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Michael Thomas’ pre-game taunts fired up CB Sean Murphy-Bunting – ‘I took it to heart’

Michael Thomas Sean Murphy-Bunting Buccaneers

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas’ pre-game taunting backfired on him big-time against Sean Murphy-Bunting and the rest of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Shortly after the Bucs eliminated the Saints, 30-20, at Mercedez-Benz Superdome on Sunday, Murphy-Bunting revealed that Thomas’ attempt at mental warfare before the match gave him extra motivation to perform.

The Saints cornerback initially declined to talk about Thomas’ antics, but couldn’t help but put him on blast for recording zero catches and zero yards the entire game.  Here’s Murphy-Bunting’s assessment of Thomas’ inability to walk the talk, per James Palmer of NFL Network.

According to the 23-year-old cornerback, Michael Thomas was flexing hard in his direction prior to kickoff. But that all stopped once the game started, as the Saints struggled to get some points up, with their wide receiver’s poor performance as a huge factor.  Even Twitter users had a field day with Thomas’s lackluster showing, as the memes poured on shortly after the match.

Sean Murphy-Bunting, on the other hand, was clearly fired up from start to finish. He had a phenomenal outing against the Saints and even picked off Drew Brees’ pass at the 5-yard line in the second quarter. That amazing sequence led to a Tom Brady-Mike Evans touchdown connection on the ensuing drive.

The Buccaneers actually trailed 20-13 at one point in the third quarter but scored 17 unanswered points to secure their spot against the Green Bay Packers in the Conference Championships. Michael Thomas, meanwhile, will have an entire offseason to live down his catch-less playoff performance.