“He played his heart out,” Davis said.
Cousins became the first NBA player since Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1972 to have as many as 40 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists in a game, according to Elias Sports Bureau research. Few others have done it.
“Protect the receiver,” Smith added, before Irvin said he put the interception more on the receiver.
Anyhow, 12 hours later, Cousins made his weekly appearance on 106.7 The Fan’s Grant and Danny program. Midway through the appearance, he was asked about that NFL Network criticism. Cousins said he hadn’t heard it, and after it was summarized, he attempted to avoid entering a back-and-forth.
“I mean, I think those guys are gonna say what they want to say, and I honestly think that in today’s world, unfortunately, sometimes saying inflammatory things, you get rewarded for it whether there’s a lot of truth behind it or not,” Cousins said. “You know, I didn’t go over right away [to Crowder], but I did go over and just try to encourage the guys up and down, the receivers and the O-line and the running backs, let ‘em know we’re doing a lot of good things, we’re fine.”
Then came a new threat in the Jaguars’ defense. Brady needed to dig even deeper for something new to add to his legacy.
Brady has been through every situation, and he has learned from his past failures in the penultimate playoff round. He wasn’t in a Super Bowl on Sunday, but this AFC title game had the feel of those two big games in which the Patriots came up short against Tom Coughlin’s Giants. Brady wasn’t about to let that happen again against a different kind of Coughlin team.
If Brady were not 40, his 81.6 passer rating over the final five games of the season, which he played with a nagging Achilles’ injury, would be dismissed as part of a season’s typical ebb. The sterling late-season performance of Jimmy Garoppolo, the heralded backup the Patriots shipped to San Francisco for a second-round pick, would not have evoked panicked regret across New England.