Matt Cassel: Blame N'Keal Harry, not Tom Brady, for key interception vs. Texans

NBC Sports Boston Staff
NBC Sports Boston

The New England Patriots' 28-22 loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday was pretty ugly. 

One of the biggest plays of the game was when a Tom Brady pass targeted at rookie receiver N'Keal Harry was picked off and set up the first touchdown for the Texans. 

While Brady received plenty of flack for the play, Matt Cassel put more of the blame on Harry when discussing it with Tom E. Curran on the latest Patriots Talk Podcast. 

"It wasn't a slant, it was an under route," Cassel said of Harry's play that resulted in an interception. "The number one thing for any receivers, especially when you have tight coverage like they did, when you cross space and you start to come inside: one you can't slow down, two there's no possibility once that guy's on your back that he should ever be able to beat you to the ball as long as you come downhill at that angle and don't slow up. The minute you slow up, you give that DB an opportunity to run through your back and cut you off to that angle.

"What happened on the play, some of it might have been footing, but it almost looked like he slowed up out of the break and then when he decelerated, that guy beat him to the point of attack of the ball and became a catastrophe and a big pick and everything else. A lot of times when you're throwing an under route versus man coverage it's a gray route because you've got a big body, and like we always talk about as long as you accelerate out of that route and come downhill and keep fighting for that ball, he should at least in the worst-case scenario, the guy should have to play through you on your back. He should never beat you to the ball. That was the main issue that I had with that play. That's a play that he [Harry] should get the ball and at the very least it should be an incomplete pass."

Following that play, Harry only saw 10 snaps the rest of the game. Bill Belichick insisted that Harry didn't see less time because of the interception, but it appeared that the play was a factor in the rookie's decreased playing time.

That pass play wasn't the only one that went astray for New England. Curran and Cassel break down Phillip Dorsett's missed signal and Jakobi Meyers' miscommunication with Brady on the podcast as well. 


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Matt Cassel: Blame N'Keal Harry, not Tom Brady, for key interception vs. Texans originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

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