Super Bowl LII was a multi-faceted football game anyway you viewed it. Along with the Philadelphia Eagles fans and New England Patriots fans of the world, there were plenty who picked a side simply because they wanted to see the other team lose. The rowdy stereotype associated with Eagles fans pushed many to the New England side, while the mere thought of Tom Brady winning yet another Super Bowl gathered support for Philadelphia.
At the end of a very competitive game, the Eagles fans got their wish, giving Philadelphia its first-ever Super Bowl win by a final score of 41-33. While the Eagles played a great game, the argument could be made that several elements of the game just were not there for the Patriots.
Things began to go wrong for Tom Brady and the Patriots early in the game. With the score tied 3-3, a decent Patriots drive came up empty when kicker Stephen Gostowski missed a field goal. On their next drive, Tom Brady lost a major offensive target when wide receiver Brandin Cooks was taken out of the game with a head injury, remaining out for the rest of the game. Cooks received a devastating but legal hit from Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins that left him on the ground long after the play had been whistled dead.
Later on the same drive, Tom Brady dropped an easy lob pass thrown to him on a trick play by wide receiver Danny Amendola. The first half of Patriots play was also studded with drops from usually dependable players such as wide receiver Chris Hogan and tight end Rob Gronkowski. On defense, an interception by Duron Harmon was the only play that was even close to a highlight.
To make matters worse, the Eagles scored a touchdown on a trick play that looked very similar to the earlier play that Tom Brady botched as a receiver. The connection between Eagles tight end Trey Burton and quarterback Nick Foles proved much more successful than the earlier attempt between Amendola and Brady, and the teams went into halftime with the Eagles leading by a score of 22-12.
After a rather mediocre halftime show performance by Justin Timberlake, the Patriots got the ball to start the second half. Both teams looked even better in the second half, with the Patriots scoring more than once and cutting into the Eagles’ lead. However, the definitive play would come when Tom Brady would fumble the ball after being sacked by Philadelphia defensive lineman Brandon Graham. Though Brady would put together an impressive drive to try for the win, his efforts fell short and the Eagles walked away with their first Super Bowl victory.
Though he is considered to be one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play the game, time is slowly running out on Tom Brady. While he is still completing passes, it is the spectacular athletes on the receiving end that are the real heroes now. Give Brady a New York Jets or a Cleveland Browns offense to work with and the man’s career would end.
Five Super Bowl rings from his younger days could not stop the 40 year-old Patriots quarterback from being outgunned by an opposing quarterback who began the regular season as a backup. Arguments can be made about Brady’s 505 passing yards, but at the end of the day, the Patriots are in the same category as thirty other NFL teams: those that didn’t win the Super Bowl. While the Eagles have quite a future in both Nick Foles and injured starter Carson Wentz, the Super Bowl may very well have seen the last of the aging Tom Brady.