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Devin McCourty: The 104-yard TD return ‘what a special teams coach would love to see’

Posted By Mike Petraglia On October 22, 2012 @ 2:01 am In General | No Comments

Devin McCourty on his way to a 104-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the first half Sunday. (AP)

FOXBORO — It was the best of times and the worst of times for Devin McCourty and Scott O’Brien on Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

In the first quarter of New England’s 29-26 overtime win against the Jets, McCourty took a kickoff four yards deep in the end zone and returned it 104 yards for a touchdown that tied the game, 7-7, and gave the Patriots new energy.

“It was a kind of what a special teams coach would love to see, ran the ball, made one cut and everyone else got blocked except the kicker,” said McCourty, who deked Jets kicker Nick Folk on his way to paydirt. “When your kickoff return team does that, block everyone except for one guy, as a returner, you’ve got to score right there.”

Then came the nightmare for McCourty and special teams coach O’Brien.

McCourty took a hit from Lex Hilliard at the Patriots 15 and fumbled, with Hillard recovering at the Patriots 18 after the Jets had tied the game, 23-23. The Jets did not take full advantage and converted only a field goal with 1:37 left to take a 26-23 lead.

“My teammates saved my life today,” McCourty said. “A bad mistake in the fourth quarter that I just have to do a better job of holding the ball. This was just a total team win. We just kept fighting. Things didn’t go our way the whole game today. We made enough plays when we needed to for the win.”

McCourty was rescued when Stephen Gostkowski hit a game-tying 43-yard field goal at the end of regulation to force overtime and a 48-yarder in overtime to provide the margin of victory.

“That’s not something that I think I should do and plan on doing so just paying more attention and securing the ball better. I can’t let those other 10 guys down that are working hard to make some tough blocks out there. Whether it’s a score or not, I just can’t let the ball go.”


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