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Saturday, December 24, 2011
McCourty's woes overshadow first pick

By Mike Rodak

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty may have snagged his first interception of the season in his team's 27-24 win over the Dolphins, but it was one of the few highlights of his rocky afternoon on Saturday.

McCourty's struggles began on the first drive of the game, when he was beaten by Miami's Brian Hartline for a 39-yard completion on third down. On the first play of the second quarter, McCourty allowed a 47-yard catch by lanky Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall, setting up a touchdown reception by Marshall two plays later.

"You know you're going to have to battle all day," McCourty said. "[Marshall]'s going to make some plays, but you have to try to make some plays yourself."

On the Dolphins' next possession, McCourty was flagged for pass interference on an incompletion by Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore on third-and-12, keeping alive a drive that resulted in another Dolphins touchdown.

"At first I tried to get to him before, because I thought it was tipped in the air, and then it looked like it was overthrown," McCourty explained. "I put my hands on him, so any time the ball's in the air and it's not tipped, and you touch the receiver, it's going to be pass interference."

After the Patriots tied the game late in the third quarter, McCourty saved a Dolphins drive that had entered Patriots territory, coming up with his first interception of his sophomore season on an underthrown Moore pass to Hartline.

"It felt pretty good. Finally got a chance to get one and reel it in, so it was a big play that helped the team big time," McCourty said. "[The pass] was hanging in there. I thought I jumped too early at first, but I was happy I was able to come down with the big play."

However, just as the Patriots looked to have the game in-hand (a ten-point lead with less than three minutes remaining), McCourty was beaten again by Marshall, this time for a 41-yard reception which preceded a Miami touchdown.

"That's the life of playing corner. You make a play, and then they come right back and they make a play," McCourty said. "Today wasn't the first day I was beat in my career and it won't be the last. You just got to keep playing and make some plays of your own."