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Tuesday, February 08, 2005 

Parade Day

As a Patriots fan, Sunday's outcome was certainly sweet. The Patriots simply made more plays than the Eagles. There was no "tuck rule" this year, or bad breaks involved - except for the ones that went against the Patriots. The officiating on Sunday was certainly poor - when was the last time that coaches went 3-for-3 in challenges?

I've been thinking about the key plays in the game:

McNabb throws 2 picks for the price of 1 3:06 1st Quarter. Why he tried to force the ball one play after getting a reprieve because of a penalty is a mystery to me.

Gay strips L.J. Smith 0:42 1st Quarter. This one really hurt. Philadelphia started their fourth drive of the quarter in New England territory after stopping the Patriots three-and-out. Rodney Harrison held up Smith so his teammates could strip the ball, and Eugene Wilson's recovery gave the Patriots the ball at their 38. A huge field position change when the Patriots were reeling a bit.

Brady fumbles, the defense stands 5:28-4:25 2nd Quarter. The Patriots had finally started to move the football after falling behind 7-0. But Brady's fumble threatened to undo their good work. But the Patriots defense rose to the occasion. McGinest stuffed Westbrook for a one-yard loss, then a pair of incompletions brought out Dirk Johnson for his second punt of the night. The kick was awful, just 29 yards, and a short return by Troy Brown put the ball at the Philadelphia 37. 7 plays later, Brady hit David Givens to tie the game.

Simon says, hit the QB 11:24 4th Quarter. By this point, New England had a 21-14 lead, and had stopped Philadelphia on three plays to get the ball back at midfield. Dillon was stopped a 3 yard loss on the first play, and it looked like New England might squander the field position. But Brady connected with Deion Branch for his record-typing eleventh catch down to the 31, then Corey Simon picked up a roughing the passing penalty that moved the ball to the 16 - and into field goal range. After gaining 12 yards on 4 carries, Vinatieri came out and kicked the eventual game winner.

Three championships in four years has a nice ring to it.

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