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Jason McCourty retires - one of his career highlights came at Rams’ expense

McCourty arrived just in time to save Super Bowl LIII for the Patriots

Super Bowl LIII - New England Patriots v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

Defensive back Jason McCourty is retiring from the National Football League after 13 seasons, and one of his greatest highlights over the course of his career came in Super Bowl LIII against the Los Angeles Rams. He spent 8 years with the Tennessee Titans (2009-2016), 3 years with the New England Patriots (2018-2020), and a year each with the Cleveland Browns (2017) and Miami Dolphins (2021).

The 2018 Super Bowl was a defensive struggle, but the Patriots held firm while the Rams gave up just enough. New England was crowned as world champions with a final score of 13-3.

Two of the biggest missed opportunities for LA came on Jared Goff targets to receiver Brandin Cooks in the end zone, but both passes fell incomplete.

In the third quarter with Los Angeles down just 0-3, Goff looked to his left and then came back to his right to find Cooks running open down the field with his hand up. Goff fired the ball over the middle to the back of the end zone, but McCourty seemingly came out of nowhere to knock the ball away at the last moment.

The Rams came a split second away from taking the lead in the second half of the Super Bowl - and this pivotal moment shaped the career trajectories of Jason McCourty, Jared Goff, Sean McVay, and Brandin Cooks. McVay finally got closure by winning Super Bowl LVI against the Cincinnati Bengals, but both Goff and Cooks were traded by the Rams and are left wondering what could have been.

Sure, Goff deserves blame for releasing the ball a bit too late. He also maybe put too much air under the ball, giving McCourty enough time to catch up. Cooks also deserves a share of the blame for not having stronger hands - for not using his body to shield the ball away from the defender bearing down on him.

But let’s call it what it truly is - a historic, clutch play by a great defensive back. This is one of the moments that will define McCourty’s career.