Posts Tagged With: Malcolm Butler

Pick Six: Players of the Week

Devin McCourty

Devin McCourty

Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:

1. Devin McCourty, FS, Patriots (NFL) — Not one of New England’s defensive backs had a standout game statistically. Nobody made a very memorable big play or forced a takeaway. So, McCourty gets this spot under the Kawhi Leonard/Andre Iguodala NBA Finals MVP criteria: It’s not so much what he did, it’s more about what he prevented someone else from doing.

Just like Leonard and Iguodala were rewarded primarily for not allowing LeBron James to completely dominate the 2014 and 2015 Finals, respectively, McCourty’s biggest accomplishment in the Patriots’ 34-28 win over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI is that he didn’t allow Atlanta WR Julio Jones to dominate the game. Continue reading

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Super Bowl 51: A look at the secondaries

L-R: Harmon, McCourty, Ryan

L-R: Harmon, McCourty, Ryan

The media coverage leading up to Super Bowl LI (a.k.a. Super Bowl 51 for the Roman-numerically-challenged) between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons has mirrored the media coverage leading up to last month’s college football national championship game between Alabama and Clemson.

Legacy has been a popular angle.

Going into the NCAA title game, the biggest question surrounding Alabama head coach Nick Saban was not if he could lead the Crimson Tide to the program’s 17th national title. It was more like, when Saban did it, would he then be considered the greatest college coach of all-time? Would he be considered better than ‘Bama legend Paul “Bear” Bryant? Continue reading

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Pick Six: Players of the Week

Jalen Collins

Jalen Collins

Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:

1. Jalen Collins, CB, Falcons (NFL) — After the Falcons jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter of Sunday’s NFC Championship game, the Packers drove into the red zone and were threatening to score. That’s when Collins stripped Green Bay fullback Aaron Ripkowski and also recovered the fumble. The Falcons scored on the ensuing drive, taking a 17-0 lead and cruising from there to a 44-21 victory and a spot in Super Bowl LI.

2. Brian Poole, CB, Falcons (NFL) — Las Vegas should have a prop bet available on whether or not Poole is going to catch Tom Brady with a highlight-reel hit during the Super Bowl. Continue reading

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Pick Six: Players of the Week

Jamar Taylor

Jamar Taylor

Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:

1. Jamar Taylor, CB, Browns (NFL) — I have an unofficial rule that you have to win to get on the Pick Six list, and so all season long I hadn’t even been able to consider putting a defensive back from my Cleveland Browns in this space. But then on Saturday, the Browns beat the Chargers 20-17, “improving” to 1-14 and avoiding the possibility of making history for all the wrong reasons.

Taylor, in his first season as a regular starter after three years as a backup with the Dolphins, has shined enough through all the losing that Cleveland signed him to a three-year contract extension earlier this month.

In Saturday’s emotional victory, Taylor had five tackles, including one tackle for a loss, two pass breakups and an interception. Continue reading

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Peterson or Norman: Who is the NFL’s best cornerback?

Patrick Peterson

Patrick Peterson

In a sense, there is no such thing as an “accurate” ranking of the NFL’s best players — either overall or at any particular position.

Despite the best efforts of the people who create advanced statistics, there is no official formula. Ranking football players is rooted too deeply in the personal preferences and style choices of the person doing the ranking. And when you get into positions like offensive line and defensive back — where the numbers truly do not tell the whole story — you’re even less likely to come up with a universal order on which most people can agree. Continue reading

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Butler, Golson nominated for 2015 ESPY Awards

malcolm-butler-0701

The 2015 ESPY Awards are coming, and there are a couple of defensive backs who could find that red-carpet, big-stage spotlight shining on them on July 15 in Los Angeles for what is now considered the Oscars for American sports.

New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, the undrafted rookie backup last season whose interception in the final seconds of the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLVIX prevented a Seattle Seahawks touchdown and preserved the Patriots’ fourth championship, is nominated for Play of the Year. That Super Bowl is nominated for Game of the Year, and the Patriots will surely be nominated for Team of the Year (although it has not been announced yet). Continue reading

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