Kyle Van Noy: Patriots will use Super Bowl LII loss as motivation vs. Eagles

Kyle Van Noy: Patriots will use Super Bowl LII loss as motivation vs. Eagles

Super Bowl LII has been a popular topic in Boston and Philadelphia this week with the Patriots set to play the Eagles this weekend for the first time since that championship matchup to end the 2017 NFL season.

The Eagles triumphed in a shootout, beating the Patriots 41-33 to win their first Lombardi Trophy in team history. It was a huge opportunity missed from the Pats' perspective. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady set a Super Bowl record with 505 passing yards, and the offense's 33 points scored is the second-most New England has ever posted in nine Super Bowl appearances. 

Brady admitted Monday on WEEI that he hasn't yet gotten over that loss to the Eagles. Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy gave a similar reaction to Tom E. Curran during Tuesday's "Quick Slants" show on NBC Sports Boston.

"No, that one stings," Van Noy said.

When asked about a particular aspect of the game that stung, aside from the obvious fact the Eagles won, Van Noy said, "Defensively we couldn't stop anybody. It just pisses me off we lost that game."

Nothing that happens on the field Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field will change what occurred in that Super Bowl, but will the Patriots still use the defeat as motivation to bounce back from their only loss of the 2019 season with a statement win in Philadelphia?

"That game sucked. I wish I could take a bunch of plays back in that game. But that's good, we're going to use it as motivation," Van Noy admitted. "Why wouldn't you (use it as motivation)? It's the first time we've played them since (Super Bowl LII). We did in the preseason, but this one counts. We're excited for that."

Both the Patriots and Eagles have much to play for in Week 11. New England is protecting a one-game lead in the race for the AFC's No. 1 seed, while the Eagles are battling the Dallas Cowboys for the NFC East title. 

The Patriots clearly haven't forgotten about what happened at U.S. Bank Stadium in February 2018, and when you consider they've had two weeks to prepare for the Eagles following a Week 10 bye, there's a pretty strong chance New England will come out with great energy Sunday in Philly.

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Jarrett Stidham focused on improving during 2020 offseason, not Tom Brady's free agency

Jarrett Stidham focused on improving during 2020 offseason, not Tom Brady's free agency

Tom Brady is set to hit unrestricted free agency for the first time in his 20-year NFL career. While the legendary quarterback could return to the New England Patriots in 2020, there's no guarantee that he will.

If Brady doesn't return, the Patriots will have a number of ways to address the quarterback position. They could target a free agent passer in one of the strongest free agent quarterback classes ever. They could spend a draft pick on one in a strong 2020 quarterback draft class.

Or they could roll with the only other quarterback option they currently have on their roster, 2019 fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham.

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Stidham spent his rookie season backing up Brady and played a grand total of 15 snaps for the squad. He completed 2-of-4 passes for 14 yards and threw an interception in that action.

Despite his relative inexperience, Stidham would theoretically be the next man up at quarterback if Brady leaves. But moving forward, he isn't thinking a lot about Brady's impending free agency. He's more focused on what he can do to improve heading into his second year.

"Right now, I can't really think too much about [Brady's free agency]. I have to worry about what I need to do to prepare to enhance my game, to learn as much as I possibly can," Stidham said per ESPN's Mike Reiss. "That's the biggest thing I've focused on, making a big stride from Year 1 to Year 2."

That said, Stidham did call his time learning as Brady's backup "priceless" and said that Brady is "phenomenal" in all facets of the game.

"He's a phenomenal teammate, a phenomenal person, obviously a phenomenal player," Stidham said per Reiss. "There was just so much that I got to learn from him. He was obviously very open to me about stuff that he's thought about the game of football, and stuff like that. It was great. I can't speak highly enough of that guy."

Perhaps Stidham's time learning from Brady has served him well. After all, Patriots fans haven't seen him in action since Week 7 and Phil Perry reported that Stidham was impressing his teammates and coaches alike in late-December.

But is he ready to be a starter? The Patriots moves this offseason will surely tell us more about their thoughts on that.

The Patriots won't definitively know what Brady's plans are for 2020 until he puts pen to paper somewhere. In the interim, it's at least encouraging that Stidham is putting in the effort behind the scenes to improve after spending a year learning from Brady. 

Eminem name-drops Tom Brady on his just-released album

Eminem name-drops Tom Brady on his just-released album

Tom Brady appears to have a kindred spirit as his career continues into his 40s.

Eminem name-drops TB12 on the track "Premonition" off the album "Music To Be Murdered By" which he released on Friday.

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The song takes on the critics of the 47-year-old rapper from Detroit and compares the critiques he gets to ones leveled at LeBron James, 35, and the Patriots quarterback, who'll turn 43 in August. 

Here's part of the song:

“Revival flopped, came back and I scared the crap out ‘em

But Rolling Stone stars, I get two and a half outta

Five, and I’ll laugh out loud

‘Cause that’s what they gave BAD back in the day

Which actually made me not feel as bad now, ‘cause

If it happened to James

It can happen to Shady

They do the same [expletive] to Brady

More people hate me than love me

This game will make you go crazy.”

It's not Eminem's first reference to Brady in one of his songs. In 2013's "Baby", he raps, "I'm what Tom Brady is to the Patriots of rap. Not a man, a weapon."

And it's just the latest Brady reference that has dotted hip-hop and rap since the mid-2000s when the QB led the Pats to the second and third of the six Super Bowl titles they've won. Other artists such as Drake, Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane and Kanye West have referenced him as a symbol of excellence. 

Brady told the Boston Globe last year before the Super Bowl he appreciates it.

 “That’s always really cool,” Brady said. “I’m a big fan of so many of those guys. I have a lot of friends [in music] that I’ve met over the years that are fans of what we do, too...I think that mutual appreciation or admiration is really flattering.”