(Editor’s Note: In December of 2013, BSMW presented this column on the role of luck in the NFL, and how all championship teams need it at some point. We thought it timely enough to run it again, with some parenthetical updates in the intro and a nice little addendum at the end. By the way, was anyone else hoping for Bill Belichick to “squeeze” the football atop the Lombardi Trophy and say, “Yup. That feels about right.”? Would have been fun.)

Due to today’s parity in the NFL, every team needs a certain amount of good fortune to win the Super Bowl.

For examples of what luck can bring, look no further than last season. Down in Carolina, the Patriots lost a game where the home team got the benefit of the doubt on what appeared to be pass interference on Rob Gronkowski in the end zone. In December in Foxboro, the home team got a pass interference call in their favor in the end zone (a touch foul on Josh Boyce), setting up the game-winning TD vs. the Browns.

With season-ending injuries to defensive stalwarts Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo, plus Sunday’s terrible knee injury to Gronk, the Patriots (could have used) a run of good luck to get to the podium (in early 2014).

For a look at how every team – no matter how deserving or how talented overall – needs the ball to bounce its way, see below, starting with the Patriots’ first Super Bowl run in early 2002.

2002 Super Bowl: New England 20, St. Louis 17

Most Fortunate Moment: Has to be the Tuck Rule, right? An obscure, now-abolished rule – albeit one with which Patriots fans had become familiar in 2001 after their Week Two game against the Jets – was implemented correctly to overturn an apparent Tom Brady fumble, thus allowing Adam Vinatieri to kick the football into the maw of a blizzard for the greatest field goal in playoff history.

Hey, Raiders fans? Twelve (now thirteen) years ago. Let it go. Plus, you got your Super Bowl appearance the very next year! Yay!

Honorable Mention: Pittsburgh’s special teams implosion in the AFC Champsionship game, allowing two TDs (punt return and blocked kick return); having Drew Bledsoe as a bench QB after Brady hurt his ankle in the first half of that game; the Super Bowl refs adapting a “let ’em play” attitude, with Pats DBs clutching and grabbing more Rams than a bunch of horny Scots.

2003 Super Bowl: Tampa Bay 48, Oakland 21

Most Fortunate Moment: Coach Jon Gruden got to play his previous team in the Super Bowl, reaping the benefits of new Oakland head coach Bill Callahan failing to make significant changes to the offense that Gruden had developed. Talk about an in-depth scouting report.

Honorable Mention: Raiders starting center Barret Robbins did not show up to practice Super Bowl week (he was barred from playing and later diagnosed with manic depression).

2004 Super Bowl: New England 32, Carolina 29

Most Fortunate Moment: After Carolina tied it at 29, John Kasay kicked off out-of-bounds, giving New England the ball at their own 40 with 1:08 left. Vinatieri kicked the game-winner as time ran out.

Honorable Mention: Panthers coach John Fox went for 2-point conversions twice in the fourth quarter and failed; in the divisional playoffs, normally sure-handed Titans receiver Drew Bennett dropped a pass that would have gotten Tennessee into field goal position to tie it; in the AFC Championship vs. Peyton Manning and the Colts, the refs allowed the Pats’ defensive backs to play with the type of aggression that would get penalized today (see Boyce, Josh vs. Cleveland); plus, it snowed in Foxboro.

2005 Super Bowl: New England 24, Philadelphia 21

Most Fortunate Moment: The failure of the Eagles to deal with shaken QB Donovan McNabb. Down by 10, Philly declined to hurry on offense, in part because McNabb was having trouble breathing after getting hit by Tedy Bruschi. (You can see an updated story on that here.)

Honorable Mention: Optimum health. As they had in 2003, many New England starters missed games due to injury, but most came back in time for the playoffs; more snow in Foxboro vs. the Colts.

Overall, it’s tough to associate pure luck with this team: one of the best of the decade and certainly one of the strongest, deepest squads in Patriots history.

2006 Super Bowl: Pittsburgh 21, Seattle 10

Most Fortunate Moment: Not having to play the Patriots in the playoffs. (All together now – trollin’, trollin’, trollin’, Pitts-buurgh!)

Honorable Mention: Some close officiating in the big game. This is not to say that Pittsburgh didn’t deserve to win (they appeared to be the better squad), but had some of those close calls gone the other way, Seattle would have been the lucky ones. In the divisional playoffs at Indianapolis, Jerome Bettis fumbled on the Colts’ two-yard line, paving the way for glory for Nick Harper on the fumble return, but Ben Roethlisberger made a diving, spinning tackle at Indy’s 42; Colts kicker/anti-hero Mike Vanderjagt missed a potential game-tying 47-yard field goal.

2007 Super Bowl: Indianapolis 29, Chicago 17

Most Fortunate Moment: Whatever switch went off in Peyton Manning’s head in the AFC Championship that had him looking for drive-sustaining first downs instead of long passes. The Patriots defense had to stay on the field forever and couldn’t protect their halftime lead.

Honorable Mention: The Patriots defense was also suffering from the flu, wearing them down further; NE receiver Reche Caldwell dropped an easy pass that would have at least led to a clock-killing first down; cornerback Ellis Hobbs got a questionable pass interference call in the end zone that led to a Colts score; Indy got to play Rex Grossman in the Super Bowl.

2008 Super Bowl: New York 17, New England 14

Most Fortunate Moment: We think we know what most fans would say, but we’ll point to the NFC Championship, specifically Brett Favre and his ill-advised pass-punt in overtime, an easy interception that led to the Giants’ game-winning field goal.

Honorable Mention: The Helmet Catch, of course; Eli Manning fumbled twice in the Super Bowl but lost neither; Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel failed to secure what could have been the game-sealing interception on New York’s final drive.

2009 Super Bowl: Pittsburgh 27, Arizona 23

Most Fortunate Moment: While Steelers defender James Harrison returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown, he got unintentional help from Cardinal Antrel Rolle who – stepping onto the edges of the sideline for a closer look – bumped into receiver Larry Fitzgerald, preventing Fitzgerald from making the tackle in time. (Keep an eye on number 11 running along the sideline in this clip.)

Honorable Mention: Roethlisberger bounced back from a concussion suffered during the final week of the regular season to beat the Chargers in the divisional round; in the AFC Championship, the QB fumbled twice but lost neither in a 24-19 win over the Jets.

2010 Super Bowl Winner: New Orleans 31, Indianapolis 17

Most Fortunate Moment: On a potential game-tying drive, Colts receiver Reggie Wayne came up short on his route, allowing Tracy Porter to cut in front of him for a pick-six.

Honorable Mention: During their on-sides kick – a gamble that at the time made investing in Blockbuster seem safe by comparison – Indy receiver Hank Baskett had the ball bounce off of him, giving the Saints possession to open the second half.

2011 Super Bowl: Green Bay 31, Pittsburgh 25

Most Fortunate Moment: Honest to God, I remember nothing about these playoffs, but apparently the Chicago Bears were down to their third-string QB (Caleb Hanie) in the NFC Championship game; Hanie threw an interception directly at Packers defensive lineman B. J. Raji, which is kind of like trying to skip a rock into the ocean and managing to hit an SUV.

Honorable Mention: Um, I dunno … health? Seriously, I got nothing. Help me out, here.

2012 Super Bowl: New York 21, New England 17

Most Fortunate Moment: An injury to regular San Francisco punt returner Ted Ginn, Jr. put Kyle Williams into the spotlight for the NFC Championship. That worked out great for New York, as Williams muffed one return and fumbled the other, leading to a regulation TD and the game-winning field goal in overtime.

Honorable Mention: Gronkowski getting hurt during the AFC Championship, making him less than 100 percent for the Super Bowl; New York fumbling three times in the big game and – again – losing nary a one.

2013 Super Bowl: Baltimore 34, San Francisco 31

Most Fortunate Moment: In the divisional playoff, Denver safety Rahim Moore got lost on Joe Flacco’s 70-yard pass, allowing the tying touchdown with 31 seconds left to play. Baltimore won in OT.

Honorable Mention: Gronkowski’s absence from the AFC Championship game; Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib’s injury during that game opening up the passing lanes for Flacco; terrible play-calling for the 49ers on their potential game-winning drive; on that drive, the refs allowed contact on a potential pass interference penalty in the end zone. (Something we’ve seen called of late.)

2014 Super Bowl: Seattle 43, Denver 8

Most Fortunate Moment: On the first snap of the game, Denver center Manny Ramirez shotgunned the football past Peyton Manning into the end zone for a what-the-heck-just-happened safety. Seattle’s D deserves credit for a huge game, but they literally didn’t have to do anything to get the lead. The Broncos’ lack of preparedness for the Seahawks’ 12th man set the tone for the night.

Honorable Mention: In the NFC title game, on a fourth-and-seven play, Niners defensive end Aldon Smith went offside, giving QB Russell Wilson a free play (as he told in this game story); Jermaine Kearse snatched Wilson’s pass in the end zone, giving Seattle a 20-17 lead on their way to a 23-17 win.

2015 Super Bowl: New England 28, Seattle 24

Most Fortunate Moment: Unlike what seems like the rest of the world, we don’t think the play call was the worst in Super Bowl history; however, the Seahawks’ decision to pass from the one-yard line gave rookie Patriots defensive back (and free drink recipient in New England for life) Malcolm Butler the chance to intercept the ball and seal the game. Also fortunate? According to scout QB Jimmy Garoppolo, Butler had gotten beaten on the same pass play during practice the previous week. In Butler’s own words, he “knew what was going to happen.”

Honorable Mention: The Patriots finally – finally! – had a mostly healthy roster, with Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Vince Wilfork and a full O-line contributing; speaking of health, the Seahawks’ secondary lost Jeremy Lane to injury and battled plenty of dings themselves.

When it came to good fortune, for most of the past two games, the Seahawks seemed destined to win this thing. From Green Bay’s inexplicable breakdown in the NFC Championship to Tom Brady’s first interception (I mean, really, Tom. Where? To whom?) to what would have been deemed the Juggle Catch, Seattle looked like SB repeaters for sure.

The Pats just needed a break. And they got it.

Thoughts regarding lucky moments on the big stage? Let us know in the comment space below.

You can reach Chris Warner at chris.warner@patriotsdaily.com or @cwarn89 on Twitter.

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48 thoughts on “With A Little Bit Of Luck (2015 Edition)

  1. Dumb decisions by coaches (and players) is part of all sports. Weren’t the Seahawks IN the Super Bowl at least partly because of a horrible job by Mike McCarthy in the NFC championship game?

    1. I have seen screen shots that show the WR target was wide open… Wilson overthrew the pass, the WR didn’t get there on time and Butler made a miraculous play.

      And people might say he was being classy and taking the high road, but Wilson correctly pointed after the game that the Seahawks passed in goal line situations many times this season.

      And as I’ve pointed out many times before, when Boston Sports media members and fans grouse about McDaniels’ play calling, no one, in the history of football, has ever said, “That was a bad play call”, after a successful play.

      None of these facts will stop trolls, for years to come, from shifting their troll line from “Haven’t won since Spygate” to “Got lucky against the Seahawks.” There is not a snowball’s chance in hell that we make it through the next calendar year without Shank writing those words and YAARM saying them on the air.

      1. The NFL Network (after Sanders and Co. going apoplectic over the call post-game) emphasized this morning that Butler made the play, and that was the bottom line. He deserves max credit. I hope the local mediots give it to him.

    2. So let me argue this a little differently. When Pete was in NE he rightfully earned the nickname California Clueless partially because he never understood offensive game plans (he actually left that to the woeful Ernie Zampese and his philosophy of fitting square pegs in round holes but that is a thread for another offseason day). Pete made 2 gambling decisions in this game. One worked the other didn’t. With 6 seconds left in the first half he should have taken the field goal. He was worried his team would not score enough points in the game so he gambled and went for it, scoring the touchdown. Based on the outcome of the play he will not be seconded guessed because as Mediablowhards correctly says below no one questions plays that work. But what if they had not scored the touchdown and instead the play was stopped at the 1 and time ran out or there was an int or the play took 6 seconds and then there was an incomplete. The story today would not be Seattle passing at the end of the game in a run situation because it would have been a two possession game and Seattle would have needed the ball back with 30 seconds left had they scored.

      Are bad decisions made in football games …absolutely …we still talk about 4th and 2 versus the Colts. Mike McCarthy should have been fired for how Green Bay gave away that game. The thing with Carroll is he makes a lot of boneheaded decisions. He is lucky that the personal in Seattle has been able to bail him out because they are so talented but if you live by the sword you die by it. Wilson threw that ball where he thought it would be caught, Butler was watching the play the whole time and used his body to force the Seattle receiver out of the way so he could get the ball. It was a great play by Butler, not a bad throw by Wilson but it was a horrible call by Carroll and staff.

      I make the following prediction. The luster is off the rose in Seattle. Lynch will no longer believe in Carroll and that will cause issues in the lockerroom. Remember Lynch was the guy closest to Harvin. Carroll had 2 teams quit on him inside of 3 years…the Jets did it inside of 10 games and the Pats did it by the beginning of 1999. Kraft was right to fire Carroll when he did. Revisionists like to think Bobby Grier was the total problem. Carroll lost the team because he did not understand how the pieces fit together, he was lousy at developing talent and it appears he had not discovered how to cheat by filling his players full of HGH.

      However the most damning criticism of Pete Carroll on his days in NE is that his game plans were inflexible and simplistic. Look at how the Pats beat Seattle. They knew Seattle would not adjust defensively so what did they do…they cleared out the middle of the field zone then sent a receiver through the open space time and time again…no adjustment. When they did adjust they played man on Gronkowski and Brady immediately found him. Seattle was lucky to be in that game. If Brady does not throw that INT in the first quarter this game is over by half time.

      1. You’re on fire this morning LTD! Testify my BSMW brother! I do find it hilarious that just a year ago, when the Seahawks were the newly crowned flavor of the month in the NFL, some of the media morons around here were actually questioning Kraft’s decision to fire Carroll at all. Last night’s coaching debacle should settle that question once and for all. And, this just in: Tom Brady is not Peyton Manning (he is, and always will be better), and Bill Belichick is not John Fox. No 43-8 beatdowns were forthcoming last night, were they? Having a coach that knows what he’s doing and a QB who doesn’t pee down his leg in big games makes a bit of a difference.

        1. Well said, weei morning show and sportshub afternoon show have both raised the question in the past on whether you would want Carroll or hall of fame bound Bill as your coach. Just dumb.

      2. In addition to the potential fallout from the decision last night, Seattle is also losing its Defensive Coordinator. More importantly, Wilson will not be on his rookie deal for much longer. I think a vastly under-reported matter regarding Seattle’s success is that they are paying a QB who is playing as if he’s in the top 5 of the league a 3rd round rookie contract. Wilson will get (and justly deserves, even with that INT) a Joe Flacco-esque contract in the near future, and that will spell the beginning of the end of the Seattle dynasty that was possibly prevented because of the game last night. Even though Felger will stick his head in the ground and proclaim the cap is crap, Seattle’s young players like Wilson, Sherman, etc… getting the big deals they deserve will have ripple effects throughout the roster in terms of being able to retain the level of talent they have.

        1. They’re also publicly questioning the play call at the 1-yard line, and the offensive coordinator is even criticizing the WR for not doing enough on the play to make the catch. That stuff does NOT happen in well-run, disciplined locker rooms. Then again, Pete Carroll is their head coach. They’ll be a contender for a few more years, but there’s always an expiration date for Pete’s act.

        2. Russell Wilson is playing as if he’s a top 5 QB? I hadn’t noticed. He’s obviously been good for them, but his play has been greatly aided by the presence of Lynch. If they don’t have a running game, I don’t see him or the team being successful. Right now I’d say he’s a top 10 QB. Top five? Not even close.

    3. “BUT.. TONY.. THAT’S THE ONLY REASON WHY THEY WON. WE SHOULD BE CREDITING SEATTLE MORE FOR THEIR COLLAPSE THAN THE PATRIOTS FOR WINNING IT. IT WAS ALL SEATTLE FAILING, HANDING THE PATRIOTS THE LOMBARDI”

      YARM.

  2. Not so random thoughts on the Media’s coverage of the Pats
    this year and through the Superbowl…. In no particular order:

    – I admit, we in NE are suspicious of the media and how it covers the Pats. So let me put them on notice, we expect an end to the silly Brady v Manning discussion. We expect an end to the Belichick with his small coaching staff of homegrown guys can’t do it all any more nonsense and instead for once let’s look at the long view of this team. 9 AFC conference appearances, 6 wins, 6 SB appearances, 4 wins…all in the last 15 years. We shall bask for a while and we expect a bunch of genuflecting at the alter of the Belichick and Brady.

    – Those who know me know I think Pete Carroll was
    the single worse Pats coach ever. He destroyed a superbowl team with his combination of a lack of offensive vision, no discipline and his absolutely piss poor game plans (having Ernie Zampese as his OC did not help matters either). There was a reason Jim Donaldson gave him the apt nickname California Clueless. I kept telling my daughters during this
    game…just wait…Seattle will make a boneheaded coaching decision. Sure enough.

    – Seriously there is a prop bet on the color of Gaterade
    dumped on the coaches…and that the media covered said bet. It was blue for those of you who did not see.

    – I don’t think people have reached the logical
    conclusion of the Ian Rapoport blog report: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000466783/article/more-details-on-the-investigation-of-patriots-deflated-footballs
    where he says only 1 football was 2lbs under, 3 more were about 1 lb under and 7 more were a tick under. The real scandal is what did Indy do on the sidelines to the ball they had in their possession. Otherwise we are being told to believe the one ball Indy intercepted was doctored more than the others and the Pats just got unlucky? Please…Indy did not intercept the outlier…they doctored the ball. See…making
    unsubstantiated claims is easy…the media should avoid trying it sometimes.

    – Speaking of deflategate…Bob Kraft is going to
    get his apology. Further, Roger Goodell made a bad political calculation and that may end up costing him his $44 mill a year gig.

    – Watching Tom Brady sit on the NFL Network set
    with Michael Irvin, Deion Sanders, and Marshall Faulk was brilliant. Brady was deferential…joking with both Sanders and Irvin about what they did to and in Sanders case for his Niners growing up. But then he complimented Faulk and Faulk was speechless. Faulk
    had made some outright ridiculous statements about deflategate and now he was forced to sit their quietly in the face of Brady’s coronation as the best ever.

    – I thought CSSNE’s post game coverage was pretty
    good. Ty Law and Troy Brown were in their element. Felger when he is not
    being a provocateur is quite good in the role of ringleader.

    1. Great post. Regarding Carroll: I told a few friends of mine before the game that in close games he tends to do some goofy things. I still, to this day, cannot believe he went for it on 4th and 2 from midfield against Texas in the 2005 BCS Championship game. Forget not having Reggie Bush on the field for that play. Going for it at all was just plain dumb. Texas — with a run-heavy offense — was down by five and would have had about 90 seconds to go 80 or 90 yards if Carroll had opted for the punt in that situation. Instead, he gave them a short field and JUST enough time to allow Vince Young to work his magic with his legs (the game winning TD came with 16 seconds left on the clock). Also, whenever USC was in a close game during the Carroll era, they seemed to come out on the short end more often than not (with the exception of the famous “Bush Push” game at South Bend during Charlie Weis’s first year as head coach.) Last night was classic Carroll — made no adjustments defensively that I could notice, and took the ball out of his best player’s hands with the game on the line in the final 30 seconds because he let BB and Patricia bait him into trying a pass play by going “heavy” with just 3 corners on the field. Check Mate, Belichick.
      Oh, and Al Michaels….take your “complicated legacy” comment and stick it. Talent, coaching, execution and, these days, a little bit of luck, wins championships. The Pats’ legacy is 100% secure — maybe mediots like you don’t think so, but that’s why you’re mediots, and guys like Belichick and Brady are NFL legends. Seriously, I like Al, but that comment sent me over the moon, especially coming right after Tafoya ambushed Kraft with a deflated footballs question on his way to the damn podium, and after having to listen to Collinsworth drone on with his idiocy for three-plus hours. NBC should be ashamed of themselves (but they’re the media, so they have no shame).

      1. Did this last night and can not recommend more. If you have 5.1 surround sound, mute the front speakers and woofer and just use the rear speakers. Just crowd noise, stadium announcer, and referees. Heard none of Michaels and Collinsworth and didn’t miss a thing.

      2. And, how long will the NBC team go with old man Dungy who’s now beyond irrelevant? Michaels and Collinsworth ready to hand Lombardi Hawks at end of third despite TB’s record of comebacks–finally showed a graph but blew a set up for that conclusion.

        Oh, and the Chevy Colorado described as Patriot “red”. Speaking of tomato cans…

    1. He’s been really defiant to the callers, both those lamenting his dismissal and those lauding it, all week. Who knows….

      1. Yeah, some folks asked Finn in his chat on Friday but his contract was not renewed.

        Just interesting, given their ratings, but also has to do with being “too” football centric.

        Must be coming when everyone comes back from Arizona.

        1. Too football centric? So they’re being punished for talking about the most popular team in the region, playing the most popular sport in America? I need a moment or three to process that…..

          1. Part of that stems from what I’ve gathered via Finn and when Ordway has spoke about it. I was gonna write about it when Bruce did a post on it being official, since it’s interesting (discussion point for us here, too). Part of it seems to also be, as both said, he pissed off the wrong folks @ CBS. Part of it is they get too “football geeky”. I have no clue beyond what I’ve read/heard from them.

  3. I didn’t sit down the entire 4th quarter. I screamed with joy when TB12 hit Minitron….I sank to my knees in agony and disbelief when Seattle Had the insane, mind blowing catch (is this happening AGAIN!?!) and then nearly cried tears of joy when Butler made the pick. Unreal emotions. Unreal Super Bowl. Never forget this night or this game.

  4. Looking for a local negative view? Don’t worry, old faithful Hector Longo has you covered.

    “BEND DON’T BREAK BARELY SURVIVES

    This season began with me thinking to myself – not another year of bend-don’t-break. Please.

    We heard from the Patriots’ propaganda that this season was different. We have playmakers now. The presence of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner will allow this football team to make plays.

    All season long teams vomited on themselves against the Pats and we were told it’s this new and improved defense.

    I listened, but deep down I knew we were all watching a mirage.

    Matt Patricia’s penchant to not go after anyone was going to bite this football team.

    It did in Green Bay, and it did again here last night, only to be somehow saved, first by Pete Carroll inexplicably calling a pass play on 2nd-and-goal late and second by rookie Malcolm Butler, who was only called upon at nickel corner because two others had failed before him.

    The defensive gameplan against the pass once again wreaked of weakness.

    Sit back and let Russell Wilson stand in the pocket until he finds a receiver or gets bored and decides to run for another first down.

    The Patriots never changed. They never adjusted. Rush four. Rush four. Rush four. Rush four.

    Sound familiar.

    Wilson simply adjusted and made mince-meat out of them.

    He was unhurried, unbothered and untested.

    Luckily, Butler was there, but honestly, if the pieces remain in place, somebody has to do something to make some changes in style.

    To beat great teams and great quarterbacks, you have to pressure them. Not just to win by hoping they make mistakes. But by beating them with your defense.

    The Patriots still haven’t done that to be a good team.”

    http://www.eagletribune.com/sports/national_sports/hector-longo-s-two-minute-drill/article_0ca56280-a2b4-5faf-a3cf-064fc87e2459.html?mode=jqm

    1. “Looking for a local negative view? Don’t worry, old faithful Hector Longo has you covered.”

      Nope. I wasn’t.

    2. Luongo is a sick, sick man. There’s no other explanation for him printing this garbage the day after the team just won the freakin’ Super Bowl.

  5. Stop and process this for a second, if you would. Down 14-0 vs Baltimore, TB12 brings us back. Down 28-14 vs Baltimore in the 4Q, he brings us back again. Down 24-14 in the 4Q in the Super Bowl, he does it again. Greatest post-season run ever.

    Take a breath and enjoy this moment, New England. We have the greatest QB to ever put on a pair of cleats. Bar none.

    1. Who knows what we’ll look like five or ten years from now. We might be the next Dallas Cowboys, right? You never know.

      Friend of mine from Detroit, who isn’t a Pats fan but now lives in the area, said it reminded him of what being a Redwings fan from 95-2008 was like.

  6. Any other market the headline on a lead column would be something like “Patriots Take Fourth Super Bowl.” What do we get from Shaughnessy? “Patriots … capture first Super Bowl in a decade.” As if the past ten years have been a failure. Am sure he doesn’t write the headlines, but that one – with it’s dig at the team – surely had his blessing.

  7. Prediction: Felger and Mazz will give us, for probably the first time in the history of their program an entire program being positive towards the Patriots. I don’t doubt that talk of the play call last night will occur, but they will give credit where credit is due and will, at least for one day, not crap all over the Patriots like they love to do. They’ve been demanding this championship for the past 5 years, they got it. And as stupid as they were with their treatment of deflate-gate, I think they are smart enough to know that today is not the day to crap all over the team.

    1. Oh don’t count DB & YARM out just yet. I’m sure we get at least 3 segments on how awful those Brady picks were and a couple of “how did the Pats even allow themselves to be in that position in the first place”….and of course, all of Tuesday will be did the Patriots RRREEEAALLLLY win the game or did Seattle lose it?

    2. In 2013, I believe they spent the show after the Sox won the World Series on how they were wrong and “happy” about it. Today’s show could be much the same. Don’t count out Felger, though, taking a victory lap and saying something like, “see, they spent the money and they won. Now, will they continue to do this or will they rest on the laurels of this championship another 10 years?”

      I also predict that at some point in the not to distant future we hear, “But Mike, they were built to win this year. They did what they were supposed to do. When have they ever won when they weren’t supposed to?”

  8. Starting in about a week: “The Patriots haven’t won a thing since the conclusion of Deflate-gate.”

  9. “If Malcolm Butler doesn’t make that interception, what are you?”

    -Felger, 6 minutes into the show.

    Umm…If David Tyree and/or Mario Manningham don’t make miraculous catches, what are you?

    1. Easy answer, you’re still the team that “won the 2014 season” over Denver. Because, you know, that’s EXACTLY what Felger said about the Broncos after they were smoked by the same Seattle team in last year’s Super Bowl: “They lost the Super Bowl, but they still won the 2013 season over the Patriots.” Would love to hear someone call him up and make that point–but he probably would cut them off.

  10. Oh Felger and Mazz……they just can’t help themselves. And kudos to the caller to called in an called them out on it. 2 hours in and it’s all “what if’s” and “what coulda beens” and just a steaming pile of…..crap.

  11. Mike Francessa’s show today was pure radio gold. Years of slyly calling the Pats cheaters but denying it to the callers and his deflategate commentary all came to a crash today. That asshat was having an epic meltdown about the Patriots winning. And he’s not alone. Many smug “analyst” all over the nation went in a rage. The hate was flowing. And even from some who i had thought were neutral were seething. Loved it. This is my favorite Patriots Super Bowl because of this..

  12. Today’s thoughts….let’s revisit story lines from earlier in the year that seem to have disappeared…feel free to add to my list as I am sure I am forgetting some:

    – Drafting of Garappolo means BB and Tom Brady have a strained relationship.
    – Jimmy G is the future and the Pats should explore trading Tom Brady.
    BB would trade Tom Brady if he could get the right package for him…he is that cold.
    – Derelle Revis is going through the motions and seems disinterested in playing for Bill Belichick especially when BB has him playing zone.
    – Brandon LaFell is another FA receiver who can’t learn the offense.
    – Trading Logan Mankins is the end of Bill Belichick as GM. Their O-Line will not recover. You cannot give up a talent like Mankins (who I think will retire this offseason) and expect the team to win.
    – GM Belichick let Coach Belichick down by not drafting a TE with the second round pick they used on Jimmy G.
    – Danny Amandola is a bust…maybe they can trade him.
    – After the Jets win (by 2 points) and the KC loss…they were just not a good team. They should be broken up. Perhaps it is time for a new GM or shudder to think a new HC.
    – Where in the World is Jonas Gray (okay I still want to know what happened as I think he is faster to the hole than Blount)?
    – How can NE with their personnel philosophy possibly compete with Denver who is “all in”?
    – Heck how can anyone compete with Denver and the greatest QB ever Peyton Manning?
    – Are the refs picking on Brandon Browner because of his reputation or is he just committing too many penalties?
    – If Jarod Mayo goes down what will the Patriots do at LB. He is their heart and soul. (quick prediction…Mayo takes a pay cut.)
    – Are the Patriots peaking too soon. They did not play well the last few games (seriously this was a topic on F&M).

  13. So on inside the NFL this evening we will learn that it was Ryan Grigson of the Colts who started the deflate-gate mess…The man was a scout on the 2001 Rams. Why do I think this will not get the coverage it deserves?

  14. Well, I’ll be the first to say what should be obvious.

    The time to transition to Jimmy G is RIGHT NOW. Brady devalued his contract, so you cut him right aw…

    Eh – I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t write it trying to be funny.

  15. Day 2 and Francessa is still pissed about the Seahawks “giving” the game to New England. Love it.

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