Category Archives: Super Bowl LII

As Preseason Super Bowl Rematch Nears, Lane Johnson Is Back Talking Patriots

Robert Alvarez
August 13, 2018 at 9:22 pm ET

Don’t tell Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson that Thursday’s matchup with the Patriots is just another preseason game.

Johnson, who’s become notorious this year with outspoken remarks and criticisms about the team he won his first ring against was back at it again on local Philadelphia radio Monday morning.

“I’m ready,” Johnson told KYW Philadelphia. “I’ve been waiting on this ever since the Super Bowl was over with. It’s time.”

Johnson has previously called the Patriots are a “fear-based organization” that is filled with “arrogance” and “no fun”.

The Patriots and Eagles don’t meet in the 2018 regular season for a Super Bowl rematch that counts but Johnson didn’t seem too concerned about his reception at Gillette Stadium regardless of the timing.

“They know who I am on film,” Johnson said. “They know who we are on film. We’ll see what’s going to happen.”

Marquis Flowers Goes After Patriots Critics With A Series Of Tweets

Robert Alvarez
February 15, 2018 at 2:00 pm ET

As the New England Patriots continue the process of moving on from the 2017 season, linebacker Marquis Flowers took to his Twitter account Monday to try and clear the air with those criticizing himself and his team in the aftermath of Super Bowl LII.

Beginning with an article in the Boston Sports Journal by Greg Bedard that viewed Flowers Super Bowl performance as worse than the issue with Malcolm Butler’s benching, Flowers defended his head coaches decision making while also holding himself accountable for a bad game.

https://twitter.com/MFlowers59/status/963079273375567872

https://twitter.com/MFlowers59/status/963081164511641600

https://twitter.com/MFlowers59/status/963104336619474944

Secondly, Flowers responded to a quote from Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Lane Johnson who referred to the Patriots as a “fear based organization.”

https://twitter.com/MFlowers59/status/963104823703941123

When a fan pushed Flowers further on defending Belichick with a tweet that read “so you believe your teammate malcolm butler who you worked with all year the blood sweat and tears he didnt deserve to play???? did u tell him that marquis??” Flowers reiterated how those decisions were out of his control.

https://twitter.com/MFlowers59/status/963108986592604160

To conclude his series of tweets, Flowers shared what a full season under Belichick helped him with most while also calling out a few internet trolls that wanted to give him a hard time.

https://twitter.com/MFlowers59/status/963126646747422720

Flowers will head into the off season as a free agent, but judging by his defense and outpouring of emotion towards his time so far New England, he certainly learned a lot in just one full season.

Tom vs Time Filmmaker Provides Details About Final Episode

Robert Alvarez
February 9, 2018 at 8:52 pm ET

Leading up to Super Bowl LII, the Facebook Live documentary series “Tom vs Time” gave fans an inside look as to how Tom Brady balances football and family over the course of an NFL season.

Through five episodes the series was without a finale, as it was dependent upon the the result of the Super Bowl. When the Patriots fell to the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl, many fans were left wondering how it would end.

In a statement released on the documentaries official Facebook Page, the creator, filmmaker Gotham Chopra, provided some clarity on what will happen next.

A special note from Tom vs Time filmmaker and Religion of Sports co-founder Gotham Chopra:"Everyone keeps asking me…

Posted by Tom vs Time on Friday, February 9, 2018

If you’d like to watch the previous five episodes, you can see them all compiled HERE.

Tom Brady Shares Reflects On 2017 Season, Super Bowl Loss

Robert Alvarez
at 8:52 pm ET

It wasn’t the end the New England Patriots envisioned, but quarterback Tom Brady took to his social media accounts for the first time since the Super Bowl defeat to share some parting thoughts on the 2017 season.

In a lengthy posting shared to Instagram and Facebook, Brady thanked his teammates and the organization for all their efforts and congratulated the Philadelphia Eagles on their first Super Bowl championship.

With that, Brady officially turned his attention to 2018.

It has taken me a few days to reflect on our SB loss as well as the great season our team had. There are many emotions when you come up short of your goal. And they are all part of learning and growing in this journey of life. Learning turns everything into a postitive. And the number one feeling I have had the past 4 days is gratitude. Gratitude to my teammates for the incredible effort given all season regardless of the challenges we faced. Gratitude toward my coaches for the effort and sacrifice they make to put us players in the best position to win. Gratitude to the NEP organization for supporting us on our very challenging and difficult journey. Gratitude to the Philadelphia Eagles team and organization for bringing out the best in us and being gracious winners (as well as congratulations on winning the championship) Gratitude toward our fans who showed up every week to cheer us on and commit their time and energy and love and support to what our goals are. And gratitude to my family and friends who continue to love and support my dreams. Thank you all. I love you all. Best, Tom

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

5 Takeaways From Patriots vs Eagles – 3rd Down Defense Cost Them

Ian Logue
February 5, 2018 at 5:00 am ET

It was a tough night on Sunday in Minneapolis, but there were plenty of opportunities to get this one done yet it just wasn’t meant to be.

Unfortunately, when the Patriots look back at this one, they’ll find it was a lot of the little things that ultimately cost them, and the result now sets them up for what will likely be a long offseason.

1) The Butler Situation Will Be One That Likely Won’t Be Forgotten – While Malcolm Butler was sick this week as he reportedly battled the flu, according to most reports, the veteran defensive back was physically O.K. by the time Sunday’s game came around. However, he found himself on the sideline for the entire contest, leading to what should be quite a bit of speculation this week.

Head coach Bill Belichick called it a “coaching decision” and wouldn’t elaborate, leaving a clearly upset Butler on the sideline for the entire night as Philadelphia had their way against a secondary that seemingly couldn’t do anything to stop them.

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles put up 373-yards passing along with three touchdowns as Philadlephia put up over 500-yards of total offense. It’s hard to imagine Butler couldn’t have helped them, but whatever the reason, he just wasn’t out there.

After the game, Butler had little to say about his absence.

“It was a coach’s decision,” Butler told ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “I was just doing my job and supporting my teammates. I have nothing but great things to say about the organization. They gave me an opportunity. That’s about it.”

Many fans will likely remember the Wes Welker incident where Belichick left Welker on the sideline for the first series in a postseason game against the Jets years ago for disciplinary reasons, but he was only out for that set of plays. Sunday night, Butler missed the entire game, which is a completely different story.

Whatever the reason, Belichick told NBC that he “made the decisions that give us the best chance to win.”

It’s hard to make a snap judgement, but the one thing we do know is that whatever the reason, it speaks volumes about how football should have come first and prevented this from ever reaching this point. A few plays here or there could have been the difference in the game, and it’s unfortunate that Butler’s potential final game ultimately turned out the way it did.

Some may want to point fingers at Belichick for making the decision, but when the news eventually comes out, it’s going to be curious to make sense of a situation that saw Butler left out of this game while his teammates played on.

What’s done is done and if Sunday is any indication, it appears the same can be said of Butler’s career in New England heading into next season.


Nick Foles and the Eagles had their way Sunday night.

2) Speaking of the defense, they were horrific on third down – There’s no real way to mince words when it comes to how New England played defensively on third down Sunday night, which was ultimately their Achilles Heel in the loss.

Philadelphia finished Sunday night 10-of-16 on third down and that number doesn’t even tell the whole story. The Eagles essentially imposed their will against a group that just couldn’t rise to the challenge, allowing Nick Foles and company to do whatever they wanted.

The ugly part of it was how much they just couldn’t get off the field and to take it a step further, the amount of yards they gave up was completely alarming.

Here’s a list of each of those 3rd downs and the results, which more or less paints the true picture of why they lost this game.

Eagles’ 3rd Down Plays/Results:
1) 3rd-and-4: 17-yard completion
2) 3rd-and-12: 15-yard completion
3) 3rd-and-7: Incomplete
4) 3rd-and-8: Incomplete
5) 3rd-and-7: 19-yard completion
6) 3rd-and-4: 26-yard run
7) 3rd-and-3: 55-yard completion
8) 3rd-and-1: Incomplete (they converted on 4th down)
9) 3rd-and-6: 17-yard completion
10) 3rd-and-1: 14-yard completion
11) 3rd-and-6: 22-yard completion
12) 3rd-and-3: 8-yard loss on a completion
13) 3rd-and-6: 7-yard completion
14) 3rd-and-1: 0-yard completion
15) 3rd-and-7: 11-yard completion
16) 3rd-and-5: 1-yard loss on a rush

What you’ll notice on the above is the fact that on nine of those sixteen plays, the Eagles picked up 11 or more yards, which was obviously a serious problem.

To take it a step further, of Eagles quarterback Nick Foles’ 28 total completions, 17 of them went for double digit gains, including 12 that went for 15-yards or more.

As Bill Belichick likes to say, that’s probably not what they were looking for. Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia took full responsibility after the game.

“Obviously, I didn’t do a good enough job here with the defense,” Patricia said via ProFootballTalk.com. “Look, that is a great offense, they are extremely talented. I have been talking about it all week how good they are.

“They just played really well, and we didn’t get enough stops. I give them all the credit. They played outstanding.”

It certainly wasn’t the way Patricia probably wanted to end his career in New England. It’s unfortunate and he likely won’t get a shot at redemption anytime soon. He’s now expected to be named as the new head coach of the Detroit Lions in the coming days.


Brady played well enough to win Sunday night.

3) As usual, Tom Brady did more than enough to win the game – While people will talk about the fact he’s now lost three Super Bowls, it doesn’t change the fact that there shouldn’t be a single person who puts this one on the veteran quarterback.

Brady finished the night with a Super Bowl record 505-yards passing along with three touchdowns, including bringing them back from a 12-point deficit and put them in front at 33-32 with just over 9-minutes left in the game. But New England’s defense faltered again down the stretch, allowing the Eagles to march 75-yards on 14 plays to go up 38-33 thanks to an 11-yard touchdown to Zach Ertz with just over 2-minutes to go in the game.

The veteran quarterback tried to mount a comeback, but it just wasn’t meant to be. The Eagles did a good job of getting to him for most of the night but it was a critical play in the waning moments that ended up being the difference. While the offensive line of the Patriots had done a decent job, Philadelphia was able to slip through and forced a fumble after swatting the ball out of his hands as he was throwing the ball on the ensuing drive deep in their own end.

From there, the Eagles added a field goal, and it left him without enough time to pull off another miracle.

Mixed into his problems was the fact that the team lost Brandin Cooks for the night after he took a gruesome hit early in the 2nd-quarter following a 23-yard gain. He was absolutely drilled by Malcolm Jenkins on a blind-side hit where Jenkins caught him under the chin and struck him so hard, Cooks hit the turf and appeared to be knocked out.

He eventually got to his feet and walked off the field under his own power, but he was ruled “Out” mere minutes later with a “head” injury and it left New England without one of their key weapons for the rest of the game.

The fact Brady pulled off what he did this season was incredible in itself and he did more than enough on Sunday night to win the game. Unfortunately the defense let him down and they just came up short.

Brady said he expects to be back in 2018, but he’ll need a little bit of time to get over this one.

“I expect to be back, but we’ll see,” Brady said via ESPN. “It’s 15 minutes after the game ended. Have to process this a little bit. Don’t see why I wouldn’t be back.”


Amendola was terrific again Sunday night.

4) Another Terrific Performance By Amendola – One of the big topics of discussion in the months ahead will likely center on the future of Danny Amendola, who will be a free agent yet again this offseason.

Sunday night proved how valuable he is after he picked up the slack following Cooks’ departure and he finished the night with a team-high 152-yards on 8 receptions. However, the stat that really stands out is the fact that 98 of those yards came on third down. He finished the night catching 4-of-5 on third down for 98-yards and 4 first downs.

He’s been absolutely incredible all year and he nearly helped New England survive the loss of Julian Edelman this season and he was crucial two weeks ago against Jacksonville after the Patriots lost Gronkowski with an injury.

Getting him back for 2018 will hopefully be among New England’s priorities as he’s still playing at a high-level and has more than proven he’s a pressure-player they need on this football team.

Amendola was obviously disappointed after the game, saying they gave all they had but just came up short.

“It’s definitely defeating,” said Amendola on the loss. “It came down to the wire and both sides gave it our all and busted our [butts] all game. It came down to the last couple of plays.”


Brady may not have Gronkowski in 2018.

5) 2018 Seems Daunting Right Now – While it’s a little early to think too far ahead, it’s hard not to ponder whether or not this team can potentially get back to this point and the early thoughts are a little concerning.

What we know is that there are changes ahead, which includes changes in the coaching staff and obviously from a personnel standpoint. The departure of Butler will likely be one of the big topics of the offseason and if that happens, it puts them in a tough spot. If we learned nothing Sunday night, we learned that the Patriots will be in dire need of stabilizing the cornerback opposite Stephon Gilmore next season as they try and add talent while continuing to build depth at the position. They also need more speed at linebacker and also (still) need help putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

Offensively they’ll have Julian Edelman coming back, but the news of Rob Gronkowski pondering retirement may take away their threat of a potent tight end and change the face of their offense again. Anyone who has followed this team over the years knows that prior to Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez’ arrival to this team, they haven’t had anyone who was able to strike fear into opposing defenses. Obviously, we know what happened with Hernandez and they’ve already felt the impact of what it’s been like when Gronkowski has been unavailable. If you couple the uncertainty of both Gronkowski and Amendola, along with the question of how potent Edelman will be coming back from a significant knee injury, it puts them in a curious situation heading into 2018.

Needless to say, expect an eventful offseason as Belichick tries to rebuild both the coaching staff and his roster. Last year he at least had the luxury of riding the high of a championship to help lesson the impact of the task at hand. Unfortunately, after Sunday night, he won’t have that luxury this time around.

With 2017 now officially in the books and free agency just weeks away, expect them to turn the page pretty quickly as they start getting ready for 2018.

Offense Anyone? Foles, Eagles Hold Off Brady, Patriots 41-33 in SB LII

Steve Balestrieri
February 4, 2018 at 11:42 pm ET

This one won’t go down as a defensive struggle as both teams combined for nearly 1200 yards of offense and 84 points, but it was the Philadelphia defense that made the one big stop when Brandon Graham stripped Tom Brady of the ball and it was the Eagles and Foles who played tremendous all game long walking over the Lombardi trophy and a huge win in Super Bowl LII.

Foles, who was the MVP completing 28-43 for 373 yards with two touchdowns and a pick. He connected with Zach Ertz for a touchdown with 2:21 left to give the Eagles a 38-33 lead but it certainly appeared that the call would be reversed.

But the call didn’t matter a bit. It would have just 35-32 before the Brady sack.  There were a couple of close calls in terms of what is or what isn’t a catch… but again, when the defense couldn’t stop Foles and the Eagles offense all game, that wasn’t the reason for the loss.

It was simply another tremendous Super Bowl, maybe not if you like a defensive struggle in terms of drama, it doesn’t get much better. Right down to the final pass into the end zone as time expired. The Eagles made just one or two more plays than the Patriots did and that’s why they are the new Super Bowl champions.

Other observations include:

Philly’s Coaching Staff Called a Great Game:
Doug Pederson said after the game that the Eagles wanted to stay aggressive with their play calling and they did and the Patriots were completely unable to stop them. Alshon Jeffrey was getting the better or Eric Rowe early in this game. Nelson Agholor was beating everyone the Patriots trotted out there against him. The Eagles identified mismatches they felt they could win and exploited them. Agholor had nine catches on 11 targets…he was uncoverable all game long.

Zach Ertz had a very strong game and Corey Clement torched the Patriots for 100 yards receiving, including a 55-yarder where Jordan Richards took just a brutal angle on the play. Pederson’s best call was on 4th and 1 near the end of the first half, they ran the option pass to Foles. With him in the shotgun, no one accounts for him and he trotted all alone for a huge touchdown to put the Eagles up 10 at the break.

Defense Was MIA:
The Patriots defense was dissected and shredded for over 500 yards of offense (374 passing, 164 rushing) by the Eagles who also gashed them for 41 points. The Patriots defense was manhandled up front by a very good Philadelphia offensive line that opened up big holes in the running game while giving Foles plenty of time to throw.

The pass rush was missing most of the game, Trey Flowers had a very, very quiet Super Bowl and was not a factor at all. With the exception of Gilmore and perhaps Pat Chung, and James Harrison, it was their worst performance since Week 1.

Matt Patricia and Bill Belichick didn’t have the answers this week. With the exception of moving Gilmore on Jeffrey, who was shut down, they didn’t make any adjustments that worked. They were out-coached in Minneapolis.  It doesn’t happen often but it did tonight.

Brady Was Fantastic Despite the Loss:
Immediately after the game, I was reading criticism of Tom Brady which is laughable. Brady was shredding the Eagles defense in the second half as bad as they were being shredded.

Brady threw for 505 yards and three touchdowns averaging 10.5 yards per attempt on the night. And the offense put up 33 points. I didn’t like the play call early in the game on 3rd and 2 with the end around to Brandin Cooks, where they were moving down the field, but that is the way the cookie crumbles, it could have been 40 with a better call.

Cooks left with a concussion on an awful collision with Malcolm Jenkins but Brady and the offense reacted well and spread the ball around. Danny Amendola was his clutch self, catching 8 passes for 152 yards, Gronkowski had nine catches for 116 yards with a pair of touchdowns, nearly all of it coming in the second half. Chris Hogan had six catches for 128 yards and a score. Overall the Patriots had three players with over 100 yards receiving.

The Butler “Didn’t Do It”, Benched for the Game:
With several players in the secondary struggling all game, it was more than curious that Malcolm Butler was benched for the entire game other than special teams. Bill Belichick said after the game that it wasn’t a disciplinary decision but a strict football one why he didn’t play.

Butler, who was very emotional during the National Anthem, may have realized that his last game in New England (and the chances of him returning now are practically nil) was coming to an end in the worst way possible, by riding the pine. What had to be particularly galling for Butler was that the secondary was being gashed.

With no one able to cover Agholor, in the biggest game of the year, was Butler the worst option between Rowe, Bademosi, Richards et al?

Changes are Coming:
Suffice to say, the team we see at the mini-camp in June will be quite different from the one that took the field tonight. Matt Patricia is gone. It was thought Josh McDaniels was gone too, but now, some in the media are saying to pump the brakes on that talk…at least for now. But the roster will see changes as the team will have several decisions to make in the coming days, which we’ll address later.

Sorry New England, no parade this year, we’re on to the NFL Combine.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.

VIDEO: Tom vs Time Episode 5 “The Spiritual Game”

Robert Alvarez
at 8:47 pm ET

On Sunday, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady released Episode 5 of the Facebook view documentary series Tom vs Time entitled “The Spiritual Game”.

“For New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, football is more than a game – it’s a spiritual vocation. Football is what gives his life purpose. But the clock is ticking, Tom’s children are growing up fast, and his wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, is losing patience with Tom’s all-consuming devotion to his sport. Time is all we have – and Tom is painfully aware of it. How much longer can he keep playing the sport he loves.”

S1:E5 The Spiritual Game

For New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, football is more than a game – it’s a spiritual vocation. Football is what gives his life purpose. But the clock is ticking, Tom’s children are growing up fast, and his wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, is losing patience with Tom’s all-consuming devotion to his sport. Time is all we have – and Tom is painfully aware of it. How much longer can he keep playing the sport he loves?

Posted by Tom vs Time on Sunday, February 4, 2018

A sixth episode of the series will be released at a later date.

VIDEOS: Brady, Edelman and Amendola Get Fans Pumped Up For Super Bowl

Robert Alvarez
at 8:46 pm ET

At the time of this posting, its officially Super Bowl game day in Patriots Nation for the eighth time in the Bill Belichick era.

As with every leadup to a big playoff game, some of the Patriots best players shared hype videos across their social media accounts to get fans fired up and ready for the 6:30 kickoff in Minnesota.

On Saturday, quarterback Tom Brady along with wide recievers Julian Edelman and Danny Ammendola all shared their own unique videos that you can checkout before or during your Super Bowl parties below.

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

There is a storm coming #LFG

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

24 hours and counting ⏱#letsgoooooooo #SBLII

A post shared by Julian Edelman (@edelman11) on

 

VIDEO: @FitzyGFY’s Wicked Pissah Super Bowl 52-Cast

Robert Alvarez
at 12:00 pm ET

New England Patriots superfan Fitzy returns with an all new webcast previewing the Super Bowl against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night.

WARNING: NSFW, Language.

Video courtesy @FitzyGFY

PHOTOS: The Brady Family Is Ready For Super Bowl

Robert Alvarez
at 10:58 am ET

On Instagram Saturday afternoon, it was all smiles and quality time with the family for quarterback Tom Brady in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Taking to their Instagram accounts, both Brady and his wife Gisele shared some pictures of the Brady bunch soaking it all in on the U.S. Bank Stadium field, with Brady’s mother Galynn most notably in attendance.

“Family and Football.”

Family and Football ❤️ #gopats

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

❤️

A post shared by Gisele Bündchen (@gisele) on