Opponents tend to freak out against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick just when they’re about to conquer the New England Patriots’ dynastic duo. The Philadelphia Eagles swear they won’t fall into that trap if they have the chance in Super Bowl 52.|
The pair have built such a reputation of coming through in the clutch that foes often outthink themselves with conservative Youth Josh Jackson Jersey , uncommon or unconventional calls against the five-time champs.
Think Seattle in Super Bowl 49 and Atlanta in Super Bowl 51.
The Patriots have built an extreme confidence through five Super Bowl-winning seasons under Brady and Belichick and are disciplined when other teams get discombobulated, like last month when they sniffed out Ben Roethlisberger’s fake spike and intercepted him in the end zone, reshaping the AFC playoff picture.
”You’re basically talking about experience and knowing that no matter what the score is, it’s not insurmountable,” said ex-NFL quarterback Joe Theismann.
He pointed to Brady’s habit of making a few plays every game that swing momentum and Belichick’s knack for coaxing his counterparts into beating themselves – like the Indianapolis Colts did with their fake punt fiasco in 2015.
”The New England Patriots find a way to make a play when no one else seems to be able to do that,” Theismann said. ”Teams that haven’t been in that situation don’t really understand the ability of New England teams to be able to overcome darn near anything.”
Like the 25-point second-half deficit Brady rallied the Patriots from in last year’s Super Bowl or the 10-point fourth-quarter hole he dug them out of against Jacksonville in the AFC championship last week.
”You’ve got to play a damn near perfect game against them,” lamented Jaguars safety Jarrod Wilson.
Therein lies the trap.
The Jaguars were on the verge of knocking off New England when a flurry of follies in Foxborough aided Brady’s two-TD rally that sent the seemingly impervious Patriots back to another Super Bowl.
”You can never have a safe lead with (No.) 12 at the helm,” Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson said. ”… That’s Tom Brady, the greatest to ever lace up the cleats at the quarterback position.”
And Belichick, arguably the best to ever roam the sideline.
The Eagles swear they’re not going to give the Patriots any help next Sunday in Minneapolis.
”You know what? If I make this all about them, we’re in trouble,” coach Doug Pederson said. ”Honestly. We’re in trouble. Everything’s going to be written about it, has been written about it, talked about it, discussed, debated and it’s about us. And I’ll keep saying that. It’s about what we do and how well we execute and I can’t worry about that.”
The Eagles (15-3), who statistically can make the case for being the best opponent Brady and Belichick have ever faced in the Super Bowl, don’t see themselves getting out of their comfort zone against New England (15-3).
”Doug is going to do what got us to this point,” right tackle Lane Johnson said. ”Just because you’re in a big stage doesn’t mean you have to do anything out of the ordinary to make bigger plays. Don’t make the moment bigger than what it is.”
The Patriots may need no assistance but that hasn’t stopped teams from helping them out like Jacksonville did last week with a delay penalty coming out of a timeout and a rushed punt that essentially gave Brady an extra timeout before halftime.
”I think why the Patriots are so good is because they capitalize off people making those mistakes,” Johnson said. ”They don’t make mistakes, hardly. They’re well-coached. You don’t necessarily have to be the most talented team. You saw last year they weren’t the most talented team. Yet, they’re the best team because they function together well and they’re coached well.”
New England safety Duron Harmon said the Patriots never panic like so many other teams because they rehearse adversity so well and so often in practice.
”We go over every type of situation that you can think of Youth Taven Bryan Jersey ,” Harmon said.
Theismann said Belichick is simply the best at teaching ”if somebody’s going to beat us, they’re going to have to beat us; we’re not going to beat ourselves.”
”What New England does is New England preaches discipline and understanding your job,” Theismann said, singling out lieutenants Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia in addition to Belichick, who, along with his personnel assistants, identifies coachable players who fit in.
”Think about it: You never see Bill Belichick run up the sideline and call a timeout because the time clock’s running out,” Theismann said. ”You don’t see Bill’s players making those kids of errors. I mean, I was very fortunate to play for Joe Gibbs and Joe was the same type of game manager, where he was aware and he made me aware of all the possible circumstances and situations that you deal with.
”For example, when you’re coming out of your own end zone, if you’re backed up inside your own 3-yard line, it’s a great time to run a hard count because you’re only going to get a yard and a-half penalty. Instead of first-and-10, it’s going to be first-and-11. But you do have the possibility of making it first-and-5.
”There is a game within the game that the Patriots play better than anybody.”
T Tina Weirather won a World Cup super-G Saturday to overtake Lara Gut for first place in the discipline’s standings with one race left
The Olympic bronze medalist from Liechtenstein overtook Gut to go top of the standings. Weirather will carry a 46-point lead over her Swiss rival, who finished the race in seventh, into the final event on March 15 at the World Cup finals in Are, Sweden.
Weirather won the globe for the best super-G racer last season, edging Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia by five points. Set for another close showdown with Gut, Weirather called winning the trophy again ”very important.”
”It’s the biggest prize you can win in our sport,” she said. ”This means more than an Olympic medal, which is just one race and where luck always plays a part. But a globe is never a matter of luck.”
On a shortened course due to weather conditions, Weirather timed 1 minute Youth Keke Coutee Jersey , 2.17 seconds to beat Olympic silver medalist Anna Veith of Austria by 0.36. Wendy Holdener of Switzerland trailed by 0.38 in third for her career best super-G result. Gut finished 0.59 off the lead.
The surprise gold medalist from the Pyeongchang Olympics, Ester Ledecka of Czech Republic, didn’t compete as she started in a snowboard parallel giant slalom in Turkey.
Also, overall World Cup leader Mikaela Shiffrin and her American teammate Lindsey Vonn both sat out the race. Shiffrin was preparing for next week’s technical races in Ofterschwang, Germany, while Vonn will only race again at the finals.
Shiffrin’s lead over Holdener, her only remaining rival for the overall championship, was reduced to 611 points on Saturday, but the Swiss skier has been left with only a mathematical chance of closing the gap with seven races remaining.
Wearing bib No. 7, Weirather was able to learn from problems at the final jump before the finish for most of the early starters, including runner-up Veith. They came wide and lost time in making the next gate.
”I did a good job today. At the start I watched the first four skiers and saw they had big problems,” said Weirather, who competed in a Europa Cup super-G on the same course last Wednesday.
”This is the most difficult hill all year,” she said. ”Every time I misjudge something, so it was important to find out how the rolls are, how the course feels.”
Veith acknowledged she probably lost the victory just before the finish.
”Everything was possible today,” the former two-time overall champion said. ”I felt like I wanted too much and that’s why I made the mistake at the bottom part.”
A combined event, adding the results of another super-G and a slalom run, is scheduled for Sunday.