Ryan was in the process of throwing when he was hit. So if Hightower had been delayed in the slightest, he wouldn’t have gotten there in time to cause the fumble. What might have delayed him? Running back Devonta Freeman, who was in position to pick up the blitz and had a clear shot at Hightower, but opted to let him go free and make himself available as a receiver. If Freeman just puts a shoulder into Hightower, the Falcons might be champs now.
After New England inevitably drove for the touchdown and two-point conversion that made it 28-20 — the Falcons defense actually did nicely to require that drive last nearly 2 1/2 minutes — the Patriots lined up to kick off. With them trailing a single score with 5:56 left, did you expect an onside kick? The Falcons did. They had no deep receiver to accept the kickoff, so when Stephen Gostkowski booted the ball toward the goal line Justin Hardy had to retreat to field the ball over his shoulder. He had no forward momentum after fielding the kick and the Falcons were stuck starting at their 10-yard line.
Owens’ second rejection by Hall voters seems to be a clear message from the committee that character issues carry major weight in the voting process.
Elite Kids Maury Wills Jersey “No. 1, it’s the judgment on my character,” Owens said. “You listen to guys like Bill Polian and Dan Fouts that have said, you know, coaches and players have come to them or pulled them to the side and said that I was a horrible teammate. That’s what really rubs me the wrong way, because I know, No. 1, how I was raised. When you talk about character, that’s a sensitive subject for me, because I know who I am as a person.
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“Just because I had some disagreements with some coaches or some players, that doesn’t mean that I’m a bad person or disruptive or a locker-room cancer as they would have it.”