Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

Open Super Bowl LII Discussion

Here's your thread for open discussion of Super Bowl LII, Philadelphia vs. New England, leading up to the game on February 4, then during and after the game.


by medelste :: Thu, 02/01/2018 - 10:58pm

Patriots 27, Eagles 23

I'm ready for some football. These wings are DEFINITELY going to get cold before Sunday night...

by adminword :: Mon, 02/12/2018 - 8:10pm


by TheIdealGrassLaw :: Fri, 02/02/2018 - 12:06am

I have been feeling like this is a Eagles 38 Pats 31 kind of game, but news reports this week are that the Patriots have all 53 men as full participants in practice, while the Eagles have several noteworthy players out or limited with illness.

If you know something of disease biology... and depending on what this exact illness is... this should frighten the hell out of Eagles fans. Many diseases have a 1-2 day period where someone's caught the bug, but isn't feeling sick yet. So the disease spreads throughout the locker room on that delayed period, and then 3-5 days later everyone's either got it, or is just coming down with it, or is just starting to get over it. That would put the final, intense stretch right around... Super Bowl Sunday.

These are tough guys who will surely play through a little dehydration, soreness, and whatever other lingering effects are present. But, these are relatively evenly matched teams. You can be 1 step late and still beat the Giants or the Browns. Against the Patriots? Not so easy.

by PatsFan :: Fri, 02/02/2018 - 2:08am

As a NE fan who had to live through the 2006 AFCCG, I know all about what illness can do to a team. NE got hit by something, likely norovirus, that had a number of players in bad shape during the game.

I remember the beat writers mentioning on Thursday before that game that several players looked like death warmed over, and thinking "oh no". Horrible timing.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:21pm

Congrats on a prescient call. 41-33 was very close.

by justanothersteve :: Fri, 02/02/2018 - 4:45pm

It's been a long time since I've been so uninterested in a Super Bowl matchup. I'll probably watch it. But when the most interesting thing about tomorrow's game is the halftime performer (and I'm not a Timberlake fan), I can't say I'll care.

by Sixknots :: Fri, 02/02/2018 - 11:11pm

Yeah, with an early look at the commercials, even they look to be pretty boring.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 7:43pm

The last time I gave the commercials a chance, I saw the revolting dancing baby-dog. NEVER AGAIN!

by PatsFan :: Sat, 02/03/2018 - 4:50pm

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports Nelson Agholor received an IV Saturday morning after feeling sick with " flu-like symptoms."

Rapoport goes on to say Agholor is "feeling better" and should be "fine" for Sunday.

by billprudden :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 12:01pm

Wouldn't a rational competitor put ANYTHING in his body to win this game, then deal with any possible consequences later?

by drillz :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 2:44pm

N.E.-16 PHI-14 , Gostkowski-MVP game winning FG.

by vrao81 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 7:51pm

Eagles good opening drive, but couldn't get into the end zone. Pats first drive looking real good.

by vrao81 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 7:53pm

Pats settle for FG. 3-3.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 7:55pm

On their second kickoff New England earns their first positive Gostkowski Above-touchback Yardage, bringing their total to 1.

by vrao81 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 7:57pm

Big 36 yard run for Blount.

by vrao81 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 7:58pm

And the downfield shot to Jeffery for the TD!

by vrao81 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 8:13pm

Wow pats miss a FG

by Steve B :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 8:21pm

Cooks KOed

by vrao81 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 8:25pm

Trick pass to Brady? Nice design, but bad hands. And 4th down incomplete.

by vrao81 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 8:35pm

Neither team bothering to play defense.

by PaddyPat :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 8:36pm

Pats look very sloppy tackling and somewhat in the coaching department. This is an odd, messy game so far...

by vrao81 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 8:52pm

Very sloppy defense by the eagles.

by vrao81 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 8:52pm

Gostkowski misses the pat!

by Yu Narukami :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 8:53pm

Pats have 302 yards until now and they are losing.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 8:56pm

Excellent special teams play by Philly, especially blocking for kickoff returns. New England is down to -4 Gostkowski Above-touchback Yardage

by Steve in WI :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:01pm

I know I’m in the minority, but man do I find these kinds of games to be mind-numbingly boring. Over 600 yards of offense in the first half. Two Super Bowl participants should be able to play better defense than this.

by Steve in WI :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:04pm

Okay, Foles catching a TD pass is kind of fun though.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:08pm

What does being in the super bowl have to do with being able to play better defense? Last I saw, defense is only 3/7 of the game

by Steve in WI :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:16pm

Which makes it equally important as offense...look, obviously both of these teams deserve to be here. I just think a matchup where defense has meant so little (there’s been one three and out in the first half, correct?) is boring to watch.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:23pm

With modern rules, I don't think you can give an offense two weeks to prepare and think you can stop them. Both teams had good offenses.

by justanothersteve :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:03pm

What a TD!

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:05pm

Both teams had a pass to the QB in the playbook? That's crazy!

I don't know why Collinsworth is making such a big deal about going for it on 4th down from the two. That seems like a standard situation to go for a 4th down.

by Steve in WI :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:11pm

Arguments against going for it: it’s the end of the half so you don’t benefit as much from flipping field position if you fail. Plus you have the lead, so even settling for a field goal increases that lead.

Argument for going for it: you are facing the Patriots offense so basically no lead is safe.

I like the call, especially with a trick play that if executed properly had a very high probability of success.

by duh :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:33pm

Same here, it seemed an obvious place to go for it. The play call there was pretty cool though.

by DavidL :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:06pm

Holy crap, that's some play-calling! Great wrinkle with the fake audible, too.

by drillz :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:07pm

Phi 4th down excellent play call & execution.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:11pm

Why is the sideline reporter talking to [and possibly distracting] Pederson and not Belichick? I'd love to hear Belichick put on the spot and contractually forced to talk about something

by deus01 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:15pm


I'm just joking but I'm sure we'll see that show up later.

by RickD :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:26pm

I'm sure it's well known that BB won't talk to a reporter in such a situation. A sideline innterview like the one with Pederson doesn't happen spontaneously.

by vrao81 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:11pm

Incredible 4th down TD! May decide the game.

by Steve in WI :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:20pm

I can’t help but contrast the philosophy with Jacksonville’s decision to give up at the end of the first half. It would have been defensible to kick the field goal and put a near-guaranteed three more points on the board, but Pederson and the Eagles took a calculated risk to do more. Jacksonville thought that continuing to execute their offense was too much of a risk. History has shown that the Patriots will almost always prevail if you play it safe.

by jonsilver :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 4:00am

Pederson's 2 seasons worth of demonstrated lack of fear was certainly reinforced by the immediate precedent of Jacksonville's illustration of why easing off the gas against New England is sub-optimal.

by vrao81 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:18pm

Halftime thoughts:
Neither defense playing well. Too many big plays. Zero qb sacks by either team. Defenses need to step up in the 2nd half.
Gronk has one catch in first half..will he be targeted more in the 2nd?

by PaddyPat :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:22pm

Gronk was targeted 5 times and clearly the main target on several other plays where Brady went elsewhere. He's not getting open and he's not winning 50-50s. Philly is forcing the ball outside and leaving space on the deep routes for Hogan... and Cooks... Dorsett may have to step up somehow.

by RickD :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:25pm

Philly has basically decided stopping Gronk is their highest priority. So far that's working for them. The rest of their D has been soft. Unfortunately the Pats' D has been just as soft, if not softer.

by PaddyPat :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:20pm

Philly defense looks garbage outside the redzone and 3rd down... except maybe on some of the screens/swings. Pats defense breakdown on the RB pass was predictable. Given how badly NE screwed around in the first half, from the missed kicks to the sloppy fourth and third down calls, etc. I think NE is pretty lucky to be only down 10 points.

by RickD :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:24pm

McD's play-calling was very dubious in the first half. Use Tom Brady as a receiver? The slowest man in the NFL?

The various special teams' failures are bizarre.

Officials are apparently going to let all sorts of grabbing and hitting go on with receivers.

Big difference so far is the Eagles' run game plowing through Pats' front seven.

Biggest question left unaddressed by NBC: where the hell is Malcolm Butler? The last Eagles' TD was set up by Jordan Richards' inability to play in the secondary at a very basic level. Eric Rowe has had his difficulties so far, but Richards would have to play a lot better to reach merely bad.

I have to think the benching is an act of discipline by BB. What did Butler do?

by PaddyPat :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:26pm

Butler had the flu, or so the report goes. I have the flu right now. It is pretty crippling. Outside of that, makes no sense at all. Butler seems to have lost a step this year, but he's still a very reasonable player...

by RickD :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:38pm

Butler is past the flu. He wasn't on the injury report. I'm pretty sure this move has been referred to as a coach's decision.

Jordan Richards is dreadful. If he plays significant snaps the Pats are doomed.

by Yu Narukami :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:29pm

Apparently Butler had the flu earlier this week, though a one-legged Butler would be better than the Jordan Richards abomination.

Also, the trick-play TD shouldn't have stand.


So much for the pats conspiracy.

by mehllageman56 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:43pm

The referees also didn't flag a 3rd and goal from the Pats when the running back motioned up to the line. The running back was still shifting up to the line of scrimmage as the ball was snapped. The pass was incomplete, so it didn't matter much, but the officiating has been sloppy as much as the defenses.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:56pm

Instead of "sloppy" I'd have said "deliberately lax"

Though I suppose the example of missing the illegal formation--if true--is sloppy.

by dank067 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:06pm

I guess it's a missed call, but outside receivers usually verify their alignment with the official on the sideline. (You'll often see them stick their arm out as they get set.) Assuming he checked with the official and got the ok, there shouldn't have beem any ambiguity that he was considered to be lined up on the line of scrimmage

by MarkV :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:50pm

No ambiguity in the sense that it shouldn't be a foul... but if the judge approved that as on the line the judge was making a different wrong call.

by Steve B :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:31pm

But he's well enough to be playing on ST

by vrao81 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:43pm

3 straight throws to gronk.

by vrao81 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:46pm

Alright gronk showed up and pats down by 3.

by mehllageman56 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:48pm

The Eagles can't let him be single covered.

by RickD :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 9:56pm

Butler continues to ride the pine and CBs lower on the depth chart continue to play like crap. Terrible missed tackle by Bademosi.

The story here is Belichick would rather lose the game than give an inch on a disciplinary matter.

by duh :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:20pm

Is there an indication that it is a disciplinary issue?

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:10pm

Great. It's literally unpredictable what the call will be after this review

Edit: I think the 10-yard penalty to begin this drive should count for Gostkowski Above-touchback Yardage, because a simple touchback doesn't give the return team the opportunity to commit a penalty. So NE is back to a positive 6 Gostkowski Above-touchback Yardage

by Steve B :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:00pm

Riveron will take this away.

by PaddyPat :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:01pm

This should be called incomplete, but this rule needs to change. It has decided too many crucial calls, and it is a stupid, counterintuitive rule.

by PaddyPat :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:03pm

WTF? What do we call that ruling? If that's a catch, all of the other ones were too!

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:29pm

I see you react to such calls with the grace and aplomb you note in your foes.

Feels bad, doesn't it?

by Rocco :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:06pm

The check didn't clear.

by deus01 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:02pm

I'm shocked that was upheld

by vrao81 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:02pm

Wow Clement catch stands?!

by Theo :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 6:22am

This is the power of Vince McMahon.
NFL going with XFL rules.

by RickD :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:04pm

Hopefully the pro-Patriots officiating meme will die the long-deserved death now after that TD was upheld.

Not that it ever stood up to scrutiny. It was always a dumb theory.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:07pm

No, the conspiracy was to get the Pats TO the Super Bowl. Now that they're here, they're on their own.

by RickD :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:12pm

As I said, it never stood up to scrutiny. It was a dumb theory.

In the second half of the Jags' game, when the Pats needed a comeback, a grand total of one flag was thrown all half. And it was a PI that simply couldn't be ignored.

Dumb theory.

Non-dumb theories stand up to falsifiability tests. They have more going for them than "the Pats aren't getting flagged enough!"

by vrao81 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:05pm

Refs conspiring against the pats? Maybe Lurie paid them more.

by billsfan :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:08pm

NFL needs an NHL-style offsetting embellishment penalty for nonsense like that.

by RickD :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:10pm

There may not be any more punts tonight.

by vrao81 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:11pm

Pats score again! back and forth!!

by Yu Narukami :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:11pm

Now, first forcing a FG will win.

by vrao81 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:11pm

Brady with 403 passing yards in the 3rd quarter. He's gonna break his own record.

by PaddyPat :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:13pm

This is a weird game. Brady has been on fire, but the Pats' defense is garbage. And what the heck has happened to the Philly defense? Their vaunted pass rush??

by Pat :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 1:37am

In the first half, it was there. No place for Brady to step up: lots of his throws were off target. They adjusted and doubled Cox more, which *almost* worked.

by vrao81 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:14pm

Brady with 403 passing yards in the 3rd quarter. He's gonna break his own record.

by vrao81 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:15pm

I have a feeling with all this offense, this game will end on a turnover.

by vrao81 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:16pm

BTW glad I bet the over in the game.

by RickD :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:17pm

Now the Pats' D isn't even forcing second down.

by MJK :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:24pm

The clement to was a catch. The ball moved but was under control the entire time. Or at least there wasn’t indisputable evidence that he lost control.

by HPaddict :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:27pm

Do you give up the points there if the result of the penalty is 4th and 1?

by duh :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:28pm

In this game? For sure

by deus01 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:28pm

The virtual images of the players for stats are so bad.

by HPaddict :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:30pm

What's up with those avatars? Is there any need for an obviously computer generated Brady?

by vrao81 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:34pm

Eagles defense wearing down.

by vrao81 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:36pm

Single covering Gronk? Why??

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:39pm

Just because Philly seems to be on to them, New England is going to give up completely on their kickoff strategy? What is going on here?

by MJK :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:46pm

Why call picks on 4th and 1 when you’re not calling anything else...

by Steve in WI :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:48pm

Great decision to go for it there. I really want the Eagles to win just because I like seeing guts rewarded.

by PaddyPat :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:57pm

This one looks like a catch to me. Watch it get overturned...

by duh :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:57pm

This can't possibly be overturned what are they talking about?

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:05pm

The Pats can afford to buy the refs or the announcers, not both.

Belichick probably argued for the refs, but it's Kraft's money. Kraft was probably like "this will solve all our PR problems"

by billsfan :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:58pm

Looked like Ertz had 3 feet down first

by deus01 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:58pm

The ball doesn't come out until he's rolling over and then catches it again before it hits the ground. I think that has to be a catch.

by DavidL :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:58pm

How is this a catch rule issue? He took three steps with control, he should be a runner.

by Pat :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 1:35am

It's more than that. He didn't go to the ground from the catch. He went to the ground due to the Patriots' player. If that player hadn't been there and he still fell in, maybe. Caveat: if he hadn't been there, Ertz wouldn't have fallen in.

by Rocco :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:59pm

I don't understand what Collinsworth is complaining about.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:32pm

His ego needs Ertz to drop a pass this year.

by vrao81 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:00pm

Geez does anyone know what a catch is

by Rocco :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:01pm

The refs missed DPI by a Pats player? I'm shocked.

by Steve in WI :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:04pm

That sure looked like clear interference to me. Regardless, it’s bad announcing to ignore it and keep showing replays of the previous touchdown that was already adjudicated. This has got to be Michaels’ last Super Bowl, right? Not that Collinsowrth has exactly provided stellar analysis either.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:06pm

Yeah, just a terrible game by Collinsworth, and Michaels hasn't been especially good either.

by RickD :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:07pm

The pass was way out of bounds.

You guys reallyneed to find something better to do with your time than whine about officiating.

As an exercise in displaying bias, it's long since this nonsense became uninteresting. There's absolutely no attempt to approach these questions in an objective manner.

by Steve in WI :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:13pm

I don’t know if the pass was out of bounds or not because NBC chose to continue to show multiple replays of a previous play rather than explain what just happened. If it was in fact an uncatchable ball, I’d like a broadcast to clarify and explain that.

by Rocco :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:27pm

Collinsworth was basically announcing Brady fan-fiction by that point in the game.

by RickD :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:05pm

The refs have been "letting them play" all game long. Hadn't you noticed?

by RickD :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:05pm

Double post.

by mehllageman56 :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:21am

Completely agree with your original post. Saw an Eagles defensive back grasping the jersey of an open Patriot that Brady overthrew. That's normally interference. By the way, NBC didn't show a replay of that, but decided to show the hit Brady took to throw it.

by RickD :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:04pm

Killer fumble.

by PaddyPat :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:07pm

Yes, it sort of comes down to the one sack, but you can't really expect to win a game when your defense is as absolutely putrid as NE's has been. This is one of the worst NE performances of the entire year.

by travesty :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:10pm

I don't like the Eagles' playcalling after the fumble.

by Eddo :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:21pm

Agreed. The play that started with 2:03 left should have been a pass.

by jtr :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 9:42am

I was yelling the same thing at my TV. As soon as I saw their formation, I knew they were just going to predictably run the ball to the strong side for little or no gain. That was the only time all game that Pederson fell into the usually-fatal trap of taking your foot off the gas pedal against the Patriots. It gave the Pats a comeback opportunity that the Eagles just didn't need to give them.
The clock stops after that play anyways due to the 2MW, you should try a safe pass in that situation. A six-yard pass would have set up 3&short, and then a successful QB sneak would end the game.

by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:12pm

I get the increase of trick plays in general towards the end of the playoffs, but BELICHICK is getting too cute by half? What a weird game

by RickD :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:23pm

McDaniels is in charge of the play-calling. Unless you mean the attempt at a reverse on the kickoff return. I view that as a 'meh'. I can see trying a reverse, but not with Burkhead. Maybe with Cooks or Dorsett or even Hogan - one of their fast guys.

by Eddo :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:26pm

Tom Brady is your QB and there would be a minute-plus left. You just needed a not-fucked-up return to about the 20, not a big play. The reverse was really stupid.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:34pm

Cooks was pretty slow by that point.

by The Ninjalectual :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:31am

Wait, they let Cooks back in the game? When? Why? I felt terrible for the guy, but concussions don't heal that fast.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:34am

It was a backhanded way to say he was in the locker room.

by RickD :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:21pm

Good job by the Eagles. When both defenses were playing awful in the 2nd half, the Eagles got the key turnover to put the game out of reach.

Very unimpressive performance by the Pats' defense. Great coaching by Doug Pederson. McDaniels pissed me off a number of times in the first half. I'm also interested in the benching of Malcolm Butler. Was it the after-effects of the flu or a disciplinary matter? Aside from Gilmore the secondary was a disaster.

Best wishes to Matt Patricia in Detroit and, presumably, Josh McDaniels in Indy. Now you guys get to put up with his decision-making!

by vrao81 :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:21pm

Crazy game. Congrats Eagles- although it may come with an asterisk, due to that controversial last TD.

by Eddo :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:23pm

I think the Clement TD was the much closer call; Ertz caught the ball while running and thus became a runner, so going to the ground didn't matter for it to be a completion. But Clement was bobbling when he had his foot on the line, I thought.

by RickD :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:29pm

The weak TD was the one with the pass to Foles, when they had an illegal formation that the officials let slide. Meh. Though Al and Cris are hyping that play, it really didn't make a huge, huge difference.

I didn't disagree with any of the replay calls. Bizarrely, Collinsworth was more pro-Pats than I was tonight. The last TD seemed to be a case where enough happened to change the receiver to a runner. The previous one that bothered CC was when I didn't think the receiver juggled the ball, even though he was gripping it in an unusual fashion.

by Independent George :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:14am

The Clement catch was questionable given the way it's been called all season long; Erz was clearly a runner. I have no idea what drugs Collinsworth was on tonight.

by AHBM :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 1:04am

Clearly Botox is the real gateway drug...

by drillz :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:22pm

It appears N.E. has a jinx vs. NFC East teams in the SB.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:37pm

They beat the Reid Eagles

Haven't beaten the Norris Division, though

by Cythammer :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:22pm

LOL my TV reception went out literally while that last pass attempt was in the air. No big deal since it fell incomplete and didn't matter much, but funny timing.

by Yu Narukami :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:25pm

It was a look-a-like 2011 desperation throw (a ball that had a better chance to get caught in the ricochet).

Even if the offense performed well, situationally it was so-so. Even in the last drive, Gronk was open for the chunk-outside in the first snaps, still they went with long-developing plays.

by Yu Narukami :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:23pm

Pats put 613 yards on the board and never punt. Yet, they lost.

Guess the terrible D's finally showed up. Without Butler that was more probable.

As a Pats' fan, I admit I felt 1/10th of the thrill I had last year (2014-2011-2007 were sky-rocketing) coming into the game. Maybe it was the same for the defense.

by TheIdealGrassLaw :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:33pm

That's got to be a record. Zero punts, 1 Fumble Lost, 505 yards passing (3 TDs 0 INTs), 613 yards of offense, Lose by 8.

Oh well. Matt Patricia's underwhelming and overrated defense heads to Detroit. Enjoy him, Lion's fans.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:40pm

We fired Caldwell for this?

Can we refuse shipment at delivery? Goods were damaged in transit.

Lord, he got out coached by our old coach...

by TheIdealGrassLaw :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:19am

No man, he's all yours.
For fun, here's the Patriot's defensive DVOA since MP took over in 2012:
2017 31st 10.9%
2016 16th -1.8%
2015 12th -3.3%
2014 12th -3.0%
2013 20th 4.2%
2012 15th 1.4%

Six years, zero defenses in the top 11 by DVOA. If it were totally random you'd hit top 10 in the 32 team league about 1 year out of every 3.

by Will Allen :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 1:08am

Look, I'm not running his fan club, but when perhaps your most athletically impressive defender in a playoff game was a guy 90 days short of his 40th birthday, who was cut by another playoff team in December, coaching isn't the biggest issue.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 7:58am

I'll trade you straight up, Patricia for Zimmer.

by jonsilver :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 3:54am


by RickD :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:34pm

Yes, there were concerns about the run D and the 3rd down D, and both were poor tonight.

by Cythammer :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:28pm

Would've been interesting if the Eagles had been able to run the whole clock down and kicked a FG to win it as time expired. Then we would've had the bizarre phenomenon of a team scoring a TD on EVERY possession of the second half, but losing. Has that ever happened? I doubt it.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 1:47am

If you don't count kneeling it out, the Packers did that against the Cardinals a few years back.

by Yu Narukami :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:29pm

The Ertz TD was a no-brainer, as much as was the Jesse James' overturn. The Clement one was more tricky, but if they had not enough evidence...

by oaktoon :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:43pm

Common Sense One, Evil Zero.

Though for the life of me i can;t understand going for 2 up 15-3 in the first half or running on 2nd and 6 with the 2 minute warning about to stop the clock anyway and NE out of timeouts.

On Catch One, he did not JUGGLE the ball. He moved it from one hand to the other never losing control. left foot was down already-- Touchdown.

On Catch Two, Ertz took three steps and then leaped for the end zone. That was not Jesse James, as bad a bastardization as that was-- the New England defense was awful when it counted most, and one trick pass to a QB worked, and the other didn't.

So it goes...

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:44pm

So Philly went 14-0 in games in which they won or tied the TO battle. That fumble was huge. They lose without it.

NE's defense was worse than their offense was good. Their key all year.

by MJK :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:47pm

Congrats to the Eagles. They outplayed the Pats. Great game.

I do wonder what the game would have been like if the refs had actually called, you know, penalties. There's let them play, and then there's this. Would have been lower score, I think.

But to any Pats fans whining about the "questionable" TD calls for the Eagles:

* It wouldn't have mattered. Four points fewer, the Pats would have been trailing by 1 in the penultimate drive, and the Pats still would have been driving the same way at the end, Graham still would have forced the fumble, and the Pats still would have needed a Hail Mary to win.

* Barring the possible illegal formation call on the trick Foles catch, the refs got them right. The Ertz TD was very clearly a catch--Ertz caught the ball and established himself as a runner. He went to the ground not as part of a catch, but because of an attempted tackle by McCourty. So it was a TD the moment the ball broke the plane. And the Clement TD was *probably* a catch--yes, the ball moves, but it appeared to be intentional on the part of the receiver (tucking it closer) and he never appear to not be in control of the ball. Had a Pats hand caused the move, it would have been different. But there was insufficient evidence to suggest that he wasn't in control.

Good game, and happy for Philly fans who finally have their first SB win.

by xyzzy :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:14am

> the Pats would have been trailing by 1 in the penultimate drive, and the Pats still would have been driving the same way at the end

Delete your account.

by The Ninjalectual :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:33am

Or explain how your magic works. Your choice

by RickD :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:55am

I recommend any book on chaos theory. It will explain how small changes in the early stage of the development of a system can lead to vastly different outcomes.

This thing where people change a TD to a FG and pretend everything else would have happened in the same manner isn't exactly intellectually sound.

by MJK :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 2:05am

Yes, I'm well aware of chaos theory, etc., etc. And Markov chains, and so forth. I'm often one of the first to point out the "if only" fallacy. I'm a scientist, for Pete's sake. But in *this* case, it is highly probable that the Ertz TD didn't matter, since it was so temporally proximal to the strip sack (two plays, in fact), and didn't change the game state the Patriots were in at the time of the sack.

If the Ertz TD is ruled incomplete (it was 3rd down), the Eagles almost certainly kick a short FG to take the lead. They then have a 1 point, rather than a 5 point lead. The kickoff strategy doesn't depend at all on how big the lead is at that point--the Pats had 2+ minutes and a timeout, so time wasn't a factor yet. So they still take over on their 25. Granted, a 1-point lead versus a 5-point lead has different strategy later in the drive, but on the second play of the drive, facing 2nd and short with the clock stopped and plenty of time, deep in their own end, there's not much difference in the game state between trailing by 1 or 5. So there is no reason to think that either team's play call would have been appreciably different. Maybe a slight gust of wind might have had slightly different timing, etc., etc., but it is highly probable that if the Ertz TD is ruled incomplete, things still unfold exactly as they occurred, up to the strip sack.

At that point, maybe there's a slight difference in tactics, and maybe the Eagles pass at the 2-minute warning and win right there. But probably not. They probably still kick the FG to go up by 4, and the Pats try (and fail at) the same Hail Mary attempt.

I'll grant you that if the Clements or Foles TD had been different, all bets are off. But In this case, you can make a pretty good case that the Ertz TD *probably* didn't affect the outcome. It's not magic, or crystal balls. It's probability.

by RickD :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 3:39am

You think the Patriots' offense would use the same play calls down 1 as they would down 5?

I cannot see how this position is defensible. Driving for game-winning FG is a far different exercise than driving for a game-winning TD, at least when so little time was left on the clock. Faced with a 5-point deficit, the game plan required them to get about 80 yards in about 2 minutes. If they'd only needed a FG, it would have been a much easier task. They wouldn't have needed to rely on passing routes that took so long to develop. And that directly relates to whether Brady's attention is diverted long enough for a pass rusher to reach him.

And yeah, I know probability.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 7:57am

That early in the drive, on a night Gostkowski had the yips?

I don't see large differences.

by PatsFan :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 10:26am

He blew the PAT, yes. But the missed FG was all on the holder. When a kicker has to stop his approach and recock, it very seldom ends well.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 02/04/2018 - 11:50pm

It sounds like the 4th here in Philly

by rj1 :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:09am

quick postgame thoughts:

-thank God the Patriots lost
-both defenses tonight were completely worthless, there was nothing approaching a pass rush - one total sack all game (a pretty important one at least), one interception due to a receiver swatting it in the air, not due to the QB or defense; the all-time NFL offensive yards record for any game was set tonight
-Foles played like an all-star; probably not in Philadelphia, but he'll be starting somewhere next year
-Doug Pederson called a great game, watching the 2nd half due to both defenses' complete ineptitude presented each team with the scenario of "we have to score a touchdown every drive just to hold serve"; the Foles touchdown catch was a carbon copy of the play earlier that Brady dropped the catch; listening to Matt Hasselbeck on ESPN post-game I didn't realize this but Pederson ten years ago was coaching high school football
-why did Malcolm Butler not play?
-the refs I don't think called a pass interference all night

by The Ninjalectual :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:27am

The play wasn't a carbon-copy. The Eagles used a direct snap to the RB, while the Pats handed off and threw off a reverse. The similarities appear to be coincidental, because I can't believe the Eagles would run a play they hadn't practiced.

by RickD :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:59am

It remains a mystery in Patriot Nation as to why Butler didn't get a snap on defense. Belichick will only say he put out the team he thought gave the Pats the best chance to win. Why exactly he thinks that remains a mystery. Clearly something happened between the AFC championship game and the Super Bowl, but we don't know exactly what that was, or what the reasoning was.

Speculation: Butler was still feeling the after-effects from the flu he got last week. If that were the case and BB thought he couldn't run at full speed very long, it could lead to his snaps going to other players.

Speculation: Butler missed a curfew or was guilty of some other team rules violation that led to the benching. The need to maintain discipline is explained as a football decision.

by xyzzy :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:13am


by Independent George :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:18am

Funny enough, I thought the Pats were going to win as soon as the Agholor ran out of bounds instead of going down at 2:43 in the 4th. I was screaming at the TV that they left too much time on the clock, and I stand by it.

Without that sack/fumble (what looked like the only time Brady got hit all night), I think New England drives down the field and scores a TD.

by Noah Arkadia :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:27am

Well, yeah, but scoring is hard enough as it is to play too cute. What they really should've done is make the 2-pt conversion, that could easily have lost them the game. And they probably should've tried a pass in that last drive.

I agree with the posters above about the 2 TD replays. The second couldn't have been a more obvious TD. Going to the ground isn't an issue when you yourself dive after taking a couple of steps. Technically they call it "making a football move". It's a different thing altogether from when you catch the ball and are tackled immediately.

The first was also well called. It doesn't matter, like Charles Davis kept insisting, that the ball moved as long as it moves because of the player's volition, as it did. He was holding the ball oddly but always appeared to be in control.

by Independent George :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:52am

I'm not arguing for trying for a 1st down from the 14 instead of going for the TD - but by going out of bounds, he gave the Pats an extra time out in exchange for maybe 2 yards. It worked out, but I think it was a bad trade (though perfectly understandable in the heat of the moment).

by Noah Arkadia :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:17pm

I understand and agree, but still, it would take a very smart and experienced group of players and coaches to play the clock so well. It seems like it's more likely that a random player will make a dumb clock play than a good one, let alone a really smart one.

by mehllageman56 :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:29am

The sack/fumble was the biggest play of the game.

I hope this is the end of the Patriots dynasty. I kind of doubt it.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 1:50am

There's at least one more year.

The defense can't get worse. There's still no other good team in the AFC. The window isn't closed.

by mehllageman56 :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 3:16am

The Steelers were a very good team this year that blew it in the playoffs. Or Jacksonville beat them, and then blew it against New England. Everyone will point out that the Jaguars are stuck with Bortles, but I would point out that while they can't sign Cousins right now, they still have draft picks in a draft filled with quarterback prospects, and their best case scenario is that they hit on one and then can keep the defense together. Also, Kansas City got rid of their major cap issues by trading Alex Smith. If Mahommes is an upgrade then they are a threat as well.

By the way, the defense can get worse. They lost their defensive coordinator and will probably lose their linebackers coach and starting cornerback. Ok, perhaps the defense will be just as bad as the Super Bowl version for an entire season. But the worry should be that the offense will get worse, so it can't cover enough for the bad defense. The Patriots have only 17 million in cap room and their left tackle is a free agent.

It's not that I think the Pats probably miss the playoffs next year; it's just that there is a solid chance they don't end up the number one contender in the AFC. The Browns and Bills have five million draft picks, the Chiefs are handing over their offense to a guy with a cannon, and the Steelers and Jaguars will still be around.

by Cythammer :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 3:52am

Alex Smith was great this season, so it's quite unlikely that a completely inexperienced Mahomes will be an improvement next season. Where the Chiefs do have a huge upside is on defense, where they were terrible this year (30th in DVOA), especially after that great start they had. Remember how they were dominated in the second half by the Titans, or the fact that the Jets, not exactly a lethal offense, absolutely destroyed them.

by Steve in WI :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 2:32pm

Plus, all due respect to Tom Brady who just had an age 40 season that I thought was impossible, but it is a virtual certainty that he will not be as good next year. If "not as good" means still a top 5 QB in the NFL, then the Patriots have a chance if they can make some other improvements. If "not as good" means his performance going off a cliff at age 41, which would not be astonishing, then they are screwed.

by mehllageman56 :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 3:17am

Sorry. Double post.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 1:19am

This was the most combined yardage in an NFL game.


Eagles are the first team to give up 600 yards in a victory.

by Will Allen :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 1:22am

If you want to grasp the reasoning behind the cliche "better late than never", observing the Eagles finally getting a pass rush on the Patriots 10th possession will do. I was surprised, because pass rushers typically don't make big plays deep in the 4th quarter, after they have given up over 500 yards. Another great performance by the Patriots offensive line, and it will be even more forgotten than the norm, because of the outcome.

by DavidL :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 1:50am

I'm not nearly enough of an expert to decode high-level football game planning in real time, but it sure seemed like the loss of the Pats' run threat in do-or-die time made the difference.

by Will Allen :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 1:56am

The Patriots never punted, and averaged 8.5 yards per play, and didn't have a turnover through nearly 58 minutes of play. Whatever the difference was, it surely wasn't any offensive failing of the Patriots.

by Noah Arkadia :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:19pm

The Eagles defense seemed to be dead in the water. It was just a random great play, like the helmet catch, in a way.

by Willsy :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 2:51am

Will makes a great point about the Pats O line. When you think how much better the Vikes were there this year but the Eagles D line gave them a pretty rough time. Brady had lots of time.

Great effort wasted. The Pats didn't really need to run but as someone posted the game become more about holding serve.

Anyone who likes pitching duels would have not been that keen on this game. But for the casual observer they would have been really happy.

by Will Allen :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 1:29am

Foles' performance the past
two games is Lesson 2,387,740 in the course called "Evaluating and Projecting qb play is hard".

by Independent George :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 11:31am

Addendum: It's also especially hard when a QB plays for Jeff Fisher.

by Will Allen :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 1:41am


by Will Allen :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 1:41am


by Hextall_27 :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 2:06am

The sad thing is that many people thought they could define Foles by a cold and windy night game where he missed Ertz twice high by about a foot and a meaningless 11 pass game in a week 17 bye.
They thought 11 games (8 against playoff teams) in a Jeff Fisher offense defined him.

He is still the greatest statistical QB in NFL playoff history AND a Super Bowl MVP in a game where Tom Brady threw for 500 yards and 3 TDs. He won that award because he outdueled Brady

Clowns who knocked his ability and athleticism look like complete morons right now.

by Willsy :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 2:37am

Remember the Bill Walsh comments about how important a 4th quarter pass rush is.
Some of the missed tackling was astonishing for a game at this level.
Happiest person in the world is Mrs. Fold's closely followed by Nick.

by MC2 :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 3:59am

Yet another example of how utterly stupid "Count the Rings!!!" is as a criteria for ranking QBs. This was arguably Brady's best performance in a Super Bowl. It was certainly better than last year's "dig yourself a hole, then dig your way out of it" performance, which was described by the talking heads as "cementing" Brady's status as the GOAT. Yet these same talking heads (like Deion Sanders) could be heard claiming that this game somehow hurts Brady's legacy!

by deus01 :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 8:44am

Well Brady can't even best a backup QB to win a super bowl. Hell he can't even catch a pass.

by ChrisS :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 11:41am

Nor can he get (or avoid) a strip sack.

by Noah Arkadia :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:21pm

Or defend a bloody pass, for crying out loud. What's he good for, then?

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 02/05/2018 - 4:02pm
by davidguptil11 :: Tue, 02/13/2018 - 3:28am

Will makes a great point about the Pats O line. When you think how much better the Vikes were there this year but the Eagles D line gave them a pretty rough time. Brady had lots of time.

Great effort wasted. The Pats didn't really need to run but as someone posted the game become more about holding serve.

Anyone who likes pitching duels would have not been that keen on this game. But for the casual observer they would have been really happy.

by JohnAdams :: Tue, 02/13/2018 - 6:22am

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