MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Chase Winovich had five family members in attendance at Sunday’s New England Patriots-Miami Dolphins game — and a sixth there in spirit.
Winovich, the Patriots’ stud rookie edge rusher, said he felt his late grandmother’s presence in the form of a butterfly shortly before he dropped Dolphins quarterback Josh Rosen for the first solo sack of his NFL career.
“Before I got my sack, my grandmother, who passed away, she always said she’d come back as a butterfly,” Winovich recalled after New England’s 43-0 shellacking of Miami at Hard Rock Stadium. “And I was tearing up a little bit on the field. It was literally a couple plays before. I saw a butterfly floating around, and I was like, ‘That’s got to mean something.’ And then sure enough, a couple plays later, luckily I came home (for the sack). My teammates had great coverage and set it up for me.”
He added: “I knew something special was coming.”
On the play in question, Winovich engaged left tackle Jesse Davis, feigned an inside stunt and blew past Davis to the outside to bury Rosen for an 8-yard loss.
“I’m trying to think of whether I can comment on that or not without giving anything away,” Winovich said. “Honestly, it was just one of those things where I felt it out, felt him go inside, worked the outside move and it worked out.”
Winovich also split a sack with linebacker Jamie Collins earlier in the game, and his aggressive rush off the edge helped defensive lineman Adam Butler bag one of his two sacks. The Patriots’ defense totaled seven sacks in the blowout win to go along with four interceptions, two of which they returned for touchdowns.
“It’s just something to build off of,” Winovich said. “I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.”