Kony Ealy will play his second former team this season when the Panthers venture to MetLife Stadium. Ealy, who was drafted by the Carolina Panther in 2014, is best known for his performance in Super Bowl 50 where he notched 3 sacks, an interception, and a forced fumble. It was a historic performance that could have landed him the Super Bowl MVP had the Panthers won.
Carolina traded Ealy and a 3rd round pick to the New England Patriots for a second-round pick after the following season. Ealy quickly found himself in Bill Belichick’s doghouse and was released after the third week of the preseason. The New York Jets quickly claimed Ealy off of waivers to play an OLB/DE in a very aggressive defensive scheme. Ealy started a couple of games early in the season but has settled into a situational role behind Leonard Williams and Muhammad Wilkerson. Ealy’s best game came against the Jaguars less than a week after the death of his sister where he had four batted passes, including one that resulted in an interception. Ealy leads the team with 9 batted passes and gained two of them against the New England Patriots.
|Games||Def Interceptions||Fumbles||Sacks & Tackles|
Ealy’s time in Carolina was erratic. He struggled as a rookie, had a breakout Super Bowl performance, and squandered a starting gig handed to him the following year. He didn’t fare well in New England but has seemed to find a role in New York that lacks the pressure that surrounded his time in Carolina and the rigor of New England.
Cam Newton has had his share of batted balls and with the added motivation of playing the team that drafted him and gave up on him, Ealy has a good chance on hitting double digits on tipped passes.
By Tony Dunn
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