On the night of Feb. 4th, 2018, the New England Patriots lost Super Bowl LII to the Philadelphia Eagles, 41-33.
Philadelphia led for the majority of the game, outscoring the eagles 22-12 in the first half. Following a strong performance in the third quarter and start of the fourth for the Patriots, they were able to take the lead 33 to 32 with just under ten minutes left in the game. The Eagles came roaring back and scored on their next drive. With around two minutes left to play, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady fumbled after a sacked by Brandon Graham. The Eagles recovered the loose ball and would score a field goal on the ensuing drive to seal the win.
The game marks the first Super Bowl win ever for the Eagles and the fourth loss in the Super Bowl for the Patriots, in addition to their five wins. The game contained strong performances from Brady, who broke the record for most yards thrown in the super bowl with 505 in addition to throwing for three touchdown passes. Eagles’ quarterback Nick Foles also performed well with 373 yards thrown, three touchdown passes, and one touchdown reception on a trick play.
Let it be known that you heard it here first, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are not about to fall out of contention for championships. Year after year they have played tough, intelligent football and remained competitive despite the growing number of hits and throws on their franchise player. The secret to this success has been the program’s commitment to replacing players who have run out of “usefulness,” adapting to their strengths, and learning on the fly in games.
One could argue that the Patriots have been the beneficiaries of a few lucky moments in their time as football dynasty, such as the Malcolm Butler interception against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX. But the counterargument to that would be to talk about a play such as the David Tyree catch when the New York Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl XLII. I believe this game contained a moment of misfortune for the Patriots when Graham stripped Brady of the football and essentially put the game out of reach for New England.
With every championship game, there is one time that gets a slight bright or experiences a bit of luck. But a team has to be prepared to take advantage of that gift when it comes there way. The Patriots’ actions have helped them stay ready for those moments so that when they get lucky they can capitalize on it. The fact of the matter is that the Patriots will one day lose their star quarterback of theirs to injury or age. No one alludes Father Time forever, and every athlete must eventually stop playing the game she or he loves. But until that happens and Brady really loses his ability to perform in big games, the Patriots will stay in contention and continue to get lucky part of the time.