Agholor breaks down epic TD catch that helped Patriots beat Steelers originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
There wasn't a ton of offense in Sunday's Week 2 game between the Patriots and Steelers in Pittsburgh, but New England wide receiver Nelson Agholor did make one of the best catches of the NFL season so far.
The Patriots were almost in field goal range with just 30 seconds remaining in the first half when quarterback Mac Jones launched a pass deep down the right side intended for Agholor.
The veteran wideout made an incredible play to leap over Steelers defensive back Ahkello Witherspoon for the reception and then run into the end zone. The score put the Patriots up 10-3 and gave the team's offense a much-needed jolt of confidence after a pretty sluggish first half.
"You talk about making big plays, obviously we want to make the routine plays, but anytime you get an opportunity on a 50-50 ball we need to make those plays because it puts the energy on our side and gives us good momentum," Agholor said of his touchdown catch after the Patriots' 17-14 victory.
What goes through a wide receiver's mind on one of those 50-50 plays?
"I think it's about focus and just being present in the moment when the ball is in the air," Agholor explained. "We're both aggressive. It's a contested catch, even for the defender. His job isn't to catch it, his job is to defend it, and my job is to catch it. I have to have a little more focus than him. That's what it comes down to."
"It's about being present in the moment when the ball is in the air"
Nelson Agholor broke down his mindset during his touchdown pic.twitter.com/MSe4dMUXeU
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Jones has plenty of confidence in Agholor's ability to haul in those 50-50 balls down the field.
"It was kinda one of those plays where we were moving the ball and running our 2-minute offense. I have good comfortability with that," Jones said.
"We've worked on that play through the offseason and 50-50 balls. He's one of those guys I'd put in the throw-it-up-to-him category and he's going to make the play. It's 1-on-1 and I'll give him a shot. I had time with the offensive line. I think all of our wide receivers can do that. If it's 1-on-1 I'll give them a chance. That's what we need to do."
Agholor was arguably the best player on the field for the Patriots on Sunday. He tallied six receptions for a team-leading 110 yards with one touchdown on six targets. He made several impressive catches throughout the game, but none of them were more important than that touchdown before the half.
"Nelly did a great job going up there and taking the ball," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said. "A good job by Mac giving the receiver a chance to go get it and Nelly came down with it. That was a huge play for us."