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It has taken me a fair amount of time to process the events that transpired in Houston, on the night of February 5th. If you are a fan, I’m sure that like me you have watched every manner of replay and reaction that’s been any where on TV. If you are a part of about 70% of the country that rooted against the Patriots, I’m sure you’ve done your best to move on by either “watching” a variety of music channels, or perhaps the MLB Network, as a way not thinking about it. So I won’t bore you with an attempt at an in depth analysis but rather share with you some of my stronger reactions to a rather improbable event.




You may remember from some of my previous submissions that a “goat rodeo” involves some sort of chaotic situations that usually requires several things to be accomplished simultaneously by a group of people, who likely have different agendas. Or a little like the last quarter and a half of Super Bowl LI. Let’s face it, for one team to come back from a 28-3 score, somebody has to surrender to the chaos, while somebody else keeps their wits about them. In other words, one is the goat, while the other is the Greatest Of All Time. It’s actually a phrase that I’m not crazy about because when you have been around as long as I have, you can pretty much guarantee that someone better will eventually come along. But regardless, I think you have to concede after this one,  that Tom Brady will be remembered as one of the elite few, capable of having played the game in any era.




Just like a marathon, it isn’t always good to be too far out in front too soon. As the results of the Falcons scoring on a “pick 6”, as well as quickly after the Blunt fumble (not to be confused with the “butt fumble”) their defense was on the field for over 40 minutes. When it came to crunch time,  they didn’t have anything left. It also caused them to abandoned man to man pass coverage for zone, and that’s when Brady started eating them up.




Outside of “The Catch” Atlanta had done an effective job of taking away the middle of the field, and thereby, minimizing Julian Edelman effectiveness. That’s why it was so important for others to step up such as Danny Amendola, (8/78, 1TD, 2pt conversion)  rookie WR Malcolm Mitchell who was the first rookie to catch a pass from Brady in any Super Bowl, as well as running back James White and his 3 TDs.  Speaking of White, it was not surprising that he would slip so effectively into the role perfected by Kevin Faulk, even to the point of scoring a 2 point conversion on the old direct snap play.




For the second Pats’ Super Bowl in a row, LB Dont’a Hightower is being credited with making the defensive play that lead directly to their victory. Against Seattle, he made a touchdown saving tackle against Marshawn Lynch when it appeared he was about to score. Many experts feel that play “spooked” the Seattle coaching staff into abandoning the run and instead trying the ill-conceived pass that is now part of football legend. Against the Falcons, it was his strip sack of quarterback Matt Ryan that led to a Pats recovery, a short field, an a momentum building touchdown. A free agent, keeping Hightower is an obvious priority for New England, and an obvious choice to wear the franchise tag.




Because there will always be those who will try to minimize the accomplishments of the Belichick/Brady Patriots, the booing of Roger Goodell by the fans as he handed over the Lombardi Trophy seemed appropriate…..The Edelman Catch serves as a reminder that the Pats could as easily be 7-0 in Super Bowls, as well as 0-7. Both records would be historic……I won’t be surprised if Stephen Gostkowski is not the placekicker next year. At the very least I would expect to see a variety of candidates brought in. He has just become too unreliable…..As much as I hope Martellus Bennett is back next year, I won’t be surprised if he’s not. Now that he has his ring, I expect he’ll want his money….Not that there was a need for any more emotion, but seeing Brady and his mother at the end of the game was very special, indeed.


About Jerry Ballgame

The personification of "old school", Jerry Ballgame was born in the shadow of Dr. Naismith's peach basket, and baptized in that "Dirty Water." Designated by his "Uncle" Ted, to keep an eye on things, he's here to tell everyone what his view is like from the Hub of the Universe.