Curran's Best and Worst: Super Bowl 52
Tom E. Curran's breaks down the bests and worsts from the Patriots' 41-33 loss to the Eagles in Super Bowl 52.
GIL-MORE OF THAT
Terrific tackle by Stephon Gilmore on the first chance he had during the day, upending Alshon Jeffery
WHY YOU’RE NOT LIKE GRONK
On the Eagles' first rush attempt, Kyle Van Noy walked through a block by Eagles tight end Zach Ertz to haul down LeGarrette Blount for a 3-yard loss.
HELMET CATCH 2.0
Torrey Smith hauled in a third-and-12 throw on the Eagles first drive and finished off the grab by pinning it against his helmet.
VENGEANCE WAS HIS
Eric Rowe, a former Eagle, who was beaten on the Eagles first third-down conversion, came up with a big PBU in the end zone to make the Eagles settle for a field goal on their first drive.
A funky formation led to a wide-open Chris Hogan who picked up 28 yards on the Patriots first drive.
Tom Brady tried to come back fast to Rob Gronkowski on a slant after looking to the outside and finding nothing but the third-and-goal pass was broken up and could have been picked. New England settled for three.
VENGEANCE WAS ALSO HIS
LeGarrette Blount got loose in the secondary for a 36-yard run on his first carry of the game.
Alshon Jeffery made a terrific catch in the back of the end zone with 2:34 left in the first quarter to put Philly up 9-3. Big throw by Nick Foles as well.
A well-orchestrated reverse to Brandin Cooks left the wideout with two choices – run through or make him miss. Instead, he tried to hurdle Rodney McLeod and he got caught and thrown down on third-and-goal. Then Stephen Gostkowski – after a reload following a bad Joe Cardona snap – doinked it off the left upright.
DOUBLE REVERSAL OF FORTUNE
The Patriots set up a gorgeous gadget play for Tom Brady downfield on a throw from Danny Amendola but the quarterback couldn’t come up with a well-thrown pass.
A fourth-and-5 throw to Gronk, who was singled up with corner Jalen Mills, went incomplete with 11:53 left in the half. It was a well-defended play even though there was significant contact.
BLOUNT FORCE DRAMA
LeGarrette Blount – who finished the first half with 58 yards on four carries – peeled off a 21-yard touchdown run. The Eagles were absolutely ripping off yards against New England when they opted to run.
JAMES WHITE, BETTER THAN AVERAGE
James White had 55 yards from scrimmage in the first half including a 26-yard, hard-charging touchdown run that narrowed the score to 15-12.
Jordan Richards – who is neither a very instinctive nor fluid football player – got singled up on Corey Clement on a third-and-4 right around the two-minute warning. Richards was sliced, diced, pureed and made to look silly as Clement got 55 key yards.
FOLES ME ONCE, SHAME ON YOU
Nick Foles leaked out for a fourth-and-goal touchdown reception just before halftime – a brilliant call by coach Doug Pederson that gave the Eagles a 22-12 lead at the break.
404 NO ERROR
Tom Brady had reached 404 yards passing with 3:55 left in the third quarter after his deep touchdown pass to Chris Hogan made it 29-26.
HAVE SOME GRONK
After a one-catch first half, Rob Gronkowski caught four passes for 68 yards and a touchdown on the first drive of the second half.
JUST GIVE IT TO HIM
Eagles running back Corey Clement appeared to double-catch a 22-yard throw from Nick Foles as he reached the back of the end zone. The ruling on the field was a touchdown and – even though it looked like it wouldn’t hold up through replay, it did.
NOTHING BUT FLOWERS
On a key third-down play at the start of the fourth quarter, Marquis Flowers sniffed out a screen to Nelson Agholor and dropped him for a loss forcing the Eagles to settle for a field goal.