Rob Gronkowski

Did the Eagles just end the Patriots' dynasty?

Did the Eagles just end the Patriots' dynasty?

As the Delaware Valley basks in the glow of getting that King Kong-sized monkey extracted from their backs, one of the added perks of the Eagles' Super Bowl win is who it came against. That's right, The Hoodie, Tom Terrific and the Evil Empire.

Revenge is a dish best served cold and Doug Pederson and Nick Foles were cooler than the sub-zero temperatures outside U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. But did the Eagles' win spell the end of the Patriots' dynasty? Let's explore:

Tom Brady
Let's be real clear, this is not about performance. Brady won NFL MVP at the age of 40. What he's doing at his age in his sport is unheard of. The question is: How much longer does he want to do this?

Brady is fanatical about everything from his diet to proper sleep, conditioning with his personal trainer, etc. But at what point does he say to himself, 'I'm good, there's nothing left to prove?' Five rings, the G.O.A.T. title and Gisele money? Last but not least, the physical beatings he's endured through 18 NFL seasons.

It's been perhaps the greatest player-coach-owner run in sports history. But are there cracks? ESPN had a detailed story prior to the playoffs chronicling a rift between the trifecta. Ego has brought down many a high-ranking man or conglomeration. Think Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson. Belichick, like Brady, is widely considered the best who's ever done it. But at 65 years old and having won seven rings as both a head coach and assistant, how much more grind does he have left in him?   

Matt Patricia out
Although Josh McDaniels had a change of heart and will be staying on as the offensive coordinator and not taking the Colts' head-coaching gig, defensive coordinator Matt Patricia has accepted the Lions job. Belichick has lost many an assistant over the years and did just fine, but one additional move needs to be made.

Gronk done?
Rob Gronkowski did not shoot down a report after the Super Bowl that he is considering retiring. Gronk is only 28 and when on the field, he is as dominant at his position as anyone in football. But keep in mind, he has had nine reported surgeries since his last season in college. Four on his forearm, three on his back, one knee and one ankle. Not to mention the concussion he suffered in the AFC Championship game this season. He too has won rings and made a lot of dough. Stepping away may not be that far-fetched.

Free agency
Here are some of the key contributors to this year's Patriots team that will be hitting the free agent market: CB Malcolm Butler, OT Nate Solder, WR Danny Amendola, RB Dion Lewis, DT Ricky Jean-Francois, LB Marquis Flowers and LB James Harrison.

What does all this mean?
Look, if we've learned one thing about Brady and Belichick, they are like the villain in a horror flick, they can be shot, stabbed, run-over, thrown in a shallow grave, but you better make sure they're dead. If not, don't count them out.

But wouldn't it be sweet if the Eagles were the ones to end the dynasty?

Rob Gronkowski says home burglarized; Malcolm Butler talks benching

USA Today Images

Rob Gronkowski says home burglarized; Malcolm Butler talks benching

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski can be heard on a 911 call calmly telling a dispatcher that his home was burglarized while he was at the Super Bowl.

Police in Foxborough, Massachusetts, released a portion of the call on Tuesday.

He can be heard telling the dispatcher on Monday: "This is Rob Gronkowski calling, and while I was gone my whole house got robbed, while on the Super Bowl trip. And I just got back."

A police report says someone broke a window to get in. In a recording of a call between responding officers and dispatch, a dispatcher says "multiple safes and possible guns" were taken.

The police report redacted all details of what was taken.

The report says Gronkowski lives with two roommates, both of whom reported items stolen.

Patriots: Butler denies off-field misconduct
BOSTON -- Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler says he didn't miss a curfew or do anything off the field that would have hurt New England's chances of winning the Super Bowl before he was benched for the game.

In a statement released Tuesday on Twitter and Instagram, Butler says reports of misconduct off the field are "ridiculous."

He says he visited with family every night while in Minneapolis. He adds, "I never attended any concert, missed curfew, or participated in any of the ridiculous activities being reported. They are not only false, but hurtful to me and my family."

Before the Super Bowl, Butler was on the field for 98 percent of the Patriots' defensive snaps and started 17 of their 18 games. But he made it on the field for only one special teams play on Sunday as the Philadelphia Eagles racked up 538 yards of offense, including 374 yards passing, and won 41-33. Patriots coach Bill Belichick has not explained why Butler was benched (see full story).

Patriots: McDaniels not going to Colts
INDIANAPOLIS -- Josh McDaniels has backed out of a deal to become the Indianapolis' Colts new coach, a decision that shocked the franchise hours after it announced his hiring.

The Colts confirmed McDaniels' decision in a statement Tuesday night after reports emerged that the Patriots' offensive coordinator had opted to stay in New England with coach Bill Belichick.

McDaniels had agreed to contract terms with the Colts to replace the fired Chuck Pagano. A news conference had been scheduled for Wednesday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Colts said McDaniels informed them Tuesday evening that he would not sign the deal (see full story).

Panthers: Interim GM put on paid leave
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The interim general manager of the Carolina Panthers has been placed on paid administrative leave after his ex-wife accused him of harassment.

Team spokesman Ryan Anderson confirmed on Tuesday that interim general manager Marty Hurney is under investigation by the NFL under its personal conduct policy.

The Panthers brought back Hurney to be their interim general manager in July after then-owner Jerry Richardson fired Dave Gettleman days before the start of training camp. Hurney was the Panthers GM from 1998 through 2012. He's credited for building the core of a team that reached the Super Bowl two seasons ago.

Hurney and two others were to be interviewed for the position last week.

Jeanne Hurney said her ex-husband was "extremely controlling and was verbally and emotionally abusive" during their marriage. They married in 1988 and divorced in 2014.

The Charlotte Observer reported that Jeanne Hurney withdrew her complaint, but her attorney couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday night.

Super Bowl champs! Eagles take down Pats to cap special season

Super Bowl champs! Eagles take down Pats to cap special season


MINNEAPOLIS — All the grease in the world isn't going to keep Eagles fans off those light poles in the city. 

The Birds are coming home with the Lombardi Trophy (see celebration).

For the first time in franchise history, the Eagles have won the biggest game in sports. In an incredible performance, they bested Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots, 41-33, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minnesota on Sunday night. 

Nick Foles played magnificently as the Eagles' offense out-fired Brady on the stage where he's become the G.O.A.T. and Brandon Graham made an incredible play when the Eagles absolutely needed him to (see story).

There's finally going to be a green parade down Broad Street (see Roob's observations).

After all they went through this season, it seemed rather fitting that it all ended like this. What a game. It certainly wasn't easy. 

While Foles was throwing dimes, the defense struggled. The Eagles gave up 613 yards. It's the most yards they've given up in any game in the Super Bowl era, regular season or playoffs. Didn't matter. 

Eventually, they pulled it off. Somehow, defying the odds, like they've done all season (see story)

The Eagles took a 22-12 lead into halftime after a ridiculous first 30 minutes that featured 673 total yards of offense. The Patriots actually outgained the Eagles in the first half but it didn't matter. The Eagles went up 10 when Pederson pulled off what might have been the gutsiest play call in Super Bowl history (see story)

The Birds got on the scoreboard first with a field goal but the Patriots were able to match it with one of their own. From there, the offensive floodgates opened and the two teams got into a shootout. The craziest thing about the Eagles' trick play is that the Patriots tried one of their own earlier in the game and Brady couldn't bring in the pass.

Turning point
Even though they already had the lead, that Graham strip sack has to be it. When Brady has the ball in his hands down one score, nothing feels safe. Every Eagles fan in the building likely felt that way. Until Graham knocked the ball free. 

Key stat
The Patriots' 613 yards of offense is the highest total in Super Bowl history. 

It didn't matter. 

Offensive stud
Foles made some incredible throws on Sunday night. We wondered which Foles would show up. No question. It was the good one. He's the MVP (see story)

Offensive dud
Jay Ajayi didn't have the kind of game many people probably thought he would have. 

Defensive stud
The defense was lackluster all game, but Graham made the play of the night with his strip sack on Brady. 

Defensive dud
Jalen Mills made some plays but also got called for a big penalty and was beaten on a deep ball to Chris Hogan. Corey Graham struggled to cover Rob Gronkowski. 

Key plays
• Jake Elliott hit a 46-yarder to put the Eagles up eight points after the Graham strip sack. 

• After the Eagles' offense took the lead, Graham got a strip sack on Brady and the ball bounced into Derek Barnett's hands. The place erupted. 

• On 3rd-and-7 from the Patriots' 11-yard line, Foles hit Zach Ertz for a touchdown to take back the lead from the Patriots with 2:21 left in the game. The play was reviewed, but upheld. Then the Eagles failed on the two-point conversion. 

• Brady hit Gronk, covered by Ronald Darby, for a 4-yard touchdown pass to give the Patriots their first lead in the game at 33-32 with 9:22 remaining in the fourth quarter. It capped another 75-yard touchdown drive. 

• Elliott kicked a 43-yarder to increase the Eagles' lead early in the fourth quarter to 32-26. 

• Brady hit Hogan for a 26-yard touchdown pass with 3:23 left in the third quarter to cut into the Eagles' lead, 29-26. It capped a 75-yard touchdown drive. 

• Foles hit Corey Clement for a beautiful 22-yard touchdown pass in the end zone on 3rd-and-6. The play was reviewed but the call stood. Clement caught the ball and got both feet down in bounds. That put the Eagles up 29-19. 

• Gronkowski caught a 5-yard touchdown pass on the Patriots' first drive of the second half. On that drive, he had four catches for 68 yards and a touchdown after having just one for nine yards in the first half. 

• In the gutsiest play call of the year, Pederson dialed up that insane gadget play on 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line to give the Eagles a 22-12 lead heading into halftime. 

• James White had a 26-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter to cut into the Eagles' lead. He broke three tackles on his way to the end zone to make the score 15-12 after the missed extra point. Mills had a rough go on the 90-yard drive. He was called for a penalty and then got beat deep on a pass to Hogan. 

• Foles tossed a deep pass to Alshon Jeffery that was tipped up and intercepted by Duron Harmon in the second quarter. Jeffery almost made a circus catch but actually tipped it up to the DB. 

• LeGarrette Blount rumbled into the west end zone for a 21-yard touchdown in the second quarter to put the Eagles up 15-3. The two-point conversion play failed. 

• Brady became a receiver on a key trick third-down play in the second quarter and dropped the ball. He's the best quarterback in NFL history and the Patriots decided to make him a receiver. OK. Then on fourth down, his pass to Gronkowski fell incomplete and the Eagles took over on downs.

• On a 3rd-and-2 from the Eagles' 9-yard line, the Patriots handed the ball off to Brandin Cooks, who tried to hurdle Rodney McLeod. McLeod simply stood up and slammed him to the ground. Then the Patriots missed a 26-yard field goal after a botched snap. 

• After Blount broke off a big, rumbling 36-yard run, the Eagles followed it up with an incredible play-action pass. Foles tossed a dime to Jeffery, who caught the ball over Eric Rowe for a 34-yard touchdown (see story). The Eagles went up 9-3 after Elliott missed the extra point. 

• Mills broke up a pass to Gronkowski in front of the end zone on third down to force a Patriots field goal on their first drive. Before that, the Pats sliced through the Eagles' defense using some tempo to get them out of their game. 

• The Eagles converted two third downs, the last of which was a 3rd-and-12 pass to Torrey Smith for 15 yards. The Eagles capped the 14-play drive (7:05) with a 23-yard field goal to put them up 3-0. 

Injury update
Dannell Ellerbe (hamstring) returned to action after missing the NFC Championship Game and the Eagles' sick players were able to heal up enough in time for the game. 

Stefen Wisniewski left for a brief time during the game but returned. 

Up next
See you at the parade.