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PICTURE: Patriots left Super Bowl defensive game plan on locker room whiteboard

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Whoops. Someone’s going to get in trouble.

Editor’s note: With the Patriots facing the Falcons this week, I thought it would be a good idea to bring this gameplan back to the surface.

The New England Patriots rarely make mistakes, but they made a big one at the Super Bowl. They forgot to clean their locker room whiteboards and left their defensive game plan for all to see, according to USA Today.

The Patriots had their schedule, their players for kickoffs (#33 Dion Lewis, #18 Matthew Slater) and punt returns (#11 Julian Edelman, Lewis? or #23 Patrick Chung, #80 Danny Amendola), a projection of the Falcons offensive depth chart, play calls for early downs, third down, red zone, and two minute drill, and a series of 10 Musts for the game.

Whiteboard in the Patriots' locker room.
(Photo: Josh Peter, USA TODAY Sports)
  1. Start Fast & Do Your Job Well
  2. Stop The Run
  3. Go After #2 -> Attack The Spot
  4. Eliminate #11 & No Big Plays
  5. Win Turnover Battle = Win Game
  6. Tackling Is The Game
  7. Situational Football
  8. Play Smart & Aware
  9. Most Physical Team!
  10. “It’s All About Us!!!”

And the graphic is finished with an underlined “DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS!!!”

The Patriots defense stepped up in a major way down the stretch and LB Dont’a Hightower was responsible for the turning point in the game as he forced a key fumble to set up an easy Patriots score. The defense held the Falcons to zero points in the first and fourth quarters, but they struggled to stop the run in the first half. The defense also allowed 11 plays of 15+ yards, tied for the most all season with week 2 against the Miami Dolphins.

Still, the Patriots defense came through in the Super Bowl when it mattered most and certainly helped win the Championship for New England.