You know by now the New England Patriots won their sixth Super Bowl in 17 years on Sunday night. However, we wanted to highlight perhaps the biggest defensive play of the game, as Rutgers alum Jason McCourty shined in his first Super Bowl appearance.
It’s been a special year for him and his twin brother Devin, a longtime Patriot, as they reunited on the field in New England for the first time since they left Rutgers a decade ago. While Devin has had plenty of postseason moments over his career and won now three Super Bowls, Jason never enjoyed such success. After playing for the Tennessee Titans for most of his pro career, he was on last season’s Cleveland Browns team that went 0-16. So it was certainly enjoyable to see Jason rise to the occasion under the spotlight of the Super Bowl.
Late in the third quarter and the score still 3-0 Patriots, the Los Angeles Rams finally threatened to score with a deep pass from quarterback Jared Goff to wide receiver Brandin Cooks. It was a blown coverage by the Patriots secondary and Cooks was literally waiting in the end zone for the ball to get there, standing wide open. Out of nowhere came Jason McCourty, who deflected the pass out of Cooks’ hands and made a touchdown saving play.
This was the play of the damn millennium. Jason Mccourty baby! pic.twitter.com/fI8bx7PVDu— Shaq (@AtomicDawg5150) February 4, 2019
If he hadn’t, the entire momentum of the game would have shifted heading into the fourth quarter. Instead, the Rams settled for a field goal and the rest is history. Tom Brady completed the biggest pass of the game to Rob Gronkowski at the 1 yard line late in the fourth quarter and the Patriots won 13-3. Here is McCourty speaking about the play after the game.
BIG BREAKUP: Jason McCourty explains his breakup of Brandin Cooks in end zone pic.twitter.com/pbjAd97hsf— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) February 4, 2019
Jason was also happy to prove the doubters wrong and let them know about it afterwards.
Jason McCourty has a list of names he has to cross off pic.twitter.com/pJHi2950hR— Barstool Sports (@barstooltweetss) February 4, 2019
On the field after the game, the McCourty brothers celebrated together.
“I couldn’t imagine that I’d be sitting with you right here at this desk.” - Jason McCourty (@McCourtyTwins) on going from 0-16 with the Browns last season to winning his first Super Bowl ring— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) February 4, 2019
(via @CharissaT // @LT_21 // @DeionSanders)
: @NFLGameDay Prime pic.twitter.com/AsBrZiZrUS
Overall, Jason McCourty finished the game with 5 tackles and 2 pass deflections. His brother Devin made 2 tackles. Fellow Rutgers alum Duron Harmon came off the bench when Patrick Chung was injured and made two big plays in the game, making a hit on Cooks to save a touchdown on the first and blitzing Goff that forced him to make a bad throw that led to an interception on the second. Boston media outlet NESN called Harmon the unsung hero of the game.
All in all, whether you are a Patriots fan or not, it was a good day for Rutgers football on the NFL’s biggest stage. All three players had great careers on the banks and continue to flourish in their pro careers. Congrats to Jason on his first Super Bowl victory and to Devin and Duron on their third each.