If you were looking for a promising Super Bowl finale for Matt Patricia before he becomes the Detroit Lions next coach, you didn’t get your wish... by a longshot. The New England Patriots’ defense was worked all game, as they dropped Super Bowl 52, 41-33.
The Philadelphia Eagles offense was relentless, picking up a whopping 538 yards. The Patriots offense actually outgained the Eagles 613-538, but that wasn’t enough to overcome Nick Foles and the Eagles.
Patriots about to lose a Super Bowl in which they did not punt and have 576 yards of total offense.— Mark Ennis (@MarkEnnis) February 5, 2018
The combined total of 1151 yards was not only a Super Bowl record, but it was record for any NFL game in history. In other words, it wasn’t a good day for Matt Patricia (or Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, for that matter).
But that shouldn’t worry Lions fans. One game should not change a man’s entire reputation, especially one as successful and long-lasting at Patricia. Here are three specific reasons not to worry.
Matt Patricia’s full resume
Patricia has been the Patriots’ defensive coordinator for six years, and nearly won the Super Bowl in half of them. While a lot of that has to do with having one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, Patricia deserves a ton of credit, too. In all six years, Patricia has sported a scoring defense that ranked in the top 10 in the NFL.
In terms of DVOA, the Patriots ranked in the top half of the league in four of his six years, and he managed to turn around an ugly-looking 2017 defense into one of the best in the final months of the season. To overreact to one game would do a disservice to his full body of work.
The Eagles’ offense is no joke
Flash back to two weeks ago. The Minnesota Vikings, sporting what many believed was the best defense in the entire league, was absolutely destroyed by the Eagles. Once Philadelphia figured out how to use Nick Foles properly, they were buzz-sawing team after team.
If you thought the Patriots were going to shut down Foles and the Eagles offense with just the brilliant mind of Patricia, you weren’t watching the Eagles this year. They were the third-ranked scoring offense.
The Patriots’ defensive roster was bad
There’s a reason New England’s defense was so bad to start the year. They never had the personnel. Jamie Collins had been traded to the Browns. Chris Long, Barkevious Mingo, Jabaal Sheard and Logan Ryan all left for free agency. Dont’a Hightower was lost for the season midway through the year. Kyle Van Noy ended up being one of the better defensive players. Think about that for a second.
Patricia took this ragtag group of players, and made them at least respectable by the end of the year. It may not have looked that way in his last game as a Patriot, but Patricia’s hands were tied from the beginning.
So while it certainly doesn’t feel good to watch the Lions’ future head coach get destroyed on the game’s biggest stage, it changes nothing. If you were in favor of Patricia beforehand, hold strong. If you had serious doubts, this probably didn’t help. But one game is one game, and Patricia’s next game will be in Honolulu Blue.
LET THE MATT PATRICIA ERA BEGIN.