Patriots fans are asking the same question today: What went wrong? The Patriots lost the Super Bowl to the Eagles Sunday, 41-33. In Season Ticket's last podcast from Minneapolis, Chris Gasper (@CGasper) talks with the Boston Globe's Ben Volin about where the Patriots fell down (Hint: DEFENSE!) and what they need to do in the offseason to improve.
- Ben Volin (@benvolin), Senior NFL Writer, Boston Globe
On the Patriots biggest problem:
Ben Volin: Tom Brady was pretty magical on offense, and the defense was the opposite of magical. I wrote in today's paper - where were the second half adjustments? This is a team that always seems to figure it out at halftime and slows the other team down. The Eagles had the ball four times in the second half: touchdown, field goal, touchdown, field goal. The Patriots just didn't even pretend to stop the Eagles ...
They didn't play Malcolm Butler. That's obviously the story of the day. I don't know if he would have won them the game but I think his energy - and certainly his tackling ability - would have helped. The defensive tackling was atrocious yesterday, and you wonder if people's heads were in the game.
"The Patriots just didn't even pretend to stop the Eagles."Ben Volin
On the Eagles playing strengths:
Ben Volin: The Eagles really made their key plays. They executed on fourth and one. Give them the credit. They're the ones that executed the key plays. They made the key timely turnover strip sack. You know, if that doesn't happen maybe we're talking about a Patriots sixth Super Bowl today, and the legend of Tom Brady and all that. So I don't know if it was all about coaching, but (Eagles' Coach) Doug Pederson was on top of his game and I'm not sure that Bill Belichick and his staff were.
Chris Gasper: Yeah, it did come down to one defense making a play and Philadelphia made that play. I mean, this was a track meet.
On Coach Bill Belichick's future with the Patriots:
Chris Gasper: What do you think about Bill Belichick? Do you think there's any way that Bill decides he's not going to come back with all the turnover that you mentioned and now the possibility that maybe Rob Gronkowski is not coming back?
Ben Volin: My hunch is still no. Belichick does come back. I do think that if he were going to leave, that (Josh) McDaniels or maybe (Matt) Patricia would be sticking around and they'd have more of a succession plan.
On the bottom line of the Patriots now - and looking ahead:
Chris Gasper: This was one giant missed opportunity an opportunity to repeat as Super Bowl champions - an opportunity to win a sixth Super Bowl. And it all went by the board in painful and shocking fashion, with how inept the Patriots were on defense. The Patriots have a lot of questions to answer about their performance in Super Bowl 52 and about what the team is going to look like moving forward.
"The Patriots have a lot of questions to answer about their performance in Super Bowl 52 and about what the team is going to look like moving forward.."Chris Gasper