Don’t judge Devin McCourty‘s performance off this photo above. He’s here for a positive thing. He’s received an award for AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for this efforts in the New England Patriots 29-26 victory in overtime against the New York Jets.
What’d he do to receive the award? He returned a 104-yard kick-off in the first quarter. That return was the Patriots first since Brandon Tate took one back in 2010 and the second longest in the team’s history after Ellis Hobbs‘ league record 109-yard kick return (now tied with Jacoby Jones).
Instead of basking in the glory for himself, he spoke on the accolade as a team reward. “That’s more of a special teams, kickoff return award,” McCourty said. “When you look at that (touchdown return), the return was all guys blocking up front and me just catching the ball and running to where it’s open. So that’s a special teams, kickoff return award.”
Without McCourty’s return, the Pats may have lost to the Jets as the offense wasn’t as sharp as they have been in the past. And though he coughed up a costly fumble in the fourth quarter, what he did earlier on special team outshines all of that.
Now the question is whether McCourty can keep up his efforts as a kick return as the Patriots have been lacking in this section all season only averaging 23.6 returns per kickoff which is 16th overall in the NFL. On the brightside McCourty’s return makes the Pats one of the 6 teams that have returned a kickoff for a touchdown this year.
This is Devin’s first time being named player of the week in his three years in the league.