There isn’t much to say or do anymore other than laugh. It’s hilarious that the New England Patriots have won A THIRD of the Super Bowls this century. It’s hilarious that it’s the same coach and quarterback. It’s hilarious that, once again, after a slow start they were written off by the media for the tenth year in a row. And it’s hilarious that when the confetti stopped falling, Tom Brady hoisted his SIXTH Lombardi (Should be renamed to the Belichick) trophy. While the rest of the country would shed tears for their inferior team to win a single Super Bowl, we in New England just laugh at our sixth. Now, on to the game.
I’m not exactly a statistician, but starting the game off 0/1 with one interception is not good. I didn’t crunch the numbers but I feel as if you can have a better start. Cory Littleton would’ve won MVP if the Rams won. Totaling one pick and ten tackles, the guy was everywhere. However, after that pick the real story of the game started to develop. This Patriots defense is up there with the best in franchise history. Does it have the big names on it like Law, Bruschi, Harrison, Seymour, and McGinest? No, not even close. However, Stephon Gilmore was the best corner in the entire league this year and the secondary as a whole locked up two of the top three wide receiving cores in football in the last three weeks. Had a certain person not had the best game of his career, and I’ll get to that, Gilmore would’ve been the MVP easily. Aside from a bogus hands to the face in the fourth, he was lights out. Before we get to what turned out to be the game sealing Gilmore pick, we need to talk about what is the most under appreciated play in the game.
This play will be forgotten over time, but it is hands down the most important play of the game. Granted, there were some plays on the offensive side of the ball down the stretch, and the Gilmore interception wrapped it up, but this play saved the game. Neither team could do anything on offense up until this point. New England had multiple drives stall out between the 40’s, and the Rams couldn’t get two consecutive first downs. That touchdown would have felt the same way Sony Michel’s did later on; back breaking. But in flies Jason McCourty from the opposite sideline to blow it up. McCourty has more than played his role in this Malcolm Butler-less secondary. Oh and by the way, Pro Football Focus had Jason McCourty ranked as a top ten corner all year. Malcolm Butler was dead last for the majority of the season. That play perfectly sums up the year for McCourty, extremely important but overshadowed by Gilmore’s dominance.
But before Gilmore locked up a duck by Goff, Tom Brady became Tom Brady again. Let’s not sugarcoat it, he looked awful at points of this game. Similar to the Kansas City game though, when needed he was great. Tied at 3-3 (lol) late in the fourth and Tom lobbed one up to the other GOAT on this offense.
It’s widely reported that this was Gronk’s last game. If the big man wants to call it quits, who can blame him? Folks will point at the numbers Tony Gonzalez put up and sort of hold that benchmark against Gronk’s claim to the throne, which is fair. However, there was multiple seasons were Gronk was the second best receiver in football behind Calvin Johnson. He was truly unstoppable and he returned to form last night. One Sony Michel touchdown later, and we had a lead we would not give back. The narrative will be New England won in spite of Brady,not because of, but that would be incorrect. Brady did exactly what was needed, when it was needed, and that is what winners do.
We cannot discuss this game without talking about the incredible job from the majority of the coaching staff. Belichick showed that he is not ready to pass the torch to McVay for top coach in the league just yet. The defensive scheme that he and Flores came up with was incredible. A whole bunch of different looks had Goff and McVay visually confused, culminating in a double safety blitz that the Patriots haven’t run since the color TV was invented. While yeah, Belichick and Flores will get a ton of credit, the best coach of this entire post season has been Dante Scarnecchia. Aaron Donald, Chris Jones, Dee Ford, and Joey Bosa combined for ZERO sacks against New England over three games. Obviously the talent has to be on the field, but my lord the blocking schemes were incredible, Dwayne Allen’s pull block on the Michel touchdown comes to mind immediately. Also, shout out James Develin for easily being the best full back alive. Guy pancakes linebackers in his sleep.
Notice how I have not said the name Julian Edelman once. That’s because he deserves his own website, let alone some mediocre blog. Yesterday was the bookend to what has been a tough two years for Edelman. All starting with a preseason ACL tear last year, and a four game suspension this year, things were trending down for Brady’s best pal. Then the post season started and he became the contact seeking, big hit absorbing maniac we know him to be. Having a light 10 catches for 141 yards, it was easily his best game ever. Whenever his number was called, he answered in a big way. The “Is Edelman going to Canton?” debate was starting to brew on the internet this week, and boy howdy does this help his case. He becomes the seventh wide receiver to win Super Bowl MVP and it was well deserved. The highlight reel for his Patriots Hall of Fame induction is going to be must see stuff, even if it isn’t played in Ohio.
There you have it. Once again Super Bowl champs after a season of every dumb dumb on ESPN declaring the Patriots dead. Almost everyone on the team said the mid-season criticism motivated this team. Maybe the rest of the world will stop fueling the fire. Maybe they’ll learn that the more you slander this franchise, this quarterback, this coach, the more they feel the need to win. Maybe.
Maybe not. Hit the music.
A nice bonus hit the music. The halftime show wasn’t nearly as bad as the rest of the world is making it seem but they should’ve closed with Sweet Victory. Although, I’d listen to infinitely more Travis Scott if Squidward Tentacles did all his intros. It’s still on sight for myself and Squilliam, and he better not forget it.
Super Bowl Champions. Tom Brady Forever. See you all in September.
– Eric Rufo
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