The New England Patriots defense played their worst game of the season as the Philadelphia Eagles marched up and down the field to win Super Bowl 52 with a final score of 41-33. This is what we learned.
The Patriots defense was horrific
The New England defense forced one punt and one interception all day. The rest of the game the Eagles moved the ball at will for long drives with a ridiculous 67% conversion rate on third and fourth down. Nick Foles completed 65.1% of his passes for 373 yards and the Eagles had four touchdown passes and an additional touchdown run from LeGarrette Blount.
They allowed chunk plays. They couldn’t stop the run as the Eagles gained 6.1 yards per carry. They couldn’t stop the pass as the Eagles gained 8.5 yards per attempt. They couldn’t cover running backs, wide receivers, or tight ends. It was a really bad day.
Where the heck was Malcolm Butler?
You know who could have really helped the Patriots pass coverage? Cornerback Malcolm Butler, who didn’t suit up on defense the entire game. The Patriots benched him in favor of Eric Rowe, who was Foles’ favorite target on third down and in the red zone.
The Patriots tried to put Rowe on Alshon Jeffery in the first half and it was a terrible decision. They should have put Stephon Gilmore in coverage the entire game because he helped erase Jeffery in the second half.
This was a terrible coaching decision.
The Patriots made a LOT of terrible decisions
Kicking a 26-yard field goal on 4th-and-1 from the 8-yard line is a dumb idea by the coaches. The two-minute defense was atrocious. Tom Brady scrambling instead of throwing the ball away before the half was also a bad idea.
The Patriots simply didn’t make any of the necessary adjustments on defense to win the game. Big, fat F for the New England defense as Eagles head coach Doug Pederson coached circles around Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia.
The Patriots offense was pretty great
Tom Brady completed 28 of 48 (58.3%) for 505 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions for a passer rating of 115.4. Danny Amendola had 8 catches for 152 yards. Chris Hogan had 6 catches for 128 yards and 1 touchdown. Rob Gronkowski had 9 catches for 116 yards and 2 touchdowns. James White added 66 yards and a touchdown.
The Patriots lost Brandin Cooks early in the game to a concussion and the offense still managed to have an incredible day. Dion Lewis has extremely quiet, too, with just 9 carries for 39 yards.
The curses are still in play
The MVP lost. The NFL passing leader lost. The Madden cover athlete lost. The Patriots lost and are now 5-3 in Super Bowls under head coach Bill Belichick.