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Patriots Football Talk: A look Back at Superbowl LII

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It’s the Sunday the week after the Superbowl.  And my head is still a buzzing with Superbowl fever!  After getting over an illness I’m ready to get nostalgia and take on this beast of a game.  Let’s take a look back and time travel if you will, at the Superbowl that had everyone on the edge of their seat.  Whether you were rooting for the Patriots or not, this one was a real nail biter and I bet you were wondering how it would end.  This game had it all.  From Trick Plays to Flea Flickers, from spectacular Catches to Questionable Calls.  It was an unbelievable game.  But most Importantly it was a Shootout.

The most incredible stat that stands out to me is the +1000 Combined Yards that were put up.  I mean really, Nick Foles and Tom Brady went toe to toe against each other!  If you look at their passing stats for the game, its just never been done in a Superbowl.  But lets face it, both Defense’s struggled in the game.  The Pats Defense most of all.  There were times where 3nd and Long became the norm.  There were times when 4th Down Conversion was an every Drive affair.  I mean seriously the Eagles played with everything on the table.  They took chance after chance and you know it worked out for them.

Their gambling ways were a real gambit that the Pats were not expecting.  I mean look at all the mind games and trickery.  They even traded plays with each other.  On 3rd Down in the 2nd Quarter the Pats went for a Flea Flicker, Danny Amendola to Brady coming off a bootleg. The pass was in the air for a long time and I can say now that it almost looked like it was in “slow mo”.  Brady reached out with his hands and Whoa!  It just missed and brushed against his finger tips.  Holy Cow!  Then on the second Eagles Drive after that play, the Eagles did a direct snap on the 5 yard line and threw it to Nick Foles who was out off the Tight End.  He caught it for the TD.  But once again the play seemed to be in “slow mo”.  The ball was in the air and the Pats weren’t covering the Eagles QB out on a “fade away” slant.  Nick Foles caught it.  On a play that was awfully similar to the Patriots’ Flea Flicker.

That’s one story of the game.  Foles caught it, Brady didn’t.  But let me tell you that those plays didn’t mean the end of the game.  They were just the 1st Half Theatrics.  The 2nd Half was chuck full of Questionable calls by Philadelphia.  There was one by Nick Foles to Jeffreys in the back of the End Zone.  He juggled the ball and caught it just before touching the white of the out of bounds line.  Suffice to say that this Referee Review could have gone the other way.  I mean seriously it was that close!  Then there was the Zach Ertz TD with 2:30 on the Clock.  Once again Referee Reviewed and once again it went Philadelphia’s  way.  These plays were huge during the game.  And much like most of America, I was on the edge of my seat with my eyes glued to the TV.  Nope no bathroom break or smoking break.  It was just that nerve racking and intense.  And also I’d have to say a little superstitious!

The game ended up coming down to a 2:21 Drive by Tom Brady and the Patriots, with the score [38-33].  Could he engineer another Superbowl comeback?  Did TB12 have it in him to basically carry the Team on his shoulders?  Did Tom Terrific still have the arm?  Did the Goat still have that magic?  The Drive felt like it was, once again, in “slow mo”.  Then the “Strip Sack” happened and it was like all the momentum in the world for the Patriots was just evaporated.  The Eagles recovered the ball and kicked a quick Field Goal.  All that was left for the Brady Bunch was a Hail Mary from 50 Yards Out.  It just was not to be had.  And as a Pats Fan, I have to say, it felt like those two losses to the New York Giants in the previous Superbowls.  Although I’d have to say that the Undefeated Season one hurt more.

After the shock of the game, Tom Brady had to give interviews.  Which must have been really hard for anyone to do after that “roller-coaster” of a game.  TB12 said it best in the press conference: “It’s tough to win these games.  We didn’t make enough plays to score enough points.  It just wasn’t enough.”  As usual Brady took the shoulder load of the responsibility on himself.  But you just gotta believe that the Patriots Defense let the Team down.  It started at the beginning with Malcolm Butler on the sidelines and it continued with those heart pounding 4th Down Conversions.  This was a game for the ages and most likely will be talked about for years to come.  I for one am getting over the “we lost” fever.  And can look back at Superbowl LII with nostalgia and not disappointment.  It’s just another Superbowl, they’ll be back!  Oh and grats to the Eagles for their 1st Superbowl win, it must have been equally nerve raking for your fans!  Cheers!

I'm a self published writer and illustrator. I follow Football, Baseball, Hockey, Basketball, some Golf and some eSports.

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Connelly’s Top Ten – Jimmy G Wicked Rich

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1. Patriots Stuff

* Found it strange that Kraft and Belichick met publicly at Davios – like neither would acquiesce and give the other home field advantage of their office (Kraft would have lowered Bill’s chair so he would have to look up)

* Cooks trying to jump over the defender was an effort at a Sports Illustrated cover

* Ben Volin comments on Cook – “he displayed a shocking lack of awareness on his two big plays (jumping / placing himself in vulnerable position) and exemplified why we weren’t biggest fans this season”

* Jonathan Jones / Cyrus Jones ended up being big injuries

* Jimmy G liking Malcom Butler’s Instagram was a betrayal to Bill who hooked him for millions of dollars.

* From Bleacher Report’s ranking of all cornerbacks – Malcom butler 42nd: “overall, he’s not consistent enough to be viewed as more than a role player

* Deion Sanders said days BEFORE the Super Bowl – Butler was so bad against Jacksonville that they had to take him out of coverage and just blitz him.

* Remember they were wondering where they would find the money to pay Jamie Collins, Malcom Butler and Chandler Jones

 

2. Quarterbacks rating against the Patriots versus their career average – last four playoff games:

 

QB Rating……….GAME…….CAREER RATING

* Foles……………106.1…………87.4

* Bortles…………..98.5…………80.8

* Mariotta………..98.3…………88.6

* Ryan…………….144.1…………93.4

 

3. Peyton Manning at 39 vs Brady at 40 in Super Bowls

 

* Brady at 40………28-48 for 505 yds / 3 TD to 0 INT / 115.4 rating

* Manning at 39…13-23 for 141 yds / 0 TD to 1 INT / 56.6 rating

 

4. Post Super Bowl loss story for Patriots

 

1986 – Raymond Berry team crazy on drugs

1996 – Parcells leaving

2007 – Why was Ellis Hobbs left one on one with Plaxico Burress

2013 – Welker drop (up 17-15 with 4:01 left would have been first down on Giants 20)

2017 – Butler Benching

 

5. Will McDonough was roll over in his grave. Beat writers who won’t report the sports because they are too worried about losing their rapport with the athletes who used to ignore them in high school hallways:

 

* We never knew about Nomar being a jerk until he left

* We never knew about drunk Welker messing up Belichick’s hair

* We never knew about the Revis vs Browner brawl

* What else???

 

6. Athletes who had their houses robbed:

 

Gronk

Venus Williams

Henrik Stetson

Chris Bosh

Nick Young

DeSean Jackson

Derek Fischer

Stephen Vogt

Bill Russell

Ronda Rousey

Yasiel Puig (while losing game 7)

Charles Villanueva

Antoine Walker – and held hostage

Evan Longoria

DeMarcus Ware

Kyle Lowery

Floyd Mayweather

2007 Liverpool team – five players were robbed during the season

 

7. Amazing Stats – Brady vs. Jimmy G

 

*Brady’s salary last five years and production……………..$075,000,000 / 154 TD

* Jimmy G’s salary next five years vs. past production – $137,500,000 / 12 TD

 

8. Old School – Patriots rushing yards in Super Bowl:

 

2018 – 22 rushes  / 113 yards = 5.13 a carry

2017 – 25 rushes / 104 yards = 4.16 a carry

2015 – 21 rushes / 57 yards = 2.71 a carry

2012 – 19 rushes / 83 yards = 4.36 a carry

2008 – 16 rushes / 45 yards = 2.81 a carry

2005 – 28 rushes / 112 yards = 4.00 a carry

2004 – 35 rushes / 127 yards = 3.62 a carry

2002 – 25 rushes / 133 yards = 5.32 a carry

 

9. Just a Little Bit Outside – Didn’t know John Kerry was related to Ruth Paine. Who is she? She spoke Russian and was affiliated with spies and happened to be the landlord of the Oswalds on 11/22/63 and where Lee Harvey hid his gun

 

10. Randomocity

 

* Danny didn’t listen to me – should have moved Smart before he punched glass – trade value is that much less cost him a first round pick

* The Mannings have been part of the NFL since 1971 in 33 of 47 years

* Maybe Josh was turned off by the Colts owner drug use or the piped in crowd noise or the whining about football air pressure

* Saw the Post – grade B / it was no Spotlight or All the President’s Men

* Boston College 66th ranked football team on Rivals for recruitment – behind Tulane, Rutgers, Indiana,

* My rank of Oscar Nominated movies – 1. Three Billboards 2. Lady Bird 3. Phantom Thread 4. Get Out 5.  Darkest Hour 6. Post 7. Dunkirk 8. Shape of Water 9. Call Me by Your Name

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Malcolm Butler Issues His Side Of Super Bowl Benching Story

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Former New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler issued his side of the Super Bowl benching story on Tuesday with a lengthy Twitter post.

Butler started off thanking Robert Kraft, Patriots staff, and Coach Belichick for his time in New England and how he appreciated how he was supported during his four seasons with the team.

Butler went on to deny that he attended any type of concert, that he did not miss curfew, or participated in any type of the activities that are being reported.

He then finished up by apologizing for his post-game comments that caught him in the heat of the moment.

There is a lot to break down here in this post by Malcolm, but for some reason I want to take him at his word. Not sure why, but in 2018 one would think that there would be photos or videos of him at a concert. Or that if he missed curfew it would have already been widely reported.

But Butler is battling back against established reporters like Ian Rapport who claims that Butler violated some type of rule that is believed to be a curfew related incident.

The benching of Butler is controversial with many blaming Belichick, and they certainly should blame the Patriots coach. But this might really have to do with a football decision. Butler was sick earlier in the week with the flu, missed two practices and reportedly looked bad when he did end up practicing. This might have actually led to Belichick benching Butler.

The flipside of this is that there are reports floating around that Belichick tried to bench Butler in the AFC Championship game only to be talked out of it by his staff. But for a corner that played 98% of his team’s defensive snaps this season the decision to bench him for the Super Bowl is just plain odd.

More will certainly come in the near future…

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Patriots Fan Retrospective: Bradys First Superbowl

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On the eve of Superbowl LII I’m reminded of how this Patriots Dynasty started; to past Superbowls.  Lets take a step back and time travel if you will to where it all began.  Yep you guessed it we’re going back to 2001!  Back to Superbowl XXXVI.  The Patriots were a Team of under dogs.  And when they faced the St. Louis Rams, it was like David verses Goliath.  They were up against “the Greatest Show on Turf”.  But they had one secret weapon, Tom Brady!

I remember it well.  I was in High School at the time and believe it or not I had a few Dolphins Fans as friends.  The AFC looked much different than it does today.  Owing much to Expansion Teams.  The AFC East was a Micro Cosme of good Teams.  The Patriots were up and comers with Pete Carol leaving and Bill Belichick coming in as Head Coach.  This was a Team that, outside of New England, was “just a bunch of replacements.”

It started at QB where Drew Bledsoe, their Star and Pro Bowl Quarterback, went out because of an injury in the 2nd or 3rd Regular Season Game.  Tom Brady, the young back up Quarterback, got called in to play.  It was one of those times in Sports that you can look back on and say: “hey I remember that!”  The young Brady was helped out by Bledsoe as he sat on the sidelines waiting for the Offense to get the ball.  What he learned helped him out immensely.  But looking back on it, you gotta say: “hey that Tom Brady had something special!”  Yes he did.

That something special was the “Two Minute Drill.”  Brady could run the Patriot’s Offense into scoring position, using just the hurry up.  What is now patented and literally seared into Football history was something that I walked by every day of PE.  One of my Coaches in PE posted the Tom Brady Superbowl Winning Two Minute Drill on the entrance wall to the Boys Locker Room.  It was that special!  Yep and I would look it over and wonder to myself, “how the heck did he pull that off.”  My PE Coach would say “believe in yourself and don’t second guess yourself till the game is over.”  He would point to it on a daily basis and say “you can do anything as long as you believe!”  And man, my High School Coach was hard on us but in a good way.

But getting back to the Patriots and Tom Brady.  That “Two Minute Drill” was something that made him legendary.  I mean seriously!  In Superbowl XXXVI the Patriots tied that game and then went down the field and won it with a Field Goal with no time remaining.  All because TB12 was patient and precise with the ball.  It may have been Tom Brady’s 1st Superbowl but he handled the pressure like a seasoned vet.  He threw to the sidelines, he called time out, he clocked the ball, and most importantly he avoided the sack.  This guy, this Rookie did it all, with just two minuets left on the clock.

Of course now we see him do it every game but let me remind you that it was a big deal at the time.  Superbowls of the past were usually lopsided.  I mean really, lopsided.  They typically were blow outs till the Patriots changed that in 2001 with their stunning victory 20-17 over the Rams.  In fact looking at all of the Patriots’ Superbowl appearances since 2001, all of them have been decided by one score.  And 4 out of 5 have been decided by 3 Points.  That seems to be the margin of victory here.  They are always one Two Minute Drill away from winning it.

Today may be just any other ordinary day but let me tell you it’s Football Season in New England and the Superbowl hype is real.  “Tomorrow is the day.”  Yes that’s right, it’s February and that means its the Superbowl.  The Patriots are back in it and they are looking to go 3 Superbowl Victories in 4 years!  Again!  Tom Brady is still playing, now at age 40, and Bill Belichick is still Head Coach.  After everything that has happened, the undefeated Regular Season, this may be one of the best Patriot Team’s yet.  They have done some remarkable things.  And have come back from near defeat!  But something tells me that tomorrow is going to be special.  Call it a “sixth sense” if you will.

So what to do till tomorrows Kickoff at 6pm on NBC.  Well why not watch all those Patriots Superbowl DVDs?  Or how about those Three Games to Glory DVDs?  They have been collecting some dust now.  I know that mine have.  I broke them out, to watch, the Sunday that the Patriots won the AFC Championship.  After seeing them again I still feel like that young High Schooler, looking at the news print from the Providence Journal of the “Two Minute Drill”.  Still posted outside the entrance to the Boys Locker Room.  Looking on in wonder!  How does he do that?

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