By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots fell to 1-1 on Sunday night, but they showed some real progress on the offensive side of the ball.
With Cam Newton playing just his second game with New England, the quarterback helped two of his top targets reached heights they had never reached before.
With a game-high 179 receiving yards, Julian Edelman recorded a new career high for a single game. Considering it was Edelman’s 152nd career game — regular season and postseason combined, in a career that includes a Super Bowl MVP performance — that’s no small feat.
Newton also showed a lot of trust in second-year wide receiver N’Keal Harry, who had the best game of his young career with eight receptions for 72 yards. Harry’s previous single-game highs were five receptions and 39 yards, which he sat last week in the season debut.
Edelman’s career is well-established at this point, while Harry’s is very much still getting off the ground. The veteran was impressed with the toughness displayed by Harry, who notably held on to a pass over the middle while absorbing a shot to the head on a play that led to Quandre Diggs getting ejected.
“He definitely showed a lot of toughness,” Edelman said of Harry. “He made a lot of plays out there and we are going to need that from him. He showed that he can go out and make plays consistently. Tough plays, hard plays — took some bang-bang shots. I am so proud of him for going out and playing like that. We’ve all wanted him to come out and play and he’s been getting better and better each week. That was a great performance on him. I don’t know what the future will tell. If he keeps on working, I think he’s going to be a really good football player, just got to keep on working. He’s grown up a lot this year, I feel, becoming a professional, owning, getting his work in, playing multiple positions. He’s doing well in the run game, doing well in the pass game. I am very proud of him and the way he played.”
As for Edelman, it was rather incredible that despite his historic relationship with Tom Brady, he set a new career high in receiving yards in just his second game with Newton.
The quarterback was asked after the 35-30 loss what it was that made him keep going back to Edelman.
“It’s Julez,” Newton said. “That’s why.”