Patriots

Mind-blowing stat about Josh McCown and the McCourty twins

devin_mccourty_jason_mccourty.jpg
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Mind-blowing stat about Josh McCown and the McCourty twins

Josh McCown called it a career on Monday. The long-time backup and spot starter had a 17-year career in the NFL and players from across the league took time to praise him following his announcement.

Two of those players were the McCourty twins. Devin and Jason McCourty congratulated McCown on Twitter, and it prompted a pretty funny response from McCown which also saw him drop a mind-blowing stat as well.

This comment is comical, but the real question after seeing this is, do the stats back this up? Is McCown actually the only player to ever throw interceptions to the McCourty twins in consecutive weeks?

Well, apparently, he is.

According to Pats Pulpit's Oliver Thomas, McCown was one of just seven quarterbacks to be picked by both of the McCourty twins, and he is the only one who had it happen by each in consecutive weeks.

While Thomas' data didn't include the 2018 season, no quarterback was added to the list last year. The twins each had one pick last year and while both picks came against the Buffalo Bills, they came against two different quarterbacks (Devin off Derek Anderson in Week 8, Jason off Josh Allen in Week 16).

McCown did have 82 career interceptions, so it's not necessarily a surprise that both of the McCourtys have one. But the fact that it happened by each brother in consecutive weeks is crazy.

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Tom Brady had this message for Malcolm Butler after Super Bowl heroics

Tom Brady had this message for Malcolm Butler after Super Bowl heroics

No one was more happy after Malcolm Butler's game-winning interception at the end of Super Bowl XLIX than New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

The NBC cameras captured Brady jumping up and down with a smile on his face and falling into the arms of his offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. 

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The Super Bowl victory was a long time coming for Brady. He and the Patriots hadn't won a Lombardi Trophy since the 2004 season, and in that 10-year span they lost twice to the New York Giants in heartbreaking fashion. It appeared New England was set for another excruciating Super Bowl defeat until Butler saved the day with his interception of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson at the goal line.

NBC Sports Network showed a replay of Super Bowl XLIX earlier this week, and Butler joined the broadcast. He provided some great insight into what happened that night, including a message Brady had for him following the dramatic win.

“On the film, after the Super Bowl, he's telling me, ‘Malcolm, are you kidding me?'” Butler said on the NBCSN re-broadcast Tuesday night. “But I think, later on, after the game, he told me, ‘You finally caught one that counts.’ Because I used to pick him off in training camp, somewhat, and that was my first interception. He hit it on the head with that one. I finally caught one that counted. It really counted.”

In one of the NFL Films documentaries on the 2014 Patriots, Butler is seen during Super Bowl week practice going through the exact play he intercepted Wilson on. He saw the play in practice, so he was prepared when it came up in a game situation.

Butler, to this day, is still surprised the Seahawks didn't just give the ball to star running back Marshawn Lynch at the goal line.

"Well, yeah, I can't believe they didn't hand it off to him," Butler admitted. "They should've handed it to him. But we called goal line three corners (defense), so I guess they were trying to go the opposite way. It just backfired. It was a good play, I just wanted it more."

Brady wound up winning Super Bowl XLIX MVP, and he would claim one more Lombardi Trophy with Butler in Super Bowl LI before the talented cornerback left the Patriots as a free agent in 2017. No matter what Butler does for the rest of his career, that interception to win Super Bowl XLIX will be his signature play.

Browns better than Patriots in 2020? Former NFL player makes bold claim

Browns better than Patriots in 2020? Former NFL player makes bold claim

The New England Patriots have spent much of the last 20 years at the summit of the NFL -- the most successful franchise of this century. Over that same time, the Cleveland Browns have been one of the league's worst teams, with only a single postseason appearance since 2000.

Could these teams begin to switch places in 2020?

Last season was supposed to be the Browns' return to the spotlight, and the playoffs. Expectations were high for quarterback Baker Mayfield, star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and an up-and-coming defense. Instead, Cleveland got off to a horrible start in 2019, losing six of their first eight games, including a Week 7 loss to the Patriots at Gillette Stadium. 

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Despite all that unfolded in Cleveland last season, many experts are still high on the Browns' chances in 2020. In fact, one of them is even willing to predict the Patriots will be worse than the Browns.

“When you look at those two teams and the difference in the trajectory of what we feel they’ll be, I believe that the Browns will be a better football team than the New England Patriots this year," ESPN NFL analyst Ryan Clark said on the "Get Up" morning show earlier this week. 

"I believe that the Browns young quarterback (Baker Mayfield) will play better than the young quarterback in New England. And when you put all of these things together, that leaves Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots on the outside of the playoff picture and (Browns coach) Kevin Stefanski and the Cleveland Browns in.”

Oddsmakers don't agree with Clark. 

The Browns are underdogs to reach the playoffs with +137 odds at the DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Patriots are expected to make the postseason at -177 odds.

It's also hard to trust the Browns until they show the mental toughness required to play football into January. Bad penalties, turnovers, poor coaching and other avoidable mistakes have plagued the Browns for many years, and last season was no different.

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Another factor working against the Browns is their division. The AFC North is not a joke.

The reigning division champion Baltimore Ravens went 14-2 last year and should again be a top Super Bowl contender. The Pittsburgh Steelers have been a playoff team for much of the last two decades, and they'll be aided by the healthy return of veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who missed most of 2019 due to injury. The Cincinnati Bengals are the worst team in the division, but selecting Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow with the No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft has renewed hope in Cincy.

It's not inconceivable for the Browns to be better than the Patriots in 2020. The Patriots will have plenty of challenges, too, most notably adjusting to a new starting quarterback. New England's schedule also is among the toughest in the league, and the defense lost several key players in free agency.

Still, it's hard to bet against a Belichick team, especially when the other team in the conversation is the Browns. The smart money in this debate is with the Patriots.