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Thread: Patriots' invincibility took the biggest hit

  1. #1
    Head Coach Material Talon_60's Avatar
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    Cool Patriots' invincibility took the biggest hit


    providencejournal.com

    Bill Reynolds: Patriots' invincibility took the biggest hit

    So it ended, this football fantasy in shoulder pads.

    So it ended, this wonderful Patriots season, finishing in the worst possible way, as if defeat was snatched out of the jaws of victory.

    So it ended, this Patriots season, done in by the defense, the one that gave up 41 points to the Philadelphia Eagles.

    Who would have believed that would happen before the game? Who would have believed that a Bill Belichick defense would have unraveled like some old football left out in the rain, this coaching legend who first made his bones coaching defense?

    Who would have believed Sunday nightís game? Not the loss, but how the game played itself out.


    No one, thatís who.

    So what now?

    Thatís the question.

    Itís as though something got lost on Sunday night, more than just a football game, even if was the Super Bowl. It was the Patriotsí mystique, or at least part of it. Because what the Pats did, giving up 41 points to former backup quarterback Nick Foles, was to all but take the Patriot mystique and blow it up on national television.

    Belichick as defensive genius, able to turn backup quarterbacks into mush?

    Not Sunday night.

    Tom Brady, Superman in shoulder pads?

    Not Sunday night, even if he was very good, as usual.

    No, Sunday night was all about the Eagles, the team that all but grabbed destiny by the throat and upset the Patriots.

    And the Patriots?

    Already there are rumors, the biggest one being the football future of Rob Gronkowski, who may feel like heís already had too many concussions. Who knows. But take Gronk off this team next year and it becomes not as good. No big surprise. Gronk is so big, so talented, and such a weapon for Brady.

    The thereís Brady himself.

    Yes, he had a great season this year at age 40. Yes, heís become a fitness guru, and, yes, he now supposedly wants to play until heís 45. And, yes, he was as good as ever this season. But timeís an opponent that canít be beaten. The point is we are coming to the end of an incredible era here. Next year? The year after? One bad injury? Who knows. But itís coming, the relentless ticking of the clock, the inevitability, a future that is just a matter of when.

    In short, we are approaching the end of this amazing Patriotsí run, one we long ago became used to, to the point that we now have a generation of fans who never knew the bad times, a generation thatís only known cheers and Super Bowl appearances.

    Which is not to say that this is the symbolic start of the inevitable downturn. The Pats still are a team coached by Bill Belichick, who if heís not the best coach in the long history of the National Football League, heís certainly in the discussion. His two coordinators reportedly are off to head coaching jobs in the NFL, and thereís little doubt that things are starting to swirl around him, not the easiest thing to deal with when youíre 65 years old.

    In short, is this wonderful Patriots era starting to wind down?

    Or as the front page of the sports section on Mondayís Journal cried out in big black type: ďOUCH!,Ē complete with a subhead that said, ďEagles deny Pats sixth Super Bowl title.Ē

    Ouch, indeed.

    This comes at the end of a season in which we started to see cracks in that mystique.

    From the blistering story in ESPN: The Magazine that said Brady and Belichick had become like a bad marriage, to Belichick jettisoning Bradyís buddy Alex Guerrero from Gillette Stadium, to the supposedly frayed feeling between Belichick and owner Robert Kraft, to the feeling that fear and loathing were running around in the clubhouse, this place where dysfunction all but had its own locker.

    These were the Patriots on the eve of the playoffs, this case study of a team that had become all but unglued, the kind of stories that can pull teams apart, ones full of ego and perceived slights, the kind of stories that have the potential to blow up seasons.

    Yikes.

    In short, if even parts of this is true, itís amazing the Patriots got to the Super Bowl at all.

    But they did.

    And whether it was because of coaching, or character, or a mixture of both, they eventually found a way to make it work.

    For any season that ends in the Super Bowl is a season to cherish.

    So is this one.

    Great story, bad ending.
    "E-A-G-L-E-S ... EAGLES!"


  2. #2
    Oh, I expected both the Eagles to win and the Pats not to be invincible. First I knew from the last game that the Fins played against them and their series history, that Brady and the Pats losing were definitely an evincible phenomenon: more than likely in fact. Second, Ole Dug Pederson had been a backup QB under Shula and look here, he sure can emulate his results almost to a Tee. Of course not all of Shula's backup QB's became Super Bowl winning Head Coaches.

    Don Strock started ahead of Pederson in the backup role, but didn't gain phenomenal success coaching at F.I.U. For the complete story you have to write a book about the Eagles organization, their owner, management, etc.

    I still scratch my head over the Falcon's crash the year before. Their former O/C does great with Jimmy G in San Fran now so my guess is the Falcons' owner should have tried harder to retain him for last season, and things could have fell out differently.
    Last edited by Gundermerikan; 02-11-2018 at 05:28 PM.

  3. #3
    Head Coach Material Talon_60's Avatar
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    Oh, I expected both the Eagles to win and the Pats not to be invincible....
    Thnx for that comment.
    "E-A-G-L-E-S ... EAGLES!"


  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Talon_60 View Post
    Thnx for that comment.
    Sherman, anytime.

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