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Stephon Gilmore came to play vs the Bills...again

The former Buffalo Bill seems to enjoy making life miserable for the team that let him walk in 2017. So do we.

New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

File this one under “living well is the best revenge”.

^A great way to approach life, and also a decent mid-2000s emo record when that was still a thing.

Living well is Stephon Gilmore to a T these days, which, as anyone who’s ever left a job on “less than favorable” terms can tell you, is the best part of moving on to begin with. Better team, more money, and the chance to blast your now-decidedly-former friends and employer into the earth’s crust. What else could you want?

If you’re keeping score at home, Gilmore’s been up to Buffalo twice since signing his $65,000,000 deal with the Patriots in the 2017 offseason, and both times, he’s been a Richard-Sherman-sized island on defense when the Bills offense dared to test him.

Which, for some reason that only makes sense if you’re the Bills, seems to be often.

Last year, in Stephon’s homecoming/revenge game, depending on how you look at it (the notably chill Gilmore would probably prefer neither), Buffalo threw in his general direction 6 times, and the Gilly Lock allowed only 2 completions for 22 yards and slapped a couple passes away for a pair of pass breakups.

Like this one, where, back to the “only in Buffalo” thing, they decide to throw a 50/50 ball up to Zay Jones in red zone territory, and it went about as well as dribbling down the court for a layup like “Huh, I sure hope LeBron’s not behind me”:

It’s such a fine line between “If at first you don’t succeed...” and “The definition of insanity is...”, right?

Like we said, the man allowed 2 completions for 22 yards all game and all he had to say afterwards was:

“I’m like, ‘They’re really trying to score a touchdown on me no matter how much they are down,’ ” Gilmore said. “You’ve got to ask them why they were throwing it. I don’t know why. I just wasn’t going to let him score on me. I’m going to fight to the end and make him make a great pass and catch.”

That’s a perfect Patriot right there, kids.

That game turned out 23-3 in Orchard Park, NY, and funny enough, Monday Night’s slogfest that felt for a while like watching 2 kids learning how to drive stick-shift ended up basically the same way in Buffalo - a final score of 25-6, and Stephon Gilmore doing Stephon Gilmore things.

Which not only means balling at a Pro Bowl level (we’ll get to that in a sec), but also making Sportscenter plays (that’s still on, right) where whoever he was covering ended up with the unfortunate distinction of being the other guy in the clip:

Gilmore’s final stat line: 2 receptions allowed on 7 targets, 45 yards allowed, and 2 pass breakups. He also played 100% of the team’s defensive snaps. NO DAYS/PLAYS OFF.

Does life get better? It does!

From the lovely little email Pro Football Focus dropped me this morning:

- Against his former team, Stephon Gilmore forced three incompletions and allowed just two of seven passes into his coverage to be completed, earning a 90.1 coverage grade on the day. For the season, Gilmore now is at an overall grade of 84.3, which ranks 4th of all cornerbacks.

Hang on a sec. ENHANCE:

For the season, Gilmore now is at an overall grade of 84.3, which ranks 4th of all cornerbacks.


For the season, Gilmore now is at an overall grade of 84.3, which ranks 4th of all cornerbacks.


For the season, Gilmore now is at an overall grade of 84.3, which ranks 4th OF ALL CORNERBACKS.

Even though it’s well-documented that, contrary to popular bar wisdom, you don’t need a shutdown corner to win a Super Bowl, hey, with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers coming to town on Sunday night, what a time to have a corner to put wideouts on an island, right?

Especially when Rodgers tends to treat those corners like a dentist’s appointment the day after Halloween. In other words, that’s a big NOPE.