The outcome of Super Bowl LIII could have been quite different if New England Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty didn't cover for a teammate's mistake and break up what looked like an easy touchdown pass to Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks.
The play happened late in the third quarter with the Patriots leading 3-0. Cooks raced past New England's defense and McCourty noticed it. He showed off incredible speed to reach Cooks in the end zone just in time to break up the play.
New Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, who was the Patriots' linebackers coach and defensive playcaller in the Super Bowl, talked to PFT Live on Tuesday and noted the Rams actually ran that play earlier in the game, and New England was expecting it again.
“They went back to it,” Flores said. “We knew that they were going to go back to it. We had a miscommunication. Jason, he made the play of the game. It was an incredible effort play is really what it was. And that’s something we talk about on a day-to-day basis. We had a guy make a mistake. We had a guy cover for him. And then it ended up being the play of the game. I was so happy for Jason because you know he’s had, you know, he was 0-16 a year ago [with the Browns]. He came in here and he worked and this was an up-and-down season, I’m so happy for him to go out and win it.”
The Rams eventually settled for a field goal on that drive to tie the score. The Patriots offense finally woke up in the fourth quarter and scored the next 10 points for a 13-3 victory at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
It wasn't the most exciting Super Bowl, but there were plenty of pivotal moments in the second half, and McCourty's pass breakup certainly qualifies as one of them.
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