need to keep doing it week by week, game by game. 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.”

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On the play, Harry muscled Chargers cornerback Chris Harris out of the way — throwing the smaller defender off balance and clearing a path for himself to catch Newton’s pass. The 6-foot-4 wide receiver was asked on Tuesday about embracing physical play as he looks to build on Sunday’s success.

“That’s my biggest advantage,” Harry said. “So it has to be the No. 1 mentality, the No. 1 priority every time I go out there. So that’s what I tried to do last game, and that’s what I’ll do moving forward.”

After Sunday’s 45-0 win over Los Angeles, Harry said he has been growing increasingly comfortable this season.

“As far as my confidence, I don’t know what everybody else feels like,” Harry said. “Me, I’ve been getting more confident each week. 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.”

Even in an encouraging game, Harry was relatively quiet — just two catches for 15 yards. The final pick of the first round of the 2019 draft, the Arizona State product is yet to make good on the potential New England saw in him on draft night.

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Further improvement might be difficult this week. Harry and the Patriots now face the Los Angeles Rams, who employ three-time Pro Bowler Jalen Ramsey.

“He’s a guy that’s very polished with his technique,” Harry said of Ramsey. “So really, the only way to get off on him is having better technique and better execution. So that’s going to be the key for us this week.”

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