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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

3-4-24 PDF
March 4, 2024
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February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Patriots Fall to Eagles

Super Bowl LII was one to remember. Following last year’s Super Bowl, it had to live up to a lot of hype. The New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles met previously in 2005 during Super Bowl XXXIX. Record wise, these two were the best teams this season. 
In many ways, these teams were mirror images of each other, just at different stages of their runs. They both boasted MVP candidates—Tom Brady, the eventual League MVP, and Carson Wentz, who was unable to play in this game due to injury. The Eagles, who just won their first Super Bowl, have a second-year head coach, Doug Pederson, and Bill Belichick was in his second year with the Patriots when he won his first Super Bowl. The Patriots were going up against an impending dynasty for Belichick’s first win, and the Eagles were going up against the Patriots’ established dynasty in Super Bowl LII. This game had innumerable narratives, but the entire game is something that everyone will remember.
The Eagles and Patriots both started off slow, but the Eagles eventually got hot first with the help of some big plays. A touchdown catch by Alshon Jeffery gave the Eagles an early lead, although they could not convert on the extra point. After Stephen Gostkowski missed a field goal due to a mishandled snap, the Eagles built on their lead on a touchdown run by former Patriot LeGarrette Blount in the second quarter. Despite a second quarter injury to Brandin Cooks, New England followed that up with a field goal by Gostkowski and a touchdown run by James White, bringing the score to 15-12. The Patriots looked to regain their form, but just before the half ended, the Eagles scored a touchdown on a trick play, caught by quarterback Nick Foles. The score heading into the half was 22-12, leaving the Patriots to make their well-known second half adjustments.
Since they deferred the kick in the first half, the Patriots received it to start the second. The Patriots marched down the field, with Brady finding Rob Gronkowski easily. The drive ended with a touchdown pass to Gronkowski, making the score 22-19. The Eagles responded with a touchdown of their own on a 22-yard pass to Corey Clement. The play drew some controversy, as once again the issue of “what constitutes a catch” came into play. After review, it was called a catch and Philadelphia once again was up by 10 points. Brady got New England downfield again, and hit Chris Hogan for a 26-yard touchdown pass, once again making it a three-point game. On the next Eagles possession of the ball, the Patriots were able to force a field goal. Once New England got the ball back, a five-minute drive ended with a touch down pass to Gronkowski again, giving the Patriots their first lead of the night at 33-32.
Unfortunately for New England, they could not contain the Eagles’ offense. Philadelphia scored another touchdown, which was also reviewed due to completion controversy. The pass was confirmed, and the Eagles took a six-point lead after a missed two-point conversion attempt. The bad news for Philadelphia was that they left over two minutes on the clock, which was more than enough time for Brady to orchestrate a comeback. However, Philadelphia turned in the play of the game, strip-sacking Brady and recovering the fumble inside New England territory. Philadelphia played it safe and ran the ball three times and then kicked the field goal, increasing their lead to eight. In the process, the Eagles made Belichick use all of his timeouts.
After the kick, the Patriots were left with 1:05 on the clock, no time outs, and needing a touchdown with a two-point conversion. The Patriots got the ball to mid-field, but relied on a Hail Mary pass that fell incomplete as time expired. Philadelphia took home their first Super Bowl title against the team that beat them 13 years prior. Foles won Super Bowl MVP as the City of Brotherly Love celebrated in destructive fashion.
The difference in this game was New England’s inability to make stops. We can question Belichick’s decision to bench Malcolm Butler for the entire game, but the fact is that the Patriots had no pass rush, and Foles had plenty of time to allow his receivers to make themselves open.
While much of New England’s organization will be left in disarray after Matt Patricia and Josh McDaniels both leave their coordinator jobs for head coaching positions, New England is still a talented team that will remain a player in the AFC. While this may seem like an end to a dynasty, as long as Brady and Belichick are on New England’s sideline, the team will find a way to make it back to the big game.