|Leonard Johnson (34) and Malcolm Butler (21) celebrating. USA Today|
1. Leonard Johnson bails Patriots out on 4th-and-4, celebrates with hilarious dance
That Dance Tho https://t.co/KfbdUqN4mN— PatriotsNation™ (@Jordanems) December 14, 2015
If you had newly acquired cornerback Leonard Johnson pegged for a big night in his Patriots debut, then you're a genius. Johnson was excellent last night and made what was possibly the biggest defensive play of the night. After Keshawn Martin muffed a punt that saw the Texans recover deep in their own territory, they decided to go for it on fourth down instead of kicking a field goal, which would have made it 20-9. Brian Hoyer's pass for tight end Ryan Griffin was broken up by Johnson, and his celebration was flat out awesome.
Johnson talked about his debut with the Patriots after being released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"It felt good, man," Johnson said afterward. "Felt good to get back out with the guys, fly around. Everything wasn't perfect from my standpoint, but it felt good to get back into the swing of things, so I'm just excited. I keep thanking God that I've got another opportunity to come out and put my talent on display."
2. Keshawn Martin burns Texans in return to NRG Stadium
Touchdown Keshawn Martin https://t.co/P2q1BYtDdT— PatriotsNation™ (@Jordanems) December 14, 2015
The Texans traded Martin to New England earlier this season, and Martin made them pay by catching this touchdown pass from Tom Brady, which was essentially the game-winner.
3. Yep... Gronk's back
Brady to GRONK TD pic.twitter.com/AGApMKFUB6— Patriots Militia (@PatsMilitia) December 14, 2015
Not much to say about this except thank God Gronk is back. This touchdown catch by the big tight end made it 17-6 and basically put the game out of reach.
Honorable mention - Malcolm Butler breaks up a touchdown pass from Brian Hoyer to Nate Washington
Malcolm Butler 😎😎 pic.twitter.com/2fxiLw5CgZ— Patriots Militia (@PatsMilitia) December 14, 2015
Think of players on this Patriots team who have improved as the season's progressed, and one of the first players you'll think of is Malcolm Butler. Aside from one play early in the game in which he misjudged a route by Nate Washington and allowed a 49-yard play as a result, Butler was once again dominant and is showing the world that his Super Bowl-winning interception wasn't an anomaly. On the same drive that Johnson broke up the fourth down pass that saw that hilarious celebratory dance, Butler broke up a pass going to Washington in the end zone that would have been a touchdown. Butler once again had Washington covered tight and showed great awareness for the football, two things that have made him so much fun to watch this season.
Follow me on Twitter - @JesseGaunce
For more of my articles, click here.