That was then: Celebrating what was

streeter88

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Somebody might have made this point already but:
  • 4 Feb: Super Bowl 52
  • 8-25 Feb: Winter Olympics (OC is on the 9th but some events start earlier)
  • 23 Feb: Red Sox vs Twins (1st ST game)
NO DAYS OFF.
 

garzooma

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Of course, in the Super Bowl, that game started with a Payton fumble and a Pats recovery. Eason missed Stanley Morgan on a slant that would have put them up 7-0, kicked a FG instead to go up 3-0, and then promptly got absolutely buried under a Chicago avalanche.
As I remember it, Eason hit Morgan in the numbers on that slant.
 

Hendu for Kutch

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Looking at the number of SB appearances by team, it's amazing how homogeneous it was for the 1st 26 Superbowls as opposed to the last 26. Following SB XXVI the leaderboard for those with >2 appearances was:
DAL 5
WAS 5
MIA 5
SF 4
OAK 4
MIN 4
PIT 4
DEN 4

Over the last 26 SBs the appearances leaderboard is:
NE 9
PIT 4
DEN 4
SEA 3
NYG 3
GB 3
DAL 3

It's almost as if one team is crowding out the others ;) though it's noteworthy that no NFC team (unaffected for appearances by the big bully) has more than 3.
It's funny, because the NFC has become the embodiment of parity just like the NFL wanted, but the AFC has remained an oligarchy.

To whit...

The last 5 Super Bowls are all either Brady or Manning
15 of the last 17 Super Bowls are either Brady, Manning, or Roethlisberger

So in the past 17 years, it's:

Brady - 8
Manning - 4
Roethlisberger - 3
Every other QB in the AFC over a 17 year span - 2

And if you go back further:

24 of the last 32 Super Bowls are either Brady, Manning, Roethlisberger, Elway, or Kelly
 

8slim

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Right you are. Re-watched it. Hit him right in the gut and Morgan didn't hang on. Absolutely perfect throw by Eason. Ugh.
I was looking at the play-by-play of SB XX recently and the Bears onslaught didn't really begin until the 2nd quarter. After the Franklin FG the Bears marched down the field to tie it 3-3. Pats then went 3-and-out, but on the next series the Bears punted after 4 plays. Pats then fumbled and the Bears kicked another FG making it 6-3. Then the Pats fumbled AGAIN and the Bears cashed in with a TD at the end of the 1st quarter... the rout was on at that point.

I remember being dumbfounded at the time, and feel the same way today, that a Pats team that threw the ball a total of 43 times in the previous three playoff games combined opened the SB with 6 straight pass attempts.
 

TheoShmeo

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Right you are. Re-watched it. Hit him right in the gut and Morgan didn't hang on. Absolutely perfect throw by Eason. Ugh.
And if memory serves, McMahon hit Pats LB Don Blackmon with a pass between the 5 and the 5 on Blackmon's jersey early in the game that looked like an easy pick, and the Bears scored a TD almost immediately thereafter.
 

Harry Hooper

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And if memory serves, McMahon hit Pats LB Don Blackmon with a pass between the 5 and the 5 on Blackmon's jersey early in the game that looked like an easy pick, and the Bears scored a TD almost immediately thereafter.

If memory serves, Blackmon was decked by a blatant clipping infraction that went uncalled and was the key play on the Bears first scoring drive.
 

Ralphwiggum

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It's right up there with the Super Bowl wins to me. The Patriots to me were about one day a year during the regular season when I got my dad to myself -- we woke up in the dark and got home when it was dark and froze our asses off on the metal benches at Sullivan Stadium and had pizza in between. I don't even remember the results most of the time.

But they weren't a team that you associated with the Super Bowl. That was for Green Bay, and Dallas and Pittsburgh. I loved the Super Bowl back then too, and it also was a special day. We'd get good snacks and start watching every pregame minute. But these were seperate things. There were the Patriots. And there was the Super Bowl. Both cool. But different. This amazing feeling when those two things entirely unexpectedly intersected was unforgettable.

Also, just the feeling of the entire region. I was in college and went up to visit friends in New Hampshire for the game. You couldn't go ten feet without a squish the fish sign. Spray painted sheets, liquor store signs, billboards. Kraft, Parcells, and ultimately the moment Vinatieri's kick went right down the pipe changed everything and you can never go back and I'd never want to. But that first feeling of "we're in the club" was really something.
This is so well put. It seemed like the Pats were barely even in the same league as the big name franchises with long traditions who dominated the NFL Films productions. The idea that the Pats could actually play in the Super Bowl was preposterous.
 

54thMA

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As I remember it, Eason hit Morgan in the numbers on that slant.
I thought Singletary got a hand in there to disrupt the pass.

Blackmon also had an easy interception slip through his hands on the second Bears drive after they fumbled on the first one, might have been a PIC 6 and they would have been up 10-0.

Not saying it would have mattered as they got demolished 46-10, but I wonder what the mindset would have been on both sidelines had it gone that way early.

Edit; TheoShmeo beat me to it on Blackmon.
 

dcmissle

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I thought Singletary got a hand in there to disrupt the pass.

Blackmon also had an easy interception slip through his hands on the second Bears drive after they fumbled on the first one, might have been a PIC 6 and they would have been up 10-0.

Not saying it would have mattered as they got demolished 46-10, but I wonder what the mindset would have been on both sidelines had it gone that way early.

Edit; TheoShmeo beat me to it on Blackmon.
I don’t know that I have ever seen such a mismatch in line play. Both lines. Everyone. In his very last game, John Hannah got his ass whipped.
 

catomatic

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This is so well put. It seemed like the Pats were barely even in the same league as the big name franchises with long traditions who dominated the NFL Films productions. The idea that the Pats could actually play in the Super Bowl was preposterous.
I remember seeing SB mugs and pennants that read "Patritos." The word at the time (SB runup) was that the manufacturers were based in Mexico and, not just for geographical reasons, were unfamiliar with the franchise.
 

ifmanis5

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If memory serves, Blackmon was decked by a blatant clipping infraction that went uncalled and was the key play on the Bears first scoring drive.
I vividly remember Blackmon in a local TV interview after the game. He was asked what the result of the SB meant to him. He said, every time I don't feel like hitting the weight room, I'll just say to myself "46-10, 46-10, 46-10..." He sounded angry yet broken at the same time. I'll never forget it. For all the success of the team recently, the shaken voices of so many losing players and coaches are always there for me. It makes celebrating what is all the sweeter.
 

trs

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I was looking at the play-by-play of SB XX recently and the Bears onslaught didn't really begin until the 2nd quarter. After the Franklin FG the Bears marched down the field to tie it 3-3. Pats then went 3-and-out, but on the next series the Bears punted after 4 plays. Pats then fumbled and the Bears kicked another FG making it 6-3. Then the Pats fumbled AGAIN and the Bears cashed in with a TD at the end of the 1st quarter... the rout was on at that point.

I remember being dumbfounded at the time, and feel the same way today, that a Pats team that threw the ball a total of 43 times in the previous three playoff games combined opened the SB with 6 straight pass attempts.
Given that Super Bowl was before I really was old enough to remember sporting events (though I remember some tee-shirt that said "Berry the Bears!"), I decided to poke around pro-football-reference.com and peruse the stats that year. I guess I never realized just HOW MUCH teams used to turn the ball over! I realize that the Patriots now are known for their ball security, but this year so far we have 12 turnovers and our opponents in those games have 18. Just about one per game or just below in our case. In 1985 the Patriots turned the ball over *42* times! Our opponents turned it over in those games *47* times! This means, and wait prepare for some speedy addition, there were 89 turnovers total over the course of 20 games in this case, so an average of nearly 5 total turnovers per game. On top of this the Patriots fumbled a total of 37 times (just regular season though) -- and our receivers and rushers had a total of 35 touchdowns combined: they fumbled more than they scored. I guess it makes more sense when you see teams with 250-300 yards total offense in a game yet with 27 points. In many cases teams were not driving 80 yards to score after some booming punt, they were covering a short field after the 5th turnover of the game!

Anyway -- I just thought this was interesting and despite our fast and hard-hitting the game has become, we are seeing around 1/3 the turnovers.
 

BaseballJones

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I know this isn't the tears thread, but Marrone's were exquisite as he's complaining about the first PI.
I honestly don't understand the whining. Bouye has both hands on Cooks and is pushing him and riding him out of bounds, with his head turned away so he's not looking at the ball. And he rides him for like 10-15 yards as the pass is on its way.

Right in front of the official.

In what world is that NOT pass interference? I get that it's not the most VIOLENT pass interference, but it's the very definition of pass interference.
 

dcmissle

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What is not to understand?

The coach is frustrated in the moment, and even if the call is legit, he is working the official to get the next call.
 

BaseballJones

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What is not to understand?

The coach is frustrated in the moment, and even if the call is legit, he is working the official to get the next call.
I'm sorry - I wasn't clear. I get it in the moment. But there's been a lot of hand-wringing after the fact. It's textbook PI.
 

uk_sox_fan

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I honestly don't understand the whining. Bouye has both hands on Cooks and is pushing him and riding him out of bounds, with his head turned away so he's not looking at the ball. And he rides him for like 10-15 yards as the pass is on its way.

Right in front of the official.

In what world is that NOT pass interference? I get that it's not the most VIOLENT pass interference, but it's the very definition of pass interference.
I think the fact that Romo, who's not afraid to speak his mind and criticize refs and certainly can't be accused of being a Patriots shill, called it obvious PI as soon as it happened speaks volumes.
 

DJnVa

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I think the fact that Romo, who's not afraid to speak his mind and criticize refs and certainly can't be accused of being a Patriots shill, called it obvious PI as soon as it happened speaks volumes.
Nantz, while play was going on, said it too. Romo, on replay, called it "obvious".

But, narrative.
 

DJnVa

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Listen closely at 7:10
Things I noticed/liked:
--BB gives Van Noy a high five, then clearly looks around for someone else--finds him, and high fives him--Malcolm Butler. (1:45)
--Duron Harmon, not only knowing Jax led the league in rushing, but how many yards per game they averaged. (1:55)
--Jags player saying "do your job". Child, please. (2:25)
--Secret weapon Corey Grant. "His 59 yards receiving IN THE FIRST HALF, are more than he had all season!" He ended the game with 59 yards receiving. (4:30-5:15)
--Jalen Ramsey complaining "In football, you can look and and lean". Bouye, AS IS OBVIOUS, didn't look. Multiple officials tell them exactly why that's not what happened, "He's crowding him out, two hands, not looking. You can't do that. It's the correct call." (8:45-9:30)
--Jax announcers not understanding why officials said Jack was down after strip (11:20)
--"Winning championships ain't easy. Let's go get it." (11:55)
--Telvin Smith deciding to shade towards Dwayne Allen and not Amendola on the DA's first TD. (16:45)
--McCourty greeting the offense after that TD: "Good drive. We got ya'll." (17:10)
--"Belichick ecstatic. Belichick going wild." (19:20)
--Patriots ran the exact same play against Jags in 2015--TD to Amendola. It's basically the same play they ran against Seattle in Super Bowl resulting in the Edelman TD. That time, the pass to the flat was open. (20:15)
--McCourty: "Four plays! Four plays and we're in the Super Bowl!" (21:20)
 
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DennyDoyle'sBoil

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But the Pats get ALL the calls!!!
Actually -- and I'm sure this won't be a popular opinion -- I think the Patriots have been a bit fortunate in big games on some pretty big calls. The two that come to mind are not calling PI on Butler late in the fourth quarter when he appeared to get a bit of the receiver's leg in Super Bowl 49 and the simultaneous facemasks in 51 that were uncalled but would have washed out the 10-yard holding penalty drawn by Long. We all watch this stuff with homer glasses on, and I'm sure we all could recount calls that didn't go our way -- the Champ Bailey run down or whatever -- to say "it evens out." I'm prepared, though, to accept that actually it might be 60/40.

My problem with all this is that it's the wrong question. Whether it's 60/40 or 40/60, or something else, those arguing that it's lopsided simply want to glide over the entire rest of the game and what happens. It's like, "well, of course Tom Brady is money in the fourth quarter, so we can discount that and simply draw some kind of causation analysis from the penalties." it's just flawed and not an accurate or honest way to answer the fundamental question -- "who deserved to win the game". There's no problem with debating penalty calls or even whether there have been more lucky than unlucky ones, but to make it the ultimate answer to the question you're purporting to address is just lazy and weak.
 

joe dokes

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One official explained it perfectly. The DB wasn't looking back *at the same time* he had his hands on Cooks.
That seemed to shut Ramsey up.
 

tims4wins

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Actually -- and I'm sure this won't be a popular opinion -- I think the Patriots have been a bit fortunate in big games on some pretty big calls. The two that come to mind are not calling PI on Butler late in the fourth quarter when he appeared to get a bit of the receiver's leg in Super Bowl 49 and the simultaneous facemasks in 51 that were uncalled but would have washed out the 10-yard holding penalty drawn by Long. We all watch this stuff with homer glasses on, and I'm sure we all could recount calls that didn't go our way -- the Champ Bailey run down or whatever -- to say "it evens out." I'm prepared, though, to accept that actually it might be 60/40.

My problem with all this is that it's the wrong question. Whether it's 60/40 or 40/60, or something else, those arguing that it's lopsided simply want to glide over the entire rest of the game and what happens. It's like, "well, of course Tom Brady is money in the fourth quarter, so we can discount that and simply draw some kind of causation analysis from the penalties." it's just flawed and not an accurate or honest way to answer the fundamental question -- "who deserved to win the game". There's no problem with debating penalty calls or even whether there have been more lucky than unlucky ones, but to make it the ultimate answer to the question you're purporting to address is just lazy and weak.
I still haven't seen a convincing view that Butler tripped the WR in 49... I think he did, it just wasn't clear from any replay
 

joe dokes

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Actually -- and I'm sure this won't be a popular opinion -- I think the Patriots have been a bit fortunate in big games on some pretty big calls. The two that come to mind are not calling PI on Butler late in the fourth quarter when he appeared to get a bit of the receiver's leg in Super Bowl 49 and the simultaneous facemasks in 51 that were uncalled but would have washed out the 10-yard holding penalty drawn by Long. We all watch this stuff with homer glasses on, and I'm sure we all could recount calls that didn't go our way -- the Champ Bailey run down or whatever -- to say "it evens out." I'm prepared, though, to accept that actually it might be 60/40.

My problem with all this is that it's the wrong question. Whether it's 60/40 or 40/60, or something else, those arguing that it's lopsided simply want to glide over the entire rest of the game and what happens. It's like, "well, of course Tom Brady is money in the fourth quarter, so we can discount that and simply draw some kind of causation analysis from the penalties." it's just flawed and not an accurate or honest way to answer the fundamental question -- "who deserved to win the game". There's no problem with debating penalty calls or even whether there have been more lucky than unlucky ones, but to make it the ultimate answer to the question you're purporting to address is just lazy and weak.
Patriots probably get the same amount of lucky (or whatever) calls as everyone else. But nobody gives a shit about the lucky calls that shitty teams get.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Patriots probably get the same amount of lucky (or whatever) calls as everyone else. But nobody gives a shit about the lucky calls that shitty teams get.
Over the long haul, for sure. My point is that I'm prepared to acknowledge that in a fairly small sample -- let's say "late round playoff games" -- you could have some small sample non-leveling. My problem is with Marone's declaration "you cost us 7." I mean, not that he said it -- that's what coaches do -- but with the entire premise behind it which is also the premise to all this post-game noise. Everyone always constructs the best possible case around a disputed event and then that becomes the lore to the point where it's not even questioned.

If there's no PI on the Cooks play, it's 2d and 10 from the 45 with plenty of time and time outs. After the catch, there was still work to be done. The bullshit that you hear -- that it was an emotional situation, or turned the tide, or whatever, it's just lazy and poor analysis and ultimately fundamentally unsound other than in a few very obvious final second situations.

To be sure, every fan is guilty of this. We kind of do it too, right? I mean, the Kearse catch in Super Bowl 49 goes down a lucky play that almost lost us the game. It's the Tyree play in our minds. But it wasn't. Not close. If that ball hits the turf, it's 2d and 10 from our 38 with 1:20 and two time outs left. Same with the Edelman catch in 51. It was an amazing play and so in our minds we want to make it super important as the lore of the game takes hold, but really, it hardly moved the needle in terms of win percentage and, if you take the rest of the game as evidence of the Patriots' ability to move the ball, if he doesn't catch it, it's second down, there's plenty of time, they have time outs. The very next play, they picked up 20 yards, so it's hardly like the Falcons would have had our number on second and ten.
 

Mystic Merlin

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After the 7 missed holds and Eli being on the grasp of a defender during the Tyree play, I will no shed no tears about a missed double facemask missed on a play where the LT tackled the RDE.
 

BaseballJones

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Actually -- and I'm sure this won't be a popular opinion -- I think the Patriots have been a bit fortunate in big games on some pretty big calls. The two that come to mind are not calling PI on Butler late in the fourth quarter when he appeared to get a bit of the receiver's leg in Super Bowl 49 and the simultaneous facemasks in 51 that were uncalled but would have washed out the 10-yard holding penalty drawn by Long. We all watch this stuff with homer glasses on, and I'm sure we all could recount calls that didn't go our way -- the Champ Bailey run down or whatever -- to say "it evens out." I'm prepared, though, to accept that actually it might be 60/40.

My problem with all this is that it's the wrong question. Whether it's 60/40 or 40/60, or something else, those arguing that it's lopsided simply want to glide over the entire rest of the game and what happens. It's like, "well, of course Tom Brady is money in the fourth quarter, so we can discount that and simply draw some kind of causation analysis from the penalties." it's just flawed and not an accurate or honest way to answer the fundamental question -- "who deserved to win the game". There's no problem with debating penalty calls or even whether there have been more lucky than unlucky ones, but to make it the ultimate answer to the question you're purporting to address is just lazy and weak.
Well, someone pointed out the Revis PI call that went against the Pats. Also the horrific and nonexistent PI penalty in the AFCCG they lost to the Colts. Also the non-holding call against the Giants on the Tyree play when two Patriots players were literally grabbed either by the throat or the jersey and yanked back (a Giants' OL actually admitted in an SI article that of course he held on for dear life). And then the fumble in SB 42 where Pierre Woods had possession on the ground and then Ahmad Bradshaw dove on him and wrestled it away. Woods had possession of the ball, so the moment Bradshaw touched him as he dove on him, it should have been a dead ball going to the Patriots. And the Champ Bailey play as you mention.

I mean, it MIGHT be 60/40 in the Pats' favor. It's almost certainly not EXACTLY 50/50. But it's close enough that nobody can rightly say that the Pats "get all the calls".
 

BuellMiller

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Things I noticed/liked:
--Patriots ran the exact same play against Jags in 2015--TD to Amendola. It's basically the same play they ran against Seattle in Super Bowl resulting in the Edelman TD. That time, the pass to the flat was open. (20:15)
Hopefully Cooks can learn to pivot and cut better on that route if/when they run it again. Maybe it just looked off, since Edelman would go clockwise, while Cooks counterclockwise. .
 

tims4wins

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It was really, really subtle. I can see why the officials missed it. And he was wide open since Butler fell and Wilson's pass was going to him.
Yeah I just watched it again a few times. I think the subtlety was key. Butler himself trips, and as he is falling to the ground he doesn't obviously just grab Lockette's foot or leg - he just kind of hits it, and the contact forces Lockette to trip. And because Lockette was wide open and still had the ball hit him in the hands, I can see why nothing was called. Whether it should have been a penalty, I don't know. Probably?

Edit: here is the play, at 1:42:15. I think one of the keys was that Lockette took another step or two before really stumbling so it looked like he tripped on his own

 

Jnai

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Hopefully Cooks can learn to pivot and cut better on that route if/when they run it again. Maybe it just looked off, since Edelman would go clockwise, while Cooks counterclockwise. .
I feel like that route is essentially a double move predicated on defending the short in across the field that Edelman constantly runs into the teeth of the defense, and that it's much harder to sell if you're a guy like Cooks who doesn't run the faked route very often.

It's why Cooks is so effective on that 10-15 yard comeback: the corner is defending a different space and so when Cooks hits the breaks and turns around for the ball it's very hard to be on him.
 

smokin joe wood

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I feel like that route is essentially a double move predicated on defending the short in across the field that Edelman constantly runs into the teeth of the defense, and that it's much harder to sell if you're a guy like Cooks who doesn't run the faked route very often.

It's why Cooks is so effective on that 10-15 yard comeback: the corner is defending a different space and so when Cooks hits the breaks and turns around for the ball it's very hard to be on him.
Cooks isn't as quick as Edelman and that route is really almost entirely about quickness and body control. Cooks is a really unique WR in that he isn't overly quick for a guy under 6'0". He doesn't really make anyone miss with the ball in his hands. It's a big reason why they stopped throwing the quick screens to him after giving him several chances with them in the preseason.

I asked a Saints staffer in preseason about Cooks' strengths/weaknesses. He said his ability to break in/out of routes at full speed was his biggest strength and quickness/getting anyone to miss in the open field were his biggest weaknesses. This has proven to be very true based on his usage with the Pats this season.
 

tims4wins

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Cooks isn't as quick as Edelman and that route is really almost entirely about quickness and body control. Cooks is a really unique WR in that he isn't overly quick for a guy under 6'0". He doesn't really make anyone miss with the ball in his hands. It's a big reason why they stopped throwing the quick screens to him after giving him several chances with them in the preseason.

I asked a Saints staffer in preseason about Cooks' strengths/weaknesses. He said his ability to break in/out of routes at full speed was his biggest strength and quickness/getting anyone to miss in the open field were his biggest weaknesses. This has proven to be very true based on his usage with the Pats this season.
This makes a ton of sense - it is so easy to see how the Pats envisioned him fitting in with Edelman and Gronk. Alas. Hopefully next year.