Patriots

Stephon Gilmore picks off Patriots QB Mac Jones in showdown vs. old team

Gilmore read his old team's play perfectly.

Stephon Gilmore interception
Former Patriots cornerback, now with the Panthers, Stephon Gilmore has a moment with Patriots owner Robert Kraft. Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Former Patriots star Stephon Gilmore admitted he had extra motivation playing his old team earlier this week, and he drove his point home with a first-half interception as a member of the Panthers on Sunday.

Leading 7-3 in the middle of the second quarter, the Patriots tried to run Jakobi Meyers across the middle of the field. Gilmore, however, read the play perfectly and beat his former teammate to the spot to snag Mac Jones’s errant pass. Gilmore sprinted back to the 40-yard line.

Here’s a look at the play.

Asked by reporters if playing against the Patriots was “a little extra” motivation earlier this week, Gilmore answered that it was “a lot extra.”

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Still, Gilmore said there are “no hard feelings” between himself and the Patriots, and he was very friendly with the Patriots before the game. He greeted Robert Kraft, Mac Jones and other teammates with hugs.

“It’s business,” he said last week. “It happens all the time. … I had good years there. I’m happy to be a Panther now.”

The Patriots’ defense held firm after Gilmore’s interception, but the Panthers still converted a field goal.

The Patriots answered with a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to end the half. Jones finished the first half 11-for-13 as a passer, boosted by a big performance from the run game (105 yards on 20 carries) to take a 14-6 lead into the locker room.

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