How did CeeDee Lamb celebrate his overtime winning touchdown at Gillette Stadium?
Running around the perimeter of the pitch, hitting high fives with the Cowboys fans sitting in the front row between the end zone corner and the Cowboys bench. It was reminiscent of Cal Ripken slapping high-fives with Oriole fans during a ride around Camden Yards after Ripken set a new MLB “Iron Man” record for consecutive games played.
And then, as Lamb walked away from the fans and headed out onto the field to shake hands with the Patriots players, Lamb said goodbye to the fans wearing New England jerseys. Cowboys teammates joined in greeting Foxborough fans.
ZEKE’S ENCOURAGING WORDS FOR ZUERLEIN
Greg Zuerlein missed a decisive field goal with 2:42 left in regulation and the Cowboys were down by 1 point.
The sidelines can sometimes seem like a lonely place for kickers who miss the FGs, even the 51 yards like Zuerlein’s that he shot left. But a quick lead 24 seconds from the end of regulation time and Zuerlein had a chance to send the game into overtime.
And which teammate had come to Zuerlein to cheer him on as Zuerlein warmed up by kicking the net off the edge of the Cowboys bench? It would be Ezekiel Elliott, who minutes earlier had already told Zuerlein the offense would give the kicker another chance to score points on the board.
There is a particular esprit de corps with the current team. When coaches and teammates say they think this group has a special bond, you can feel it on the sidelines. And a real pillar of that positive energy and cohesion is Zeke, who always goes the extra mile to pick up all the guys on the bench, including defense and special teams.
Sunday’s contest was as choppy as I can remember in a long time. There was no fluidity or natural rhythm in the game because of all the penalties and self-inflicted injuries. Frankly it was difficult to watch and the frustration of the players and coaches was visible. The Cowboys sideline was particularly unhappy with the officiating squad, primarily the maintenance penalties, many of which can very politely be described as marginal.
Let’s just say Tyron Smith and Connor Williams didn’t get their money’s worth on pending calls.
One of the things Patriots players do well is sale calls. From my perspective on the sideline, I thought the passer did a good job raising their arms or tilting their body, drawing the attention of officials and helping to provoke calls.
The fact that there were so many penalties early in the game affected the rest of the game. By that I mean it was in the minds of the players and that goes for both teams, on both sides of the ball. When a player felt held back, he would watch the official pleading for a call (and I’m talking about Cowboys defensemen wondering why they couldn’t get the same calls as the Patriots).
Dallas finished with 12 penalties for 115 yards (that was a lot more). Bill Parcells equated 100 “hidden yards” (which includes penalty yards) to six points. If Parcells is right (and he’s generally right when it comes to football), then the Cowboys cost more than a touchdown.
RANDY GREGORY UNHAPPY OF THE PERCEPTION OF CHEAP SHOT ON THE END GAME OF THE REGULATIONS
Defensive end Randy Gregory, who recorded 2 sacks in the win, was not a happy camper at the end of regulation time. Gregory rubbed his neck and adjusted his helmet – while complaining to the referee – after making the tackle on the last play of the 4th quarter. Aligned inside the defensive tackle for this last game, Gregory knocked down running back Damien Harris after a gain of 6 yards. Gregory said after the game that as the players fell to the ground on the tackle he was stabbed by Patriots center David Andrews. Gregory called it a low blow.
I didn’t see the harpooning, but I saw Gregory come to the sidelines with obvious unease. He didn’t start the defensive streak in overtime (Chauncey Golston took the first snap), but Gregory was able to play. He’s not on the official post-game injury report, but the bye comes at the right time as Gregory is in pain and it’s not just his neck. He’s hurting Andrews now.
Patriots C David Andrews slammed into DE Randy Gregory in another play, but that wasn’t the blow Gregory objected to. It did happen here. Clear blow down to the head / neck area while Gregory is in a vulnerable position. He was assessed on the sidelines but ended the match. https://t.co/d81JaLeUzw pic.twitter.com/r0EsowlHmx
– Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) October 18, 2021
THE TREVON DIGGS FOOTBALL LOGO COLLECTION CONTINUES TO GROW
Here’s a fun fact about Trevon Diggs’ growing collection of football memorabilia, which he continues to follow after interceptions: the footballs bear the logos of opposing teams. Therefore, the football he wins after the interception returns for a touchdown against his Crimson Tide teammate Mac Jones has a Patriots logo.
In the NFL, each team brings 24 soccer balls to a game, each stamped with their respective team’s logo. Each team uses their own balls in attack; balls used in special team matches are marked with a “k” to strike the ball and are supplied by the league.
So, in the first six games of 2021, Diggs intercepted soccer balls with the following logos: Bucs, Chargers, Eagles, Panthers, Giants and now the Patriots. Last year Digg’s 3 caps came against the Eagles, so he has four career INTSs against Philly.
At this rate, Diggs will be hitting bingo with his collection of logo soccer balls.
It reminds me of when we were kids and we went to Baskin Robbins in the summer and they had little helmets for MLB teams. We would get our scoop in collectible baseball helmets. You must have eaten a lot of ice cream, but the goal was to get the whole thing back, right?
And with the way he plays, who’s going to bet against Diggs adding to his collection of logo soccer balls this year… or at least having enough to hit another bingo and score more teams on the roster.
DIGGS THAT CHANGES THE INT-FOR-TD GAME A PENALTY RESULT?
Diggs’ interception with 2:36 left in the 4th quarter was likely the result of a ruthless Patriots penalty. Coming out of a Cowboys timeout, the Patriots were 2nd and 10 on their own 41-yard line. Their staff were ready to run, having sunk the ball down the Cowboys defense throat in the previous practice that resulted in a TD.
But in a rare and stubborn move from a team coached by Bill Belichick, Mac Jones and the offense fell behind… at the end of the timeout. The Patriots have now faced the 2nd and 15th and have changed their staff to bring in additional receivers. If there had been no penalty for late play, would they have thrown on this play? Would Diggs have had this opportunity to play with the ball?
WHICH MUSIC STAR WAS SPOTTED IN THE PATRIOTS OWNER’S BOX GIVING A KISS ON THE CHEEK TO ROBERT KRAFT?
It wasn’t Jon Bon Jovi (who’s buddy with the Patriots owner), but a different music superstar, who sat next to Robert Kraft in the owners suite on Sunday afternoon.
Kenny Chesney, whose long list of country hits includes the football-themed “Boys of Fall”, was not only a guest at Kraft, but when video screens at the stadium showed Chesney next to Kraft, Chesney’s is bent over and planted a big kiss on Kraft’s cheek.
Why was Chesney with Kraft on Sunday? Well, they made a lot of money together at Foxborough. Chesney regularly attracts over 120,000 fans to his concerts at Gillette Stadium and he has another concert scheduled for Foxborough next August.
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