Here we go. My last game grades of this season. It’s a bittersweet feeling, to be honest. We are the Super Bowl champions, but there is no more football for 7 months.
Anyway, let’s get to the Super Bowl grades:
Passing Offense: A-
Aside from a putrid third quarter, Tom Brady had his group in high gear all game long against one of the best defenses in NFL history. They took advantage of Seattle’s bigger defenders, and tendency to play zone by using a dink-and-dunk attack, and relying on the quickness of Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, and Shane Vereen to move the ball.
Of course Rob Gronkowski did his job when the Seahawks went to man coverage, which was actually extremely rare. On their final two touchdown drives, Tom Brady was 13-15 against arguably the best secondary in the history of the league, as he put together the most clutch fourth quarter there ever was.
Tom Brady IS the best quarterback of all time.
Rushing Offense: C+
LeGarrette Blount gained some nice yards early, but the Patriots quickly went away from the run, and used their short passing game as a substitute instead. And you can’t really fault the offensive line and running backs, because New England was extremely successful with this gameplan. I personally thought this would be a bigger Blount game, but I’ll take the win, regardless.
Pass Defense: B
The numbers aren’t pretty, as Russell Wilson averaged nearly 12 yards per pass attempt, but overall, New England’s secondary did their job, and ultimately won the game for the Pats. Darrelle Revis had Doug Baldwin on lockdown all game long, Brandon Browner erased whoever he was facing, and of course, Malcolm Butler was the star of the show.
Now, Chris Matthews did have himself a game, catching four balls for 109 yards, but that was when he had the smaller Kyle Arrington on him, which allowed Matthews to simply go up and win the jump-ball. Arrington actually had good coverage, he just wasn’t as big as Matthews.
Run Defense: B
Overall, New England contained Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson on the ground pretty well on Sunday. Lynch did break a few big runs, and Wilson got the edge on Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins a few times, but when you look at the game, can you say that is why the Pats found themselves in a 10-point hole?
The main reason the Patriots got down was because of stupid catches by Matthews, bad third quarter offense, and horrible situational football at the end of the first half. In terms of containing Lynch and Wilson, they really did a fine job. Also, Dont’a Hightower‘s one-armed tackle of Lync the play before Butler’s pick was absolutely huge. New England loses this game if it weren’t for that.
There really wasn’t much to report on in this department….like anything.