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FOOTBALL FREAK: What a Super Bowl!

['John Turner']
['John Turner']

Columnist calls criticism of Belichick unfair

Another NFL season has come to a close after a fantastic Super Bowl between the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots.  
For the third time in four years, the last play of the game decided the outcome. When the ball hit the ground in the Philadelphia end zone, the Eagles became Super Bowl champions!  
The Freak heard the roar across Summerside as the few Eagles’ fans (Dana, Reghan, Chris) were elated. However, a large number of anti-Patriots’ fans came out of the woodwork, and were loud and obnoxious when the football bounced on the ground.
New England fans were looking for whom to blame, but at the end of the day the Eagles just played better. Nick Foles outplayed Tom Brady throwing the ball, and made the catch and Brady didn’t. Those were huge plays!
Who would have thought it would come down to the catching abilities of the quarterbacks to determine the Super Bowl?
New England’s defence did not make many plays, and could have won the game with a stop on either of the fourth-down gambles by Eagles head coach Doug Pederson. The Freak didn’t agree with Pederson going for it at the end of the first half, but what a play design called the “Philly Special.”
Foles caught the touchdown pass from Trey Burton, who received the hand-off from Corey Clements, who took the direct snap from centre Jason Kelce. The play was executed to perfection, and the Patriots’ defence was not even in the same area code.
This play couldn’t be found on any of the Eagles’ game film, which the Patriots would have been scouring over the last two years of Pederson’s tenure in Philly.
The Eagles had been working on this play for a month, and were going to use it in the NFC Championship game, except it was a blowout. The Freak remembers seeing this play run last season by the Bears on a two-point conversion against the Vikings.  
In that game, wide receiver Cameron Meredith threw it to quarterback Matt Barkley, and this is where Pederson said he found the play. Both Burton and Meredith played some quarterback in college, which is interesting.
On the other hand, the Eagles’ defence didn’t do much either except making one more play than the Patriots’ defence – the huge strip sack late in the fourth quarter of Brady.
This one play crowned the Eagles as champs. The City of Philadelphia erupted, and the parade on Thursday, where they are expecting a crowd of five million people, shows the love they have for their Eagles.  
It will be an interesting off-season for Philly. Will they trade Foles while his stock is so high?  
There are a number of teams that can use a quality starting quarterback.
The Freak is shocked at how many of the Patriots’ fans, and Boston press, are making the excuse that Malcom Butler would have been the difference, and Coach Belichick should have played him. This is appalling considering what Belichick has done for this franchise.
Why would you ever doubt whom he plays, and doesn’t play?  
Doesn’t his track record of success speak for itself?  
Don’t you think he knows what he’s doing, regardless if it’s the Super Bowl or Week 1 of the season?  
Just because the Patriots lost, don’t start pointing the finger at Belichick. He knows what he’s doing. The reason New England has five rings is because of the guy in the hoodie, not a corner back like Malcom Butler!

McDaniels staying
Finally, just before press time, Patriots offensive co-ordinator Josh McDaniels decided to turn down the Indianapolis Colts’ head coaching job to stay with the Patriots, who put more money on the table and apparently offered him the head coaching job when Belichick steps down.  
This is great for the Patriots’ offence, and probably will be good for the Colts’ organization as well. The Belichick coaching tree has been a disaster, with a winning percentage of only 40 per cent.
The likes of McDaniel, Bill O’Brien, Eric Mangini, Romeo Crennel and now Matt Patricia and Mike Vrabel have been busts as head coaches. Definitely not the same success as the Bill Parcells and Bill Walsh coaching trees.  
Glad the Giants didn’t hire Patricia as their head coach after that defensive performance against the Eagles. Imagine playing them twice a season if he ended up in New York?  
The Freak is happy the Giants have Pat Shurmur, and good luck to Paul Power and the Detroit Lions with Patricia!
I hope everyone enjoyed the NFL season. See you all again in September, when we all believe our team has a chance to play in the big game!

John Turner is a Summerside school teacher and coaches youth football. His column appeared every Thursday during the NFL season. Feel free to e-mail questions and comments to ssidespartansfootball@yahoo.ca.

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