Although Super Bowl LII was highly entertaining, as I reflected on the game, there was something that was missing. Yes, I still believe that this is the best that the NFL has to offer. I also believe that it was a highly entertaining game. Unfortunately, we only got half of what we should’ve gotten. We basically wants to scrimmage between two teams who are playing offense. There was basically one or two defense of plays in the whole game.
First of all, all of the defense of plays were really made by the Philadelphia Eagles. The first play, was deep in the Eagles territory. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots had a 3rd and 2. Instead of trying to run the ball, up the middle, the patriots decide to run a fly sweep to Brandin Cooks. It looks, just for second, like it’s a brilliant call. Then Rodney McLeod comes out of nowhere. Cook’s tries to leap for the first down and McLeod tackled him in mid leap to hold them to little or no gain. This was a huge momentum swing.
The second play, is one of those plays that everyone will talk about for years to come. Philadelphia is up 38-33. There is 2:13 seconds to go. It is second and 2. The patriots are at their own 33 yard line. Everyone on the planet fully expects Tom Brady to orchestrate some sort of masterful drive. We have seen this way too many times. The Philadelphia Eagles move their star pass rusher Brandon Graham from end to left tackle. This allows him to have a one-on-one pass rush against the Patriots guard Mason. Brady takes the shotgun snap, the pocket collapses almost immediately. Danny Amendola is open in the right flat. Brady does not have enough time. The pocket collapses. Graham hits Brady and knocks the ball out for a strip sack. The Eagles recovered the fumble. It was a marvelous moment in Super Bowl history.
A couple of observations – the vast improvement of the patriots defense was highly overrated. Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles shredded the patriots. There is no other way to put it. The fact that the Patriots were able to shut down the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars should be a surprise to no one. Neither one of these teams could be described as an offense of juggernaut.
One of the things that was discussed before the Super Bowl was the fact that the Philadelphia Eagles had a somewhat weak secondary. This secondary was completely exposed. Tom Brady had an MVP type game in spite of losing a top receiver early. Constantly, receivers are running wide open against the Philadelphia Eagles secondary. A combination of short passes and the hurry up offense kept the Philadelphia Eagles vaunted pass rush at bay.
Although I love offense of football, defense is the part of the game. We really didn’t see much defense at all in this game. Still, a highly entertaining game.
Congratulations to Nick Foles (who gave one of the most inspiring and thoughtful press conferences this morning), Doug Pederson and the Philadelphia Eagles.