Taylor Gabriel clowned Malcolm Butler on a head fake so great, even Allen Iverson would be proud.
The Falcons wide receiver embarrassed New England’s shutdown corner in the third quarter of Super Bowl 51, faking Butler out so hard the defender tripped himself and opened up a 35-yard catch and run between Matt Ryan and Gabriel to set up yet another Falcons touchdown.
The devastating double move obliterated the Patriots man coverage on a second and five at Atlanta’s 37 yard line. Butler couldn’t keep his footing because, well, he got punked in front of a hundred million or so people. With Butler out of the picture, Ryan lofted a pass up over the middle that Gabriel got underneath just before Duron Harmon could collide with him in the secondary.
It was another spectacular play from the Falcons in a game that’s become an outright disaster for the Patriots. Butler getting put on skates may not be as impactful on the scoreboard as Tom Brady’s pick-6, but it definitely had an emotional impact on the AFC champions.
This pretty much sums up the night for the Patriots defense.
The Falcons scored on a Tevin Coleman touchdown catch to finish out the drive and put Atlanta up 28-3.