Since 2000, no team has made more appearances in the Super Bowl than the New England Patriots. Head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady have been the best NFL duo over the past 18 seasons. They have made it to the Super Bowl eight out of 18 seasons only missing out on the AFC Championship game five times in those years.
It’s clear that the Patriots have been the Goliath of the NFL when it comes to the AFC and the Super Bowl, but every monster takes a defeat. Though these Patriots lost to Eli Manning and New York Giants twice in five years, their loss in Super Bowl LII has to hurt the most.
Regardless of it being 16-0 or a revenge game against the Giants, the Patriots wanted to win Super Bowl LII much more than they wish they could’ve played Eli again.
It was the greatest quarterback of all-time, who’s won five out of his seven Super Bowl appearances, facing a young team with little to no Super Bowl experience, especially with a backup quarterback.
Yes, Brady got beat by a backup, and in the aftermath of the Patriots loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, we will take a look at what really went wrong.
Amendola to Brady:
When it’s the Super Bowl, all the coaches and players pull out all the stops and trick plays to do what it takes to win.
The 40-year-old quarterback tried to catch a pass from one of his top receivers, Danny Amendola. It was early in the second quarter when Brady drew up the play that he failed on. Hand off to running back James White on third-and-5 from the Eagles’ 35-yard line. White then tossed it to Amendola, who was running across the field on a reverse and threw it to Brady as he slipped out to the right side of the field on a flat route. But the pass clanged off of Brady’s hands and fell incomplete, forcing the Patriots to punt and gave the momentum to the Eagles.
Eagles showed Brady and the Patriots how it’s done with nearly the exact same play on fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line when Eagles quarterback Nick Foles caught the pass from backup tight end Trey Burton for the touchdown.
Malcolm Butler did not play:
The Patriots allowed 538 total yards of offense. Foles threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns. Former Patriots running back currently playing for Eagles, LeGarrette Blount, added 90 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.
And one of the teams better defensive players was benched by coach Belichick, and it cost them huge yards. Malcolm Butler was benched, and Philadelphia consistently picked up chunk yardage as the Patriots got lost in coverage, allowing uncharacteristic touchdowns.
As we know, giving up chunk plays has troubled the Patriots defense all season who ranked 29th in the league in yards given up. What will the Patriots do about Butler’s benching?
Too Much Passing:
Brady set yet another record in the Super Bowl. This one was the most passing yards (505) in a game. The two teams combined for 1151 yards of offense which was the most ever yards in a Super Bowl, but Brady could’ve used a little more help in the running game. Brady was hot passing the ball, but with a defense that couldn’t stop the Eagles. The Patriots needed to run the ball more effectively to try to control the game, especially at the end of the game.
James White led the Patriots’ ground game with 45 yards and a touchdown, while starter Dion Lewis rushed for just 39 yards on nine carries. It would’ve been nice if Brady could’ve handed the ball off to White or Lewis on their turnover drive.
Where’s the Protection:
Yes, Brady threw for 505 yards and three touchdowns while setting new Super Bowl records, but the 40-year-old took a lot of hits from this hungry Philadelphia Eagles defense. The biggest hit of the game was the one that sealed the victory for the Eagles.
It was 2nd & 2 with 2:15 left in the game and Brady and the Patriots continued to pass the ball rather than running it for the first down. The result of this play was the biggest shocker of any of Tom Brady’s Super Bowls. It was the first turnover of the game for the Patriots, and it was the most costly play of the game, Brady took another hit by Eagles lineman Brandon Graham and fumbled the ball over to the Eagles with less than two minutes left.
Brady didn’t look comfortable in the pocket, and it showed when the game was on the line. After the Eagles converted the fumble into a field goal and took a 41-33 lead and gave Brady one more chance to try to find the protection to get into the end zone and tie the game, but they ran out of time and energy.
NFL MVP Curse:
History wasn’t in Tom Brady’s corner. Brady, like all the MVP’s since 2000, has never won a Super Bowl ring. No matter how hard Brady played, it was the MVP curse that got the best of him. The next question now is if the 40-year-old will ever win his sixth Super Bowl?
To find out those players who won the MVP but lost the Super Bowl, check out “NFL MVP Curse Lives Win.”