FOXBORO, Mass. — There were two cases of celebration thievery during Sunday’s Patriots victory at Gillette Stadium.
Early in New England’s 23-21 win over Miami, Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins celebrated a takedown of Mac Jones with an arched-back face swipe — the signature move of Patriots Pro Bowl pass rusher Matthew Judon.
New England’s defenders took notice. And two quarters later, Christian Barmore offered his retort.
After dragging down third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson to force a Dolphins punt, Barmore busted out a Miami player’s trademark dance: a heftier, more robotic take on wide receiver Jaylen Waddle’s penguin walk.
Judon confirmed after the game that Barmore’s waddle was a direct response to Wilkins.
“They kind of did it to us,” Judon said. “Imitation is just flattery, I guess. So Barmore went out there and kind of gave one back to them.”
Barmore’s celebration was a hit with former Patriots players on social media, and with his teammates.
“He made some great grown-man plays,” defensive end Deatrich Wise said of the second-year defensive tackle, who’s been an impact player since returning from a knee injury in Week 15. “Throwing guys on the ground, making big plays, making sacks. Even intimidating the offense by doing the Waddle. That was really good. He did a great job all day creating pressure and having big stops.”
Barmore finished with one sack and four quarterback hits Sunday and had a few standout moments as a run defender, as well. He’ll surely have a key role in the Patriots’ plan to defend Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills in next weekend’s Week 18 showdown at Highmark Stadium.
A win over Buffalo would clinch a playoff spot for New England.