The New England Patriots won this afternoon due to Rob Gronkowski's beastliness, Tom Brady's two minute drill, and Stephen Gostkowski's 54-yard kick to seal it. Those are the highlights, but the play of the game was the touchdown that was called back in the first quarter to Odell Beckham, hammer fisted out by Malcolm Butler.
This MAN showed up to play tonight. Last year Butler was fighting for a spot on an NFL roster, busting his ass in Rookie free-agent try outs. Tonight he sparred against a top 5 receiver in Odell Beckham Jr., and won that battle. Most people will remember the 87 yarder on the second play of the game that OBJ ripped past Butler and Mcourtey. People won't remember, in the ending minutes of this game, Eli Manning connected with OBJ in the corner of the endzone and about one full second after catching it Butler brought the hammer down.
He swatted the touchdown out of Odell's hands after being in his face all game long. They had been beating the piss out of eachother all game and for the most part Butler backed it up with his play. I love this aggressive physicality in sports. The, "after the whistle stuff" was great between these two. It is downright eye candy to watch a David versus Goliath matchup where the David is talking trash the entire time. Most importanly, and in good sport, Belichek waited as Butler and OBJ had some words of mutual respect after the final whistle.
It's inexplicable the feeling you get when you see two enemies step back from the inherent hatred of a game and revert to reality like those two. Great stuff from two class acts to make for a great game and a dramatic Patriots win.