Dont’a Hightower: I wanted the ball and I took it

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There was a long list of plays that allowed the Patriots to erase a 28-3 deficit and come back to win Super Bowl LI, but few were bigger than linebacker Dont’a Hightower’s sack and forced fumble in the fourth quarter.

The Falcons had a third-and-one on their own 36-yard-line while protecting a 28-16 lead when Matt Ryan dropped back to pass and Hightower came on what he said was not a “complicated” blitz. Running back Devonta Freeman didn’t pick him up and Hightower crashed into Ryan, jarring the ball loose so that defensive tackle Alan Branch could fall on it for a game-changing turnover.

“I saw Matt Ryan with the ball in his hands, I wanted it so I hit him and took it,” Hightower said.

Hightower said the defense came into the second half feeling like they had to make a play and/or force a turnover that would allow the team to dig itself out of a big hole. He did just that, the Patriots scored a few plays later and the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history continued.


14 responses to “Dont’a Hightower: I wanted the ball and I took it

  1. It would have been much better for me if he hit him and took the ball much earlier in the game, instead of letting Atlanta score 4 TD’s. Why does every Patriots SB have to be like this??

  2. 28-12, 16 point lead, run the ball dont get the first down at least you run clock, and punt.. Dumb play caller, and Freeman just whiffed cant get paid serious cash when you can’t pass block at crucial times.

  3. Overcoming a 25-point blowout deficit? Unbelievable.

    Belichick just edged out Vince Lombardi as the GOAT NFL Head Coach.
    Brady only reinforced his position as the GOAT NFL QB & Player.
    The debate is over. For now.

    P.S. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the Pats have given America the gift of some of the most exciting games—even those they lost—in Super Bowl history.

  4. Been saying for weeks that Matty Ice would choke in the end. Did you really think Brady would lose a game he had dedicated to his ailing mother? That is not a thing that happens.

  5. Check out the box score and look at the Falcon’s offensive stats.

    Looks like the Pat’s D is legit after all.

  6. The Patriots defense definitely stepped up and took over the game after the half. Congratulations. Atlanta was tough. To those saying they choked – that doesn’t give either side the credit they deserved. Atlanta will definitely be back. I think their inexperience did them in in the 4th, plus their defense was gassed. Oh and btw, the Patriots were conceding the run in the first half daring the Falcons to beat them with it and the Falcons did. Until they made adjustments.

  7. Profootballtalk: Land of free speech oppression.

    The only opinion that matters is the one they advocate.

  8. Thank Satan that these comments are being stored in the internet archive in Canada.

    Otherwise, a voice of dissent against your “Trumpian” free speech curtailment would be so easy to erase.

    We know where you stand.

    We can only talk if we agree with you.


  9. duffelbagsports says:
    Feb 6, 2017 12:02 AM

    Are we still debating Peyton vs Tom?


    I never debated Peyton vs Tom, it was always Joe vs Tom. Peyton is a postseason choker. I would take him in the regular season and his brother on the postseason.

  10. The Pats are the toughest team in the NFL. Anyone who refuses to acknowledge that is a delusional, whiny, lying little baby. Or if you prefer, Mike Tomlin.

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