From an offensive perspective, there isn’t a whole lot to whine about in the wake of the Patriots’ 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII Sunday night.
The game only managed to set all sorts of offensive records for an NFL postseason game (New England set the standard for most yards in a game by one team, 613, while the Patriots and Eagles combined for a record 1,151 yards of total offense) and in addition to Tom Brady’s 505 passing yards (also a new record), the Patriots had a trio of 100-yard receivers (Danny Amendola, 152 yards, Chris Hogan, 128 yards, and Rob Gronkowski, 116 yards).
So, naturally it feels sort of odd to have to consider the underachieving offensive performers for New England in the face of it all, an element that might only come down to one absurdity.
Eagles quarterback Nick Foles caught a touchdown pass and Tom Brady did not.
Let’s be clear though, no player in NFL history — regular season of postseason — has had a game like Brady (500-plus yards, three touchdowns, zero picks) and lost, a mind-boggling matter that can be the only retort if anyone chooses to blame him for getting strip-sacked in the fourth quarter. Brady was at his best. No doubt.
So perhaps, indeed, the real offensive goat of the evening award goes to offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, a bestowment that seems ridiculous considering the 613 yards of offense the Patriots put up over the course of the game, against one of the league’s top defenses to boot.
Then again, why were the Patriots trying to get so cute in the second quarter?
The Patriots were facing third and five from the Eagles’ 35-yard-line with a whopping 12:04 remaining in the first half, trailing only by a score of 9-3. It seemed an odd time to empty the playbook for a wide receiver reverse pass, with Danny Amendola floating a nifty ball into Brady’s open arms. Except the quarterback couldn’t corral the ball, leaving the Patriots with a fourth-down situation on which they couldn’t convert.
Meanwhile, it was only a little later in the quarter when Foles caught a one-yard pass from Trey Burton on a. Fourth-down play that gave the Eagles a 22-12 halftime lead.
Kicker Stephen Gostkowski left four points off the board as well, missing a 26-yard field goal and an extra point, but really, how many complaints can any Patriots fan really possess about the offense’s performance Sunday night?
Especially considering a Patriots defense that was an abomination in the mysterious absence of Malcolm Butler, it’s really hard to have asked anything more from New England’s offensive output.