2:21 on the clock. A five point lead. For the Eagles, the game is one defensive stop away from being over.
But we’ve been here before. In my mind, the result of this game is a foregone conclusion.
Tom Brady has led 53 game winning drives in his career. Make that 54.
Everyone knows it. He’s inhuman in these situations. The master of the clutch, the king of comebacks.
Wait...he fumbled it? How is that even possible?
Well, now we all know what happens. The Eagles will run the ball and burn as much time off the clock as they possibly can, and then be content to kick the field goal.
But Brady will still have about a minute left in a one-possession game. He’ll surely be able to drive down, tie the game and force overtime.
Now he’s driving. The clock isn’t in his favor, but he’s never cared about that in the past.
He’ll complete some kind of miracle hail-mary here to Gronk, get the ball to start OT, and once again hoist the Lombardi.
Apparently, the Eagles didn’t read the scouting report on Tom Brady in the fourth quarter.
Or, more likely, they just didn’t care.
They lost an MVP candidate quarterback in Week 14 and it didn’t seem to phase them.
They were called “the least feared team in the playoffs” and it didn’t seem to phase them.
They were the first 1-seed to be an underdog in the divisional round (and they’ve been underdogs all postseason). That didn’t seem to phase them either.
In fact, they turned it all into fuel. All of the noise, all of the dismissal and all of the disrespect.
They took it in stride and used it as motivation. And they proved everyone wrong.
I think one of my more surprising takeaways from this game is the respect I have for the success the Patriots have had.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m ecstatic that they didn’t win. They’re one of my least favorite teams of all time.
But honestly, the fact that every football fan in the world felt like Brady could (and would) drive down and score speaks to how tremendous the Patriots have been under Belichick.
In the end though, the Eagles proved that Belichick and Brady are human after all.
The Eagles will be good for a long time to come, and the Patriots aren’t going anywhere either.
But with an offseason as tumultuous as the last few minutes of the Super Bowl, it’ll be interesting to see how the next season shakes out.
And for all of us who didn’t get to see our team win this season, these words couldn’t have come soon enough.
The 2018 NFL league year is officially underway.
Tyler Dean is a junior studying mathematics.