By: Ian Logue
Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty has already had a tough season.
McCourty made his first interception of the 2011 season on Saturday. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
He hasn’t exactly looked like the same guy that lead the team in interceptions last season, and to make matters worse he was crushed by his own teammate Sterling Moore, who in his first start last month separated McCourty’s shoulder.
That more or less added injury to insult, as he’s continued trying to get back to being the player he was last season.
On Saturday it was another day with mixed reviews, with the former Rutgers standout showing glimpses of who most fans hope we’ll see heading into the postseason.
He had a tough start, getting burned on Miami’s first series where quarterback Matt Moore hit Dolphins receiver Brian Hartline on a 39 yard bomb, which looking back at the film McCourty had been playing about six yards off him when the ball was snapped. Hartline managed to get him turned around, and then got behind him. That play helped set up Miami’s first field goal.
They got him again in the second quarter, with Brandon Marshall slipping behind him on a 47 yard pass play that McCourty never even looked back for the football on. That play helped set up an eventual touchdown by the Dolphins.
He was then later flagged for a tough pass interference penalty on a 3rd and 12 play, which came on a play where the ball was well overthrown over Dolphins receiver Brian Hartline. That helped extend the drive, and McCourty actually had a shot a few plays later at an interception after getting inside position on Brandon Marshall in the endzone but couldn’t quite come up with it.
Miami would eventually score their second touchdown of the day on that drive to go up 17-0.
However, McCourty would finally make a big play, picking off Matt Moore early in the fourth quarter after Miami was driving. It was his first interception of the season, but more importantly it ended any momentum Miami was trying to build, and the Patriots went on to grab the lead for the first time with a 42-yard field goal to put them up 20-17.
The second year cornerback finished the afternoon with four passes defensed, nine tackles, along with his interception.
They say all it takes is one play to for a player to get on a roll. McCourty admitted after the game that the goal is to just try to keep battling.
“That’s the life of playing corner,” McCourty told the Boston Herald after Saturday’s win. “You make a play and then they come right back and make a play. I think it’s just keep battling. In the secondary you’re always going to go up against that. With the receivers in this league they’re going to make some plays and you’re going to make some plays but it’s back and forth every week.”
Hopefully he’ll make a few more next Sunday against the Bills.