Patriots contend overheard conversation fueled touchdown pass

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An interesting postscript has emerged following New England’s closer-than-expected win over the Texans.

Via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Patriots coach Bill Belichick contends that a touchdown pass from quarterback Tom Brady to receiver Chris Hogan happened after offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels overheard an on-field conversation between Texans cornerback Jonathan Joseph and safety Andre Hal.

“This is kind of a key part of the play right here is Hal and Joseph talking about this afterwards,” Belichick explained during a film review following the game. “Josh McDaniels did a great job of picking this up and seeing this and I think Hal was telling Joseph the next time they do this, ‘You are going to trap and I’m going to go over the top,’ and all that. . . . So rather than waiting until that happened, we ran this play again. It’s a little bit of a different look, because this time the back is in the backfield, but it’s the same idea.”

Joseph disputes that loose lips sank the Texans ship.

“I read that and heard something about it,” Joseph said Friday, per Wilson. “I don’t know if there’s any facts to it or if it’s correct. I think I know that one particular play they’re talking about, and we weren’t in that same particular coverage. So that’s why the two stories don’t match up together.”

The touchdown was still surrendered, regardless of whether there was eavesdropping or not. And since it was the Patriots, some will call it something other than what it was — two players communicating openly and someone on the sideline paying attention to it.

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