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Old 01-22-2018, 11:06 AM   #1
Teach
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Stephon Gilmore Was Almost "The Goat"

Less than two minutes to play. AFC title game. Jag's quarterback, Blake Bortles, back to pass, looking, looking, spots Dede Westbrook in a crossing route. A completion? No. Patriots cornerback, Stephon Gilmore, dives headlong, like a human-javelin, to break up the play and, quite possibly, save the game for the New England Patriots.

But, just seconds earlier, just before the 2-minute warning, the ball is on the Jags 30-yard line. Bortles again back to pass, spots the same Dede Westbrook on the near sideline. Complete at the Patriots 40. The defender, Stephon Gilmore, slips. He can't possibly make the tackle.

For an instance, a milli-second, I'm thinking, "Oh, no!" My mind flashes back to another Stefone. This one, a wide-receiver for the Minnesota Vikings, Stefone Diggs. As I'm sure we all recall, on the last play of that Saints v. Vikings game, the Saints' defender misses the tackle (he collides with another Saints' defender), Diggs maintains his balance and scoots into the end-zone for the game-winning score.

In this case, the Jag's receiver, Westbrook also slips (fortunately for Patriots fans). Pure speculation: But what if Westbrook had maintained his balance? He would have likely gained at least another 10 or 20 yards. There was even the possibility of a Jags TD. But Westbrook was driven out of bounds by arriving Patriots defenders. The point: Had Westbrook maintained his balance, he could have provided the Jaguars with a game-winning TD. And, instead of being one of heroes, Gilmore might have been: "The Goat".
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