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Patriots vs. Eagles: Fan Notes from the Super Bowl

Notes, musings, and observations from the New England Patriots’ 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

NFL: Super Bowl LII-Philadelphia Eagles vs New England Patriots Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ah well. You can’t win ‘em all.

If you’re on Pats Pulpit today, odds are that you’re a little bummed, but not despondent enough to impose a complete media blackout. After all, when it comes to Super Bowl losses, this one pales in comparison to the last two, so it shouldn’t be too long of a mourning period.

Win or loss, the Fan Notes must go on. So let’s get to it before I end up saying something I might regret.

  • Talent-wise, these were two incredibly well matched teams. In the looks department, though, it’s New England by a mile. If teams won and lost games based solely on attractiveness levels, the Patriots would be 19-0 every single year.
  • This is now the third year in a row where I haven’t even heard of at least half of the movies nominated for an Oscar. I don’t even know how that’s possible. But I think I’m going on almost a full decade of having no clue who the National Anthem singers are at Super Bowls. Pink rings a bell, but I couldn’t name a single one of her songs. Grandpa Simpson was right.
  • I’ll tell you who actually won the Super Bowl last night - whoever was interpreting the National Anthem in sign language. I now have a new role model.
  • Movie trailers. Celebs hawking software, food, and cars. Tear jerkers that make you feel like a horrible person for not doing more to save the world. Guy who would rather eat/drink than get the girl. Dilly Dilly. Was there a single Super Bowl commercial that didn’t fall into one of those categories?
  • Thank Tebow the Patriots weren’t playing that group of WWII vets that took the field for the coin toss. Even at an advanced age, those guys play both ways and mop the floor with New England. Hell, the Pats and Eagles could have teamed up and fielded their best guys and even then it wouldn’t even be close.
  • So glad the Patriots deferred. One less thing to worry about.
  • And so glad the Eagles marched right down the field and scored, including converting a 3rd and 12, almost entirely on the arm of Nick Foles. Because of course they did.
  • Seriously- what is it about NFC East QBs and the postseason?
  • The line of the night came from the girlfriend, who I allowed to watch the game with me because I’m nice like that: “Chris Hogan isn’t that good looking. I mean he is, but he’s on the team with Brady and Danny Amendola, so...I don’t know. Like, to somebody, out in South Dakota, he’s hot stuff.” Take that, South Dakota.
  • Nothing you can really do about that Alshon Jeffrey TD. Just a great throw, and honestly Rowe shouldn’t have been in coverage there. Receivers like Jeffrey is exactly why the Patriots paid all that money for Stephon Gilmore, who inexplicably didn’t start covering him until the second half.
  • I could honestly write an entire Fan Notes about that defensive performance - or lack thereof. I could theorize about Malcolm Butler and why the coaching staff thought that Johnson Bademosi
  • While I don’t necessarily think the Patriots win with Butler out there, I can distinctly remember Bademosi in coverage on a third down crossing route where a tackle at contact would have set up a fourth down and a punt to a Patriots team that hadn’t been stopped all day. Instead, Bademosi missed the tackle, the receiver kept running, and the Eagles got a new set of downs. It’s small moments like that that ultimately make up the entirety of the game.
  • And since there is zero chance that Butler will be back in New England now...thank you, big man. You made the single greatest play in Boston sports history, and I hope wherever you end up, you thrive there.
  • The NFL did a semi-decent job of limiting the dreaded touchdown/commercial/kickoff/commercial sandwich this season. It would appear that they were just saving them all for the Super Bowl.
  • I say this with all sincerity right now: the XFL has a legitimate shot to make it in the current landscape. Not only are we all but guaranteed to have a player lockout at the end of the current CBA, but the XFL promises no halftime, fewer commercials, and clear rules as to what constitutes a catch. If all those things are true, sign me the hell up.
  • What’s kind of ironic is that the Eagles did to the Patriots offense what the Patriots defense did to opponents all season long - gave up massive amounts of yards between the 20s, and then absolutely nothing once they got into scoring position.
  • It’s actually pretty stark how much of a difference Brandin Cooks made. Once he went out, the middle of the field suddenly became much more congested and the only areas where the Patriots could make any headway was in the quick out pass.
  • That said - the offense was just fine. It’s that damn defense again. Ugh.
  • 100% guarantee you that they end up actually making that Crocodile Dundee movie.
  • It’s been at least four years since the Patriots successfully defended an RB wheel route. It’s just so rare you see an Achilles heel remain across multiple seasons.
  • Holy Tebow did Al and Cris love that trick Eagles play for the Foles TD. And it’s plays like that that show just how much respect the Eagles have for the Patriots.
  • The play of the game, though - to me at least - was that fourth and 1 at the Eagles 40 yard line that went to Ertz for the first down. Guts and resilience, execution and confidence. The Eagles won the Super Bowl with that play.
  • Time for my annual “would anybody care in the slightest if they completely did away with the halftime show?” question. So far, I have yet to meet a single person who cares.
  • Fuzzy Thurston might be the greatest football name I have never heard of until yesterday.
  • Eric Rowe got worked around about every single way a corner can be worked around. Whether he had perfect coverage or got duped on a double move, there wasn’t a single time when anything good happened for him.
  • OK, no more whining about the D. We all saw it. If you want to complain about the defense, though...go right ahead. I don’t know what the hell happened to that D last night, and if I’m Bill Belichick, I’ll be looking for a new defensive coordinator this offseason.
  • I’d complain about the Clements catch...but I just have no clue. Why the hell not. And to any Patriots fan upset about the catches or non-catches or whatever... come on. That’s not the reason the Patriots lost this one. Nobody has any idea what a catch is anyway, and complaining about refs, officiating, or anything like that is what losers do. We’re better than that.
  • Malcolm Jenkins gets my Super Bowl MVP nod, to be honest. His stats won’t really show up on the sheet, but the way he took away parts of the field and eliminated backs as receivers was masterful.
  • When the Eagles scored, and then the Patriots immediately answered, and then the Eagles scored again almost immediately afterward without even a third down necessary, I completely lost all capacity for rational thought. Absolutely nothing made any sense whatsoever, and it kind of still doesn’t.
  • How I hope whoever it was that had to make that CGI rendering of Tommy B got fired this morning.
  • Maybe the next time the Patriots are in the Super Bowl, we should just put two minutes on the clock and spot the NFC team four points. That’s all that seems to matter anyway.
  • Here’s the bottom line: the narrative has always been that in order to beat the Patriots in the postseason, you have to play a perfect game for a full 60 minutes. And the Eagles did that. The playcalling was stellar, the execution was fantastic, and Doug Pederson has some big ol’ brass ones on him, I can tell you that. Really hard to be too upset over this if you’re a fan of football.
  • A few quick positives we can take away from this past weekend: Randy Moss is now an NFL Hall of Famer. He broke down in tears when he found out he made it, and it was awesome to see.
  • Also hard not to feel happy for Phil Basser, the 99 year old Eagles fan who finally got to see his team win one.
  • I think I’ve had just about enough of the NFC East.
  • What a game. What a season. Good for Philly. It’s always great to see a city get their first NFL Championship. We all know what a great feeling that is, and I hope they’re all enjoying it. If you’re an Eagles fan visiting Pats Pulpit this morning to gloat-read our articles, welcome. Feel free to look around. You’ve earned it. This is one of the best Mondays you will ever experience. I know; I’ve had five of them. And they never get old.
  • As this is my last Fan Note of the 2017 season, I’d like to take a minute to thank each and every one of you for reading my stuff. This now marks the end of my seventh year writing for Pats Pulpit, and each season has been an honor and a privilege. Losses like these make the next wins that much sweeter, and I know a ton of folks who would cherish the opportunity to lick their wounds after a Super Bowl loss. Take some time to mourn if you wish, but come back to the site often throughout the offseason. There are plenty of great things on the horizon, and the Patriots have another year of football coming in 2018. Maybe they’ll be back in it next year. Maybe they won’t. Maybe they’ll be terrible and finally fall off that cliff everyone has been talking about for the last eight years. Maybe they won’t. Whatever happens, remember this: it’s football. It’s fun. There are more important things in life. If it isn’t making you happy, it’s not worth your time. Writing for Pats Pulpit, and interacting with this fantastic community, is one of the main things that keeps me coming back to football year after year as the product diminishes, the hypocrisy becomes more prevalent, and the notion of an autumn Sunday spent pretty much anywhere else but in front of the TV becomes more and more appealing. But I have you guys, and you guys have me, and as long as Pats Pulpit can remain an oasis in the vast ocean of hate, lies, vitriol, insults, irrationality, and negativity that is The Internet, I’ll always have the opportunity to enjoy football for what it is: a game. A game I enjoy sharing with all of you.

Thanks so much for reading, everyone. Enjoy the offseason, congrats again to Philly, and once again - as always - Go Patriots.