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More on the Philadelphia Eagles win!

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.

Eagles win Super Bowl 52

I have a college friend from Philly. He is a great guy expect for he loves the Eagles. After Carson Wentz went down. I reached out to him. I truly thought that Nick Foles could take them to the playoffs and to the Super Bowl. No! He cried. The season was over.

Me. A live-long Cowboy fan, spent the next several weeks convincing my friend that the Eagles were good enough to win the super bowl with Nick Foles as quarterback. To this day, I don’t think that he ever really believed me. I was certain that Nick Foles was good enough. I was also certain the Doug Peterson was going to put Foles and the Eagles into position to win.

The evidence was all there. If you are a Cowboy fan and watched the Eagles and Cowboys games you have seen the Eagles up close. They play football. There was that overtime game that the Cowboys won last year. Doug Peterson showed that he was innovative and played to win. If the Eagles players didn’t make mental mistakes, the Eagles were always going to be position to win.

Writing Nick Foles and the Eagles off was crazy talk. The Eagles offense was good. They proved that every week. If they didn’t turn the ball over they were going to always be in position to win a game.

So, from the opening kickoff, we saw that the Doug Peterson had a plan to attack to the Patriots defense. This was not the Pats with Vince Wilfork and Rodney Harrison. This was more of a bend, don’t break Patriots defense. The defense probably would not win the game for you. Instead, they would try to turn the ball over to Tom Brady. For the most part, Nick Foles and the Eagles offense attacked the Patriots. They attacked down field. They attacked on the edges. The Eagles even ran the ball effectively. Nick Foles was great. He made all of the throws. He was smart with the football. His only turnover was on a deep pass that was caught then kicked up in the air by Jeffery and intercepted by Harmon of the Pats. Crazy play but really a good pass from Foles.

I think that the money play was the play that everyone is talking about. This was a shotgun play on 4th and goal from the 1. You are playing the Patriots. You know that points are going to be needed. You need as many points as you can get. I think that going for it was about as gutsy a call as I have seen in a big game. I have seen the play about 10 times and I still really don’t know how to describe it. Foles is the shotgun then goes in motion to the right wing. The ball is snapped to the running back who pitches the ball to the second or third string tight end, Burton. While this is going on, Foles sneaks out in the right flat. The tight end lobs a strike to Foles. Touchdown.

The Patriots knew that they simply couldn’t line up and beat the Eagles. This is why the Patriots had so many trick plays. I was looking for a Statue of Liberty play and the old fumble-roosky play. I still don’t understand why the Eagles didn’t double Gronk more. It seemed to me that you had to take Gronk away. Instead what the Eagles did effectively was take away those swing passes to the backs. The Eagles brilliantly placed Malcolm Jennings, their all-pro corner, on any back coming out of the backfield and it worked.

I’m a huge fan of the NFL and this was a great game. This was the NFL at its best. This was quarterbacks slinging the rock. Receivers making great catches. Running backs were stuffed in the hole then bounced to daylight. This was a great game. Congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles for winning Super Bowl 52. (BTW, as anyone lost as many Super Bowls as Tom Brady?)

Super Bowl XLIX: Revisited (Update)

Well, it has only been a week. It seems longer. Super Bowl!!! The New England Patriots versus the Seattle Seahawks. Russell Wilson versus Tom Brady. Legion of Boom. Revis. Edelman. Matthews!! In the end, it was a perfect game to end a perfectly wacky play-off season.

As a whole, I think most people would say the game unfolded kind of like we thought it would. Most people thought it was going to be a close game. Most people thought that the New England Patriots offense would find a way to move the ball through short passing and by using their nearly uncoverable tight end Gronkowski. On one side of the ball, most experts thought that the Seattle Seahawks would have a hard time running the ball but should have been able to make some plays down the field.

For the most part, this game was a chess match between two master coaches. The Seattle Seahawks were able to stop the run without difficulty. Unfortunately, they were extremely vulnerable to short passes. At key points of the game, Ron Gronkowski and Edelman were able to get open and really burn the Legion of Boom (over 320 yrds on the ground). At the same time, Tom Brady made two critical mistakes which killed drives. Interceptions. Tom Brady never throws critical intercerptions; well, almost never. It was surprising. On the other side of the ball, for nearly the first 25 minutes of the game, the Seattle Seahawks continued to try to ram the ball through the Patriots without success. Their third-down efficiency was abysmal.

Before I spend a lot of time talking about “the play” it should be mentioned that Pete Carroll did decide not to kick a field goal with six seconds on the clock and the ball at the New England 11-yard line at the end of the 1st half. Instead, he instructed Russell Wilson to throw a high back shoulder bullet to Chris Matthews, a previously unheard of wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks. It was a brilliant play. Touchdown. The game was tied at half-time.

Now, the play. The Seattle Seahawks have miraculously moved the ball from their own 35-yard line down inside the New England one-yard line. With 26 seconds on the clock, the Seattle Seahawks have one timeout.

New England versus Seattle

If you’re sitting around wondering what really makes NFL football great, it is plays like this. The complexity of football is sometimes mind-boggling. On the other hand, it is really a simple game. It is about putting that stupid football into the end zone.

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