Zimmer reflects on game-winning forced fumble

Sports

New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) reacts after fumbling the ball during the final drive of second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Orchard Park, N.Y. The ball was recovered by Dean Marlowe as the Bills won 24-21. (AP Photo/John Munson)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — Bills defensive tackle Justin Zimmer has had himself one heck of a year.

From making his way through practice squads on multiple different teams to finally making the 53-man roster with the Bills after his career-best performance against the Kansas City Chiefs, Zimmer gets to add another accomplishment to his tenure in Buffalo.

On Sunday, Zimmer made the game-winning forced fumble against Cam Newton while he was galloping towards the end zone. Dean Marlowe leapt on the loose ball, and the Bills narrowly escaped with a 24-21 victory over their AFC East rival Patriots.

“I don’t know what to feel right now. I’m still breathing heavy from the game, I’m excited,” Bills defensive tackle Justin Zimmer said after the game. “It’ll probably take me 24 hours before I realize what happened. I’m just excited.”

The forced fumble was Zimmer’s first of his career.

His teammates wasted no time in praising the work he did against the Patriots.

“Once I got to the sideline, everybody was hugging me. I don’t know who was first or who was the last, it was an onslaught of people congratulating me,” Zimmer said.

“Big credit to Justin Zim and the whole defensive line. The whole unit with that play. Great work ethic, he made a great play at a great time, I happened to be there and hopped on it and that’s all she wrote right there,” Bills safety Dean Marlowe said. “The defense needed to make a play and come up big and come up strong, the only way we would win would be if we all 11 did our job and someone came away with the takeaway.”

“You see Zim in the building every day and he’s the first one in, always one of the last ones to leave. All of his hard work that he puts in every week, to see it play out on the field is amazing,” Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes said. “I’m always happy for our guys when they’re out there making plays because I know the work we put in during the week and I know how talented we are. It may not always shot on the stat sheet, but I know they guys up front are battling day in and day out. For Zim to go out there and do what he did, it was fantastic.”

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