New England Patriots: Ranking Top 5 Disappointing Playoff Performers
By Hal Bent
I do not want to say he is on this list because of one play. However, it was Devin McCourty–a team captain and one of the highest paid players on the defense– in coverage of Zach Ertz on the game-winning touchdown catch. Sorry, Devin, but when the team needed a big play all that was seen was McCourty’s weak coverage and falling flat on his face in the open field.
The New England Patriots defense allowed Philadelphia to score on eight of ten drives giving up five touchdowns and three field goals. They forced only one punt and had just one interception. Philadelphia converted 10 of 16 third-downs and both of their fourth-down attempts.
Per Doug Kyed of NESN.com McCourty allowed four catches for 20 yards and that key touchdown. Again, that statistics do not jive with my re-watching the game as I considered McCourty as primary coverage of a 7-yard and a 17-yard gain to Torrey Smith at the end of the third quarter and an 18-yard Nelson Agholor reception in the fourth quarter.
McCourty also had two key missed tackles in the Super Bowl. While the Patriots demanded more coverage of him and fellow starting safety Patrick Chung, McCourty did not respond with a strong game. When they needed a big play, McCourty was lying on his stomach watching a wide-open Ertz haul in the game-winner.