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"I'm not here to talk about the past"

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That almost looked like it was gonna be another tuck rule call but thank God the ref didn’t review it and try to give Brady another chance at winning it. But it really isn’t Brady’s fault and to be quite honest he played his heart out and made one mistake that wasn’t really his fault either it was the shitty offensive line on that play and the defense the entire game. Still glad that the eagles won it after 17 years of being cursed.

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Happy for the Eagles. That team played great the entire post season, and with Nick Foles playing like a totally different quarterback! Was impressive and entertaining to watch. And I don't really get why people hate the Patriots being in the Super Bowl. Is there anything more certain than an entertaining Super Bowl when they're in it? Literally all 8 of their Super Bowls under the Brady/Belichick era have been decided by one possession.

The Patriots defense was awful, and it finally came home to roost. For years and years, it's been "They're bad, but they're a bend, not break defense." But really, they've gotten lucky for years with that, and often relied on the greatest QB of all-time to bail them out. That, and it didn't help that they lost Brandon Cooks on a dirty hit. (Yes, yes, it was technically legal, but leading with the helmet to blind side a player, while also aiming high is "dirty" in my book.) I'm not quite sure why they didn't involve James White or Dion Lewis in the gameplan more (nor am I sure I understand what the reason for benching Malcolm Butler was), but that could have helped. I'd like to have seen a healthy Patriots with Julian Edelman, Cooks, and Martellus Bennett play a healthy Eagles with Carson Wentz. But oh well.

The biggest problem I had with the game was that second Foles TD throw. This is going to be one of those plays where people are just going to ignore it, but I have no idea how on earth the NFL officials ruled that a catch. Like, yes, "common sense" dictates that it was. And that was a case where "common sense" should be worked into the rules. The *problem* is that that isn't what the *rule* is. By rule, that was not a catch. He let go of the ball before his second step, which meant that his third step would have had to come down in bounds for it to be a catch, and it clearly did not. *By rule,* that was not a catch. They called it a catch, and subsequently a touchdown.

I can't imagine the Patriots preventing the Eagles from scoring on that possession either way, so I'm not implying I think the Pats lost because of that blatant disregard for established rules. They made Nick Foles look like Joe Montana. They were going to score on that drive. No doubt on my mind. And even a field goal would have still meant the Eagles won, the rest of the game being the same. But I think this is a big problem with the NFL. No one knows what constitutes a catch. And more, you can't say "this is what a catch is," and then *completely* disregard the established rules in the championship game. That's insane. And it really hurts the game.

Posted February 5th, 2018 by Jet Presto

That was a fantastic Super Bowl. I liked it better than last year's--while last year's SB had probably the best 4th quarter of all time, it was pretty boring for the first three. This was just a barnstormer from start to finish, and I really didn't think Nick Foles had it in him. And yeah--as tired as I've been of seeing the Patriots in the Super Bowl year after year, every one of theirs has been a classic.

I was expecting to see a ton of White/Lewis/Burkhead in the Patriots gameplan, but it turns out they didn't really need to go with that. Their offense barely had a hiccup all night, aside from that crucial sack-fumble and a couple of kicking-game mishaps--this one was all on the defense and on the Eagles keeping the ball in their own hands. I mean, the Patriots didn't punt the ball once--hard to blame the offense for anything!

I thought the Ertz catch was a clear TD. The Clement one I think could have gone either way, and I'm fairly certain that it was close enough that whatever the ruling on the field was would be upheld. To me, it didn't look clear enough that the ball was bobbled in the replay to overturn the call, but I understand having the opposite opinion. I believe Goodell has indicated that they'll be looking at the catch rule in the offseason, so I wouldn't be surprised to see some changes before the next season starts.

Posted February 5th, 2018 by white lancer

Well, we did know Foles had it in him because we saw him do the exact same thing two weeks ago against a better defense in the Vikings! He played lights out two weeks in a row. It was very reminiscent of Joe Flacco.

I had some issues with first half play calling from Josh McDaniels. And I still think Brandon Cooks cost them a potential touchdown by deciding to go for the stupid highlight reel leap for the first down rather than, ya know, just running for it. (Seriously, he took off like, five yards short. What did he think was the best case scenario there?) That cost them the first down and a continued drive that I suspect would have turned into a touchdown, although obviously can't say definitively.

I'm definitely not sure why they benched Malcolm Butler the entire game. It actually sounds like it was very shittily handled, which probably surprises literally no one. I don't think Butler changes the outcome of the game, but I hardly think the defense is worse with him in there. The dude also has a history of performing well in big games, especially when he appears to have a chip on his shoulder.

The Ertz catch was definitely a TD, and it was annoying hearing Chris Collinsworth talk incessantly about how it wasn't. And that it took so long for them to confirm it. Was stupid that it was even debated. But I'm sorry, I watch that Clement one and I genuinely don't know how anyone can seriously argue that it's "unclear" the ball comes loose upon his second step. It was pretty clearly wobbling between the first and second steps. I definitely agree with the notion that it *should* be considered a catch by basic common sense, but I don't understand how anyone can argue that - by rule - it was. Sure, it was close, but it wasn't *that* close. It's not like you couldn't clearly see the bobble. (And just to reiterate, the Patriots defense couldn't stop a Pee-Wee team. There's no doubt in my mind the Eagles get into the endzone on that drive.)

This game probably featured some of the dumbest Patriots play in any of their Super Bowl appearances. Brandon Cooks leaping for the first down for some reason. Brady driving late at the end of the first half getting pressured and then running for it rather than throwing it away to conserve time. Some really stupid, classic McDaniels swing passes in key moments. The stupid kick return reverse at the end. The waste of a time out earlier in the second half. The benching of Malcolm Butler. The trick play to throw to Brady (in Brady's defense, Amendola didn't exactly throw a great pass. It was a little ahead and with a little too much zip. You might expect a wide receiver to grab that, but the quality of pass he got was very different than the one Foles did. But really, I just don't understand the logic that on a big third down, you are going to have someone *other than the greatest quarterback of all time* throw it.) This was different than the Giants Super Bowls, where the offensive line got outplayed, and the Giants offense got lucky with a few fluky plays. This was the Patriots just got out coached. (Which, if memory serves, happened last time McDaniels was recruited for a head coach gig before a Super Bowl.)

OH YEAH! I do have to say, I really appreciated the Foles TD reception. I thought it was just funny to see the Eagles kinda troll them. They didn't need to run a trick play there, and honestly, they could have just run that same play as a run and gotten in. Or just crammed it up the gut with Blount. But they chose a pass to their quarterback to just sort of one-up McDaniels.

I think overall this was unquestionably a better game start to finish than last year's, but I don't know that I think it's as memorable. I want to revisit them, but if I were ranking the Patriots Super Bowls according to overall game quality:

1. 2003 (vs. Panthers)
2. 2014 (vs. Seahawks)
3. 2007 (vs. Giants I)
4. 2017 (vs. Eagles II)
5. 2016 (vs. Falcons)
6. 2004 (vs. Eagles I)
7. 2011 (vs. Giants II)
8. 2001 (vs. Rams)

And yes, I know that I labeled the seasons incorrectly (you label them the year the Super Bowl is played, not the year the season is started, but I hate that and it makes no sense to me, so I still choose to label seasons by the year the season is actually played in).

Posted February 5th, 2018 by Jet Presto

nor am I sure I understand what the reason for benching Malcolm Butler was

ur not a patriots fan then. look at his stats 2017-18.

PS: BIG patriots fan here/tom brady fanatic/gronkowswi fanatic/everything about the patriots fanatic

Edited February 5th, 2018 by Brandy

Well, I think there's a slight difference from playing from ahead for most of the game in a lower-stakes situation with Case Keenum as your opponent to playing a game where you feel like you have to score every drive, because your previously-solid defense is wilting like weeks-old flowers before the greatest QB of all-time! We'd seen Foles play well before, but he had a lot more pressure on him in this game with Brady breathing down his neck, and he kept dealing. Serious props to him, because I kept expecting him to break down and make a mistake, and he never did. Helped a lot that Pederson kept up the aggressive playcalls and showed some faith in his quarterback, since getting conservative was what cost the Jaguars the AFC Championship two weeks ago. That Foles trick play on 4th-and-1 was both wildly entertaining and emblematic of the Eagles' philosophy in this game.

The Malcolm Butler thing was weird, I agree. He might not have played as well this year, but as Jet pointed out, it couldn't really have been worse than what they had going. They needed to change something up, and it's weird that Belichick of all people failed to make any noticeable adjustments on defense at halftime. That and all the mistakes Jet pointed out are really uncharacteristic of the Belichick era, which has been as successful as it has in large part to being obviously smarter than everyone else.

And I just disagree on the Clement catch. Yes, the ball moves, but I don't think simply moving a little means that it's not a catch even by the NFL's inane rules--it doesn't even necessarily indicate a loss of control, which is part of the ambiguity that makes the current rules so stupid. You could easily argue that he had control with two feet in the end zone before the bobble even happened. I think there's a good argument that he didn't have control, but I still think it's close enough that it was correct to let the ruling on the field stand.

Last year's Super Bowl will forever be remembered as the most epic comeback probably in NFL's history, as well as the crowning jewel among Tom Brady's many achievements. It reached higher highs by far, but was just not as good throughout. It's still incredible to me that the Patriots basically could have easily lost every Super Bowl they've played (and probably should have lost the last two, but that's why we play the full time limit)...but they also easily could have won all of them. The fact that they've been to 8 Super Bowls (itself a ludicrous achievement) and never played a lopsided one in either direction is just crazy.

Posted February 5th, 2018 by white lancer

According to Brady, that forced fumble was the "one good play" the Eagles made all game. Smh, but he's not exactly known for his great sportmanship after losses.

Good game overall though and from what I hear, I didn't miss anything by running an errand during the halftime show.

My big question after the game though is not about any individual play, but rather about one of the post-game interviews: Gronkowski's. Is he seriously considering retirement? I mean, on one hand, I get it as the man takes multiple enormous hits every game and has been injured several times. I definitely see it from the perspective of body preservation, but as a fan it would be kind of a shame, as he has a chance to go down as one of the all-time greats.

Edited February 6th, 2018 by Jahoy Hoy

He let go of the ball before his second step, which meant that his third step would have had to come down in bounds for it to be a catch, and it clearly did not. *By rule,* that was not a catch. They called it a catch, and subsequently a touchdown.

I agree 100% that this should have been overturned. I don't think it changes the outcome necessarily, but it's definitely a play that will be heavily talked about in the future. Revising the catch rule needs to be a priority this offseason. The super bowl is an enormous stage, but this was by no means an isolated incident this year.
(OT, but the goaltender interference rule in the NHL also could use some fine-tuning).

Posted February 6th, 2018 by Jahoy Hoy
Reply to: Tim Brady will pay!
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