Celebrating What Is

cournoyer

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Here's another fun one from a game I recently watched.

Week 5, 2001. The Pats were 1-3, having beaten Indy in Brady's first start but having gotten clobbered down in Miami. Facing the Flutie-led Chargers. 4th quarter, 6 minutes to play, down 26-16. 4th and 2 from their own 48 yard line. Pats go for it, convert, eventually kick a FG on that drive, tie it on the next drive, win it in OT. If they hadn't picked up that first down, they probably fall to 1-4 and who the hell knows what happens.
This was my first pats game, I was 9. I think it was Brady's first home game too. I remember being SUPER bummed that Bledsoe wasn't playing haha little did I know. The other thing I remember was Flutie getting a huge standing ovation when he came out of the tunnel and was introduced, that was pretty cool. Also, clutch Vinatieri for sure
 

Ed Hillel

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Brady's first TD that game, I believe, as well. The pass to...Terry Glenn lol. That ball is going up for auction right now, I think.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I don’t have a problem with Madden’s opinion or his pivot. My problem with Madden’s opinion is that he did not understand risk reward or situational football or clock management.

Nor do I think it was understood how situationally aware Belichick was and how advanced his thinking was. He was way ahead of his time there. He was never going to risk three incomplete passes.

The only risk on that drive was turnover risk. Belichick was always in control with respect to forcing overtime. There was no downside to the team to running a play on first down to try to get some yards and staying in bounds. Literally all they needed was one play in bounds on first down to make the entire drive house money. And the cool part was it did not need to be a run.

The Rams were out of time outs. If the first play had been out of bounds or incomplete, the Patriots could have forced overtime with two kneel downs. Once the first play was positive and in bounds they let it run down to about 50 seconds and gave themselves another free play. At that point you try to get the first down. If you do you are still in business. If you don’t then you can still force overtime by kneeling down on third down and running the clock close enough to zero to punt out of bounds or throw out of bounds on fourth down and end the game.

Once they got the first down, the sequence starts again. Belichick can always force overtime on third down. We never really got to know how conservative or not Belichick was because they never got to third down until just before the kick.

That’s what Madden didn’t understand. And it is what most fans actually don’t understand either. He made his statement one play too early. If the Rams had had a time out or the first play was a clock stopping play it might have been a harder decision. But it never got to that point.

There was never a time where forcing OT was not in the Patriot’s control because of the way they managed it. We literally never got to see what they would have decided if the scenario that Madden envisioned — the threat of punting back to the Rams with bad field position — had developed.

Yes, there was turnover risk. But the risk reward of winning the game and only losing it by turnover was an easy one.
 

Rheal With Cheese

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I don’t have a problem with Madden’s opinion or his pivot. My problem with Madden’s opinion is that he did not understand risk reward or situational football or clock management.

Nor do I think it was understood how situationally aware Belichick was and how advanced his thinking was. He was way ahead of his time there. He was never going to risk three incomplete passes.

The only risk on that drive was turnover risk. Belichick was always in control with respect to forcing overtime. There was no downside to the team to running a play on first down to try to get some yards and staying in bounds. Literally all they needed was one play in bounds on first down to make the entire drive house money. And the cool part was it did not need to be a run.

The Rams were out of time outs. If the first play had been out of bounds or incomplete, the Patriots could have forced overtime with two kneel downs. Once the first play was positive and in bounds they let it run down to about 50 seconds and gave themselves another free play. At that point you try to get the first down. If you do you are still in business. If you don’t then you can still force overtime by kneeling down on third down and running the clock close enough to zero to punt out of bounds or throw out of bounds on fourth down and end the game.

Once they got the first down, the sequence starts again. Belichick can always force overtime on third down. We never really got to know how conservative or not Belichick was because they never got to third down until just before the kick.

That’s what Madden didn’t understand. And it is what most fans actually don’t understand either. He made his statement one play too early. If the Rams had had a time out or the first play was a clock stopping play it might have been a harder decision. But it never got to that point.

There was never a time where forcing OT was not in the Patriot’s control because of the way they managed it. We literally never got to see what they would have decided if the scenario that Madden envisioned — the threat of punting back to the Rams with bad field position — had developed.

Yes, there was turnover risk. But the risk reward of winning the game and only losing it by turnover was an easy one.
This is the truth 1000%

Martz and the Rams burning TWO timeouts in the first 10 minutes of the THIRD quarter (on drives resulting in Rams’ punts!) basically set up Belichick with all the leverage on that last drive. Martz historically was worse than early Andy Reid when it came to not protecting timeouts

StL then burned their final TO on the early 4th Q drive resulting in the Warner TD run. Sure they needed it but having one for the end game would have been huge

Instead , Hell even with 1:21 left Belichick could have gambled with two pass plays if needed and still nearly ended the 4th because the Rams had no TO’s

2 pass plays incomplete could burn say 11 seconds. A run and 40 seconds could have burned another 45. Meanin they’re punting with 25 -28 seconds. So you could punt it and give them the ball with 15-20 seconds (and no timeouts). Sure there’s risk there of punt return or a 20 seconds miracle Rams plays but when you weigh that risk against the reward that comes with a 45 yard drive in hurry up mode... well that chance to win a SB was a pretty nice reward.

Hell even if you turn it over (which is a risk in OT) , it’s much better to (1) do so and turn it over in the last minute of the fourth quarter when your opponent has no timeouts and a tick tick ticking clock looming then (2) turn it over on the first possession of OT when there’s no clock pressure on the opponent. I never understood the people that were like “play for overtime” - oh when the reward is the same but the risk is much much greater.
 

simplyeric

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I don’t have a problem with Madden’s opinion or his pivot. My problem with Madden’s opinion is that he did not understand risk reward or situational football or clock management.

Nor do I think it was understood how situationally aware Belichick was and how advanced his thinking was. He was way ahead of his time there. He was never going to risk three incomplete passes.

The only risk on that drive was turnover risk. Belichick was always in control with respect to forcing overtime. There was no downside to the team to running a play on first down to try to get some yards and staying in bounds. Literally all they needed was one play in bounds on first down to make the entire drive house money. And the cool part was it did not need to be a run.

The Rams were out of time outs. If the first play had been out of bounds or incomplete, the Patriots could have forced overtime with two kneel downs. Once the first play was positive and in bounds they let it run down to about 50 seconds and gave themselves another free play. At that point you try to get the first down. If you do you are still in business. If you don’t then you can still force overtime by kneeling down on third down and running the clock close enough to zero to punt out of bounds or throw out of bounds on fourth down and end the game.

Once they got the first down, the sequence starts again. Belichick can always force overtime on third down. We never really got to know how conservative or not Belichick was because they never got to third down until just before the kick.

That’s what Madden didn’t understand. And it is what most fans actually don’t understand either. He made his statement one play too early. If the Rams had had a time out or the first play was a clock stopping play it might have been a harder decision. But it never got to that point.

There was never a time where forcing OT was not in the Patriot’s control because of the way they managed it. We literally never got to see what they would have decided if the scenario that Madden envisioned — the threat of punting back to the Rams with bad field position — had developed.

Yes, there was turnover risk. But the risk reward of winning the game and only losing it by turnover was an easy one.
I am stupid but, why would the clock stopping on the first down play have made it less likely for the Pats to go for it?
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I am stupid but, why would the clock stopping on the first down play have made it less likely for the Pats to go for it?
Because they may have had to punt the ball back to the Rams if they had another clock stopping play like an incompletion or an out of bounds. By using almost 30 seconds on the first play they made it so they never had to worry about punting if they chose not to.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I don’t have a problem with Madden’s opinion or his pivot. My problem with Madden’s opinion is that he did not understand risk reward or situational football or clock management.

Nor do I think it was understood how situationally aware Belichick was and how advanced his thinking was. He was way ahead of his time there. He was never going to risk three incomplete passes.

The only risk on that drive was turnover risk. Belichick was always in control with respect to forcing overtime. There was no downside to the team to running a play on first down to try to get some yards and staying in bounds. Literally all they needed was one play in bounds on first down to make the entire drive house money. And the cool part was it did not need to be a run.

The Rams were out of time outs. If the first play had been out of bounds or incomplete, the Patriots could have forced overtime with two kneel downs. Once the first play was positive and in bounds they let it run down to about 50 seconds and gave themselves another free play. At that point you try to get the first down. If you do you are still in business. If you don’t then you can still force overtime by kneeling down on third down and running the clock close enough to zero to punt out of bounds or throw out of bounds on fourth down and end the game.

Once they got the first down, the sequence starts again. Belichick can always force overtime on third down. We never really got to know how conservative or not Belichick was because they never got to third down until just before the kick.

That’s what Madden didn’t understand. And it is what most fans actually don’t understand either. He made his statement one play too early. If the Rams had had a time out or the first play was a clock stopping play it might have been a harder decision. But it never got to that point.

There was never a time where forcing OT was not in the Patriot’s control because of the way they managed it. We literally never got to see what they would have decided if the scenario that Madden envisioned — the threat of punting back to the Rams with bad field position — had developed.

Yes, there was turnover risk. But the risk reward of winning the game and only losing it by turnover was an easy one.
Well put. The other thing, on the turnover risk, that Belichick knew then but Madden did not is that Tom Brady simply wasn't going to get intercepted there and knew the game situation. That seems blatantly obvious now that Tom Brady is universally regarded as the greatest QB ever, but he was a "backup" in many people's minds at that point in his career---but Belichick knew better and surely figured that into his risk calculation.

Think of it this way: would BB have run the same plays if Bledsoe were in the game? I'm not sure he would have. I agree he thought of the risk calculus and sequencing in the way described above AND he also knew he could bet on the judgment of his QB.
 

tims4wins

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Well put. The other thing, on the turnover risk, that Belichick knew then but Madden did not is that Tom Brady simply wasn't going to get intercepted there and knew the game situation. That seems blatantly obvious now that Tom Brady is universally regarded as the greatest QB ever, but he was a "backup" in many people's minds at that point in his career---but Belichick knew better and surely figured that into his risk calculation.

Think of it this way: would BB have run the same plays if Bledsoe were in the game? I'm not sure he would have. I agree he thought of the risk calculus and sequencing in the way described above AND he also knew he could bet on the judgment of his QB.
This is very true, but that said, he was fairly close to being strip sacked on the first play.
 

BaseballJones

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This is very true, but that said, he was fairly close to being strip sacked on the first play.
And, sadly, we know that Brady would be strip-sacked late in a Super Bowl 16 years later.... :-(

And in 9 Super Bowls, he has committed 7 turnovers. So yeah, it's not like he KNEW that Brady wouldn't commit a turnover. He obviously did feel the risk was worth it. And he was right, as it turned out.
 

PedroKsBambino

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This is very true, but that said, he was fairly close to being strip sacked on the first play.
Yes. But I think part of BB's mindset was "we are not as good as the Rams" and thus he knew the chance to win in regulation when he had possession was pretty valuable, rather than risking a coin-flip and their offense. So, yes---Brady could have turned it over. Some player could have made a bonehead play to stop the clock and help Rams get ball back. But he didn't view it as binary---run out clock or go for it---as Madden described it, BB did it play by play. Let's see if we can get some yards, and let's see if I can still ensure they don't get the ball back. Because I want to win now, and I am willing to take SOME risk of an unlikely turnover to try to do so.

If you visualize the moving win-expectancy numbers we now see regularly I think that is what he probably had in his head. If they go to OT what is it, 60-40 Rams based on talent? So he asks himself whether trying to pick up a few first downs helps that number---likely yes, even with a single-digit chance of a turnover. And the win probability went up with each first down so he kept doing it. And then the win expectancy reached 100%. But he was just following some combo of math and intuition all along.
 

tims4wins

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Yes. But I think part of BB's mindset was "we are not as good as the Rams" and thus he knew the chance to win in regulation when he had possession was pretty valuable, rather than risking a coin-flip and their offense. So, yes---Brady could have turned it over. Some player could have made a bonehead play to stop the clock and help Rams get ball back. But he didn't view it as binary---run out clock or go for it---as Madden described it, BB did it play by play. Let's see if we can get some yards, and let's see if I can still ensure they don't get the ball back. Because I want to win now, and I am willing to take SOME risk of an unlikely turnover to try to do so.

If you visualize the moving win-expectancy numbers we now see regularly I think that is what he probably had in his head. If they go to OT what is it, 60-40 Rams based on talent? So he asks himself whether trying to pick up a few first downs helps that number---likely yes, even with a single-digit chance of a turnover. And the win probability went up with each first down so he kept doing it. And then the win expectancy reached 100%. But he was just following some combo of math and intuition all along.
Completely agree with all this, for sure. Plus the D was absolutely cooked at that point. There was no way they were going to stop the Rams in OT. Just zero chance.

As long as they didn't turn the ball over, they had complete control of the situation. With 1:21 left, even with two incompletions they could have run the ball down to about 31 seconds left, and then the punt play takes a good 7-8 seconds, so the Rams would have had like 25 seconds at best with no timeouts. Of course the X factor in that scenario was Ken Walter - if the Pats were punting from their own 20, there was a decent chance the Rams woud have gotten the ball at midfield only needing one completion to get into FG range.
 

Ralphwiggum

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Was just going to add that the D was completely gassed which also had to have played a role in the decision. One drive to get in FG range for a chance to win, or hope to win a coin toss and then still have to execute a drive to win. Playing for OT really made little sense at the time.
 

BaseballJones

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What slays me is the complaints that the Pats stopped the Rams by knowing all their plays. I mean, um, the Rams gained 427 total yards (9 more than their per-game average that season), Warner threw for 365. He had the one pick to Law where he had Vrabel in his face, due to the Rams forgetting to block him - that wasn't exactly some incredibly exotic blitz. It was basically Hightower off the edge again and the Rams just didn't pick it up. Warner made a dumb pass. And then the interception thrown to Otis Smith was a godawful throw by Warner or a bad route run by Holt - like they weren't on the same page at all and the ball was just thrown right to Smith (upon re-watching it, Holt fell down and that threw the timing of the play off). The other turnover was a 15-yard completion to Proehl that a Pats' defender jarred loose with a helmet-leading tackle. No film on that. Just a football play. And of course the Warner fumble return by Tebucky Jones that would have sealed the game but didn't count because of McGinest holding Faulk.

The terrible turnovers are what cost the Rams, not the Patriots mythological filming of the Rams.
 

Jimbodandy

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And, sadly, we know that Brady would be strip-sacked late in a Super Bowl 16 years later.... :-(

And in 9 Super Bowls, he has committed 7 turnovers. So yeah, it's not like he KNEW that Brady wouldn't commit a turnover. He obviously did feel the risk was worth it. And he was right, as it turned out.
Fwiw, 9 turnovers in 7 super bowls with the absurd number of attempts and dropbacks against the best team the other conference has to offer just doesn't seem like a lot.

I agree with your point that it wasn't a given. Just kinda impressed again with the guy. That's like 2 shitloads of dropbacks for the guy, and just not a ton of mistakes.
 

BaseballJones

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Fwiw, 9 turnovers in 7 super bowls with the absurd number of attempts and dropbacks against the best team the other conference has to offer just doesn't seem like a lot.

I agree with your point that it wasn't a given. Just kinda impressed again with the guy. That's like 2 shitloads of dropbacks for the guy, and just not a ton of mistakes.
Yeah he's been great, don't get me wrong. But he's not immune to making a turnover in a big spot in the biggest games. He's had quite a few of them, actually.
 

Jimbodandy

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Yeah he's been great, don't get me wrong. But he's not immune to making a turnover in a big spot in the biggest games. He's had quite a few of them, actually.
Oh agreed. I guess my point is that he has been in way more of those spots historically than anyone else. Not trying to mitigate the mistakes. I think that my memory was that the number was over 1 TO per game.
 

BaseballJones

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This is his cumulative Super Bowl passing line:

16-27, 145, 1, 0
32-48, 354, 3, 1
22-33, 236, 2, 0
29-48, 266, 1, 0, 1 fumble
27-41, 276, 2, 1
37-50, 328, 4, 2
43-62, 466, 2, 1
28-48, 505, 3, 0, 1 fumble
21-35, 262, 0, 1
21-29, 201, 3, 0

276-421 (65.5%), 3,039 yds, 21 td, 6 int, 97.5 rating, 2 fumbles lost

So 8 turnovers, not 7 as I forgot one against the Giants in the Scottish Game.
 

Jimbodandy

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This is his cumulative Super Bowl passing line:

16-27, 145, 1, 0
32-48, 354, 3, 1
22-33, 236, 2, 0
29-48, 266, 1, 0, 1 fumble
27-41, 276, 2, 1
37-50, 328, 4, 2
43-62, 466, 2, 1
28-48, 505, 3, 0, 1 fumble
21-35, 262, 0, 1
21-29, 201, 3, 0

276-421 (65.5%), 3,039 yds, 21 td, 6 int, 97.5 rating, 2 fumbles lost

So 8 turnovers, not 7 as I forgot one against the Giants in the Scottish Game.
Pretty impressive numbers, considering that's against one of the top few teams in football every time.
 

tims4wins

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He lost a fumble in Eagles I as well. It was a botched snap inside the 5. Not sure if that counts as his fumble.

Honestly I think his worst ever turnover in the Super Bowl was the pick in the end zone vs. Carolina. Pats were up 21-16, 4th quarter, FG there is huge. He made a terrible decision. It was actually kind of similar to the first pick vs Seattle but the game situation was more important vs Carolina.
 
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He lost a fumble in Eagles I as well. It was a botched snap inside the 5. Not sure if that counts as his fumble.

Honestly I think his worst ever turnover in the Super Bowl was the pick in the end zone vs. Carolina. Pats were up 21-16, 4th quarter, FG there is huge. He made a terrible decision. It was actually kind of similar to the first pick vs Seattle but the game situation was more important vs Carolina.
Not quite as big a moment, but not dissimilar to his goal line INT in the second quarter of the AFCCG vs. the Chiefs in the 2018 playoffs. What a fucking choker.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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He lost a fumble in Eagles I as well. It was a botched snap inside the 5. Not sure if that counts as his fumble.

Honestly I think his worst ever turnover in the Super Bowl was the pick in the end zone vs. Carolina. Pats were up 21-16, 4th quarter, FG there is huge. He made a terrible decision. It was actually kind of similar to the first pick vs Seattle but the game situation was more important vs Carolina.
Yeah. Situationally that may have been the worst decision of his career.

For some reason that game doesn’t really get discussed enough. The next 7:48 of that game was absolutely bonkers and maybe the most thrilling half quarter in Super Bowl history.
 

Ralphwiggum

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Yeah. Situationally that may have been the worst decision of his career.

For some reason that game doesn’t really get discussed enough. The next 7:48 of that game was absolutely bonkers and maybe the most thrilling half quarter in Super Bowl history.
I have a framed copy of the Boston Globe from that one and I think the Bob Ryan headline is something like “perhaps the greatest Super Bowl ever played”. Not sure why it got lost other than they won a whole bunch more.
 

Euclis20

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NFL.com had that super bowl as the 10th best all-time, CBS had it 11th, USA Today had it 14th, ESPN had it 10th, ABC had it 10th. I think it's ranked pretty fairly now, but there have been a LOT of really great super bowls in the 17 years since that are above it or equal in pretty much all of the rankings: Giants/Pats, Steelers/Cardinals, Pats/Seahawks, Pats/Falcons, Eagles/Pats. Not to mention the other excellent super bowls that were just a few years earlier (Pats/Rams, Rams/Titans). Pats/Panthers was an all-time great super bowl when compared with the vast majority of the first 35 or so, but compared with the last 15-20, it's pretty average. It does suffer in retrospect partially because the Pats won a bunch more, and partially because the opponent was Jake Delhomme.
 

Jimbodandy

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NFL.com had that super bowl as the 10th best all-time, CBS had it 11th, USA Today had it 14th, ESPN had it 10th, ABC had it 10th. I think it's ranked pretty fairly now, but there have been a LOT of really great super bowls in the 17 years since that are above it or equal in pretty much all of the rankings: Giants/Pats, Steelers/Cardinals, Pats/Seahawks, Pats/Falcons, Eagles/Pats. Not to mention the other excellent super bowls that were just a few years earlier (Pats/Rams, Rams/Titans). Pats/Panthers was an all-time great super bowl when compared with the vast majority of the first 35 or so, but compared with the last 15-20, it's pretty average. It does suffer in retrospect partially because the Pats won a bunch more, and partially because the opponent was Jake Delhomme.
Agree with most of this. Super Bowls had a long run of non-competitiveness. But lately have been way more interesting.

Rams-Titans was a pretty meh game IMO until the very end. But many of the last 20 have been fantastic.
 

Hoya81

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Agree with most of this. Super Bowls had a long run of non-competitiveness. But lately have been way more interesting.

Rams-Titans was a pretty meh game IMO until the very end. But many of the last 20 have been fantastic.
There's arguably been only 2 since SB 36 that were pretty much decided going into the 4th quarter: The Bucs blowout of the Raiders in SB 37 and Seattle's manhandling of the Broncos in SB 48. Most of the rest weren't decided until well into the 4th.

Even though it didn't materialize, the possibility that Mahomes could pull off another comeback kept my interest through most of this year's game.
 

johnmd20

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There's arguably been only 2 since SB 36 that were pretty much decided going into the 4th quarter: The Bucs blowout of the Raiders in SB 37 and Seattle's manhandling of the Broncos in SB 48. Most of the rest weren't decided until well into the 4th.

Even though it didn't materialize, the possibility that Mahomes could pull off another comeback kept my interest through most of this year's game.
This is very true. It was 31-9 after the 3rd quarter, which is basically game over. But it definitely wasn't over. The Chiefs had come back too many times.
 

Euclis20

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Agree with most of this. Super Bowls had a long run of non-competitiveness. But lately have been way more interesting.

Rams-Titans was a pretty meh game IMO until the very end. But many of the last 20 have been fantastic.
This is fair, but it's hard to find a super bowl with a more exciting finish (not just the last play, either). The Titans kicked the game-tying field goal with 3 minutes left, followed by the Warner throwing a 73 yard TD pass on the very next play (following the kicks), then the final drive for the Titans was a 10 play, 87 yard drive. The penultimate play was a 17 yard old broken play by McNair on 3rd down (and for my money, the best play ever by a super bowl loser).

Of course, I don't remember a single play in that game other than what I've described here. So there's that.
 

Jimbodandy

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This is fair, but it's hard to find a super bowl with a more exciting finish (not just the last play, either). The Titans kicked the game-tying field goal with 3 minutes left, followed by the Warner throwing a 73 yard TD pass on the very next play (following the kicks), then the final drive for the Titans was a 10 play, 87 yard drive. The penultimate play was a 17 yard old broken play by McNair on 3rd down (and for my money, the best play ever by a super bowl loser).

Of course, I don't remember a single play in that game other than what I've described here. So there's that.
Yeah the last few minutes were fantastic.
We all remember it because finally the big game didn't suck. It only looks meh in comparison to some of the great ones since.
 

Dollar

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There's arguably been only 2 since SB 36 that were pretty much decided going into the 4th quarter: The Bucs blowout of the Raiders in SB 37 and Seattle's manhandling of the Broncos in SB 48.
True, but you could probably add Super Bowl 51 to this list.
 

soxhop411

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New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft just turned 80, but now he can cruise around in a drop-top like he's a billionaire half his age.

Meek Mill shared a video Monday of Bob's birthday surprise, in which Sixers partner Michael Rubin walked Kraft out of his house -- decked out in Pats gear -- to present him with his brand new blue Bentley ... something he apparently really desired.

Kraft seemed elated and mystified, asking, "How the fudge did you get it?" ... to which Rubin replied, "We have resources."
As you may know ... Robert, Meek, Jay and Michael are tight, having founded REFORM Alliance -- a criminal justice reform org -- together back in early 2019 along with a handful of other activists.
https://www.tmz.com/2021/06/07/robert-kraft-surprised-by-80th-bday-bentley-from-meek-mill-jay-z-michael-rubin/
Video is at the above link
 

tims4wins

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So I was recently watching the 1997 Wild Card game vs. Miami. Pats won 17-3. In that game, Coates had 4 catches. NBC flashed a graphic showing that he had tied Stanley Morgan for first all time in Patriots playoff history with 20 catches.

I can’t find the official all time Patriots playoff receptions list online, but on Pro Football Reference they do have a top all time list, and it shows no fewer than 8 Patriots with 50+ playoff receptions. Remarkable.
 

jmcc5400

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Man, the defense absolutely punished Marino in that game. The 96 and 97 playoff games were pretty fun. (I'm still not over the loss to the Steelers in 97)
 

tims4wins

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Man, the defense absolutely punished Marino in that game. The 96 and 97 playoff games were pretty fun. (I'm still not over the loss to the Steelers in 97)
Yeah I watched the whole thing. It was a ridiculously dominant performance. He went like 17-43 for 150, plus 2 picks including one for a TD, and a fumble.
 

jmcc5400

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Yeah I watched the whole thing. It was a ridiculously dominant performance. He went like 17-43 for 150, plus 2 picks including one for a TD, and a fumble.
They gave up what i remember to be almost an accidental touchdown to Pittsburgh the next week - Kordell Stewart looked like he was going out of bounds, the defense eased up and then he tightroped down the sideline another 30 or 40 yards for the touchdown. That was it. 3 points to Marino and 7 to the Steelers. And they would have had home field against Denver too in the AFCCG, if I remember it right.
 

tims4wins

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They gave up what i remember to be almost an accidental touchdown to Pittsburgh the next week - Kordell Stewart looked like he was going out of bounds, the defense eased up and then he tightroped down the sideline another 30 or 40 yards for the touchdown. That was it. 3 points to Marino and 7 to the Steelers. And they would have had home field against Denver too in the AFCCG, if I remember it right.
Correct, as Denver was a 12-4 wild card team.

The worst part of the Pittsburgh loss - well, there were a bunch actually - was losing a few weeks earlier at home to them and blowing the bye. The stupid Kevin Henry pick up 21-14 in the 4th.
 

BaseballJones

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Haha at the start of the game (the NE-Mia game T4W mentioned a few posts ago), when the Patriots' offense came on the field, Dick Enberg said that Bledsoe was one of five QBs in the league to complete at least 60% of his passes.

Wow, how times have changed.
 
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jmcc5400

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Correct, as Denver was a 12-4 wild card team.

The worst part of the Pittsburgh loss - well, there were a bunch actually - was losing a few weeks earlier at home to them and blowing the bye. The stupid Kevin Henry pick up 21-14 in the 4th.
I just rewatched the NFL Primetime recap (Berman: "It must be Hannukah!" after a Steve Israel pick. Cringe.) and had no recollection that Martin had been out and then Glenn and Coates left with injuries. Suffice to say that they weren't beating that Denver team (which always murdered them) even with home field the following week.

And @BaseballJones, that regular season loss to the Steelers featured an inexplicable Bledsoe pick-6 that cost the Pats home field in the AFC. It was an interception that Bledsoe eerily almost replicated in the 2001 AFC CG but the ball fluttered harmless to the turf. Because our luck had changed.
 

tims4wins

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I just rewatched the NFL Primetime recap (Berman: "It must be Hannukah!" after a Steve Israel pick. Cringe.) and had no recollection that Martin had been out and then Glenn and Coates left with injuries. Suffice to say that they weren't beating that Denver team (which always murdered them) even with home field the following week.

And @BaseballJones, that regular season loss to the Steelers featured an inexplicable Bledsoe pick-6 that cost the Pats home field in the AFC. It was an interception that Bledsoe eerily almost replicated in the 2001 AFC CG but the ball fluttered harmless to the turf. Because our luck had changed.
It wasn’t actually a pick 6 - IIRC the Steelers got called for a penalty on the return (they did bring it back for a TD though). But yes Drew threw the same fucking pass in the 2001 AFCCG.

And yes the Pats were so beat up in that divisional game. Even if they had somehow beaten Denver - which they wouldn’t have - they’d probably have gotten trounced by the Packers worse than the year before if they made it all the way to the Super Bowl.
 

SemperFidelisSox

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NFL Network celebrating Brady and the Patriots all day.

America’s Game 2001
Super Bowls LI and LV
Highlights and condensed games of all Super Bowl wins, a few other playoff games
 

tims4wins

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Just finished watching the '96 fog game. That was a hell of a lot of fun. They held Kordell to 0-10 passing. And of course they shut down Bettis, because they always did.

Career regular season vs. Pats: 4 games, 63 carries for 228 yards, 3.62 YPC
Career playoffs vs. Pats: 4 games, 64 carries for 182 yards, 2.84 YPC

For his career, he ran for 3.93 YPC in the regular season and 3.39 YPC in the playoffs. He was a vastly overrated player IMO. Personality and longevity were the reasons he made the HoF.
 

Bowhemian

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Just finished watching the '96 fog game. That was a hell of a lot of fun. They held Kordell to 0-10 passing. And of course they shut down Bettis, because they always did.

Career regular season vs. Pats: 4 games, 63 carries for 228 yards, 3.62 YPC
Career playoffs vs. Pats: 4 games, 64 carries for 182 yards, 2.84 YPC

For his career, he ran for 3.93 YPC in the regular season and 3.39 YPC in the playoffs. He was a vastly overrated player IMO. Personality and longevity were the reasons he made the HoF.
Completely agree on Bettis being overrated. Plus they seemed to give him the ball in every goal line situation, allowing him to accumulate a bunch of 1-2 yard touchdowns.
 

JohnnyTheBone

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"It's nice to have everybody here, and it's going to be a great celebration tonight. Thank you to all our fans, everyone back in Boston, New England... we love you. You've been with us all year, we're bringing this sucker HOME!" ~ Tom Brady
 

johnmd20

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The Ringer NFL show podcast just did a Pats/Falcons super bowl rewatchables. It was fantastic, highly recommend.