The ball had just been whacked out of Tom Brady’s right hand at the worst possible moment for the New England Patriots Adrian Amos Jersey , giving the Philadelphia Eagles the ball just before the two-minute warning.
Brady sat on the turf, resting his arms on his knees with a pose of resignation. Once he reached the sideline and plopped down on the bench, he lowered his head and stared down for several seconds .
This was surely not the end of his unparalleled and sure-bet-for-the-Hall-of-Fame career, but at age 40 there’s no guarantee this wasn’t the last time he played in a Super Bowl.
”It’s a team sport. The Eagles played a better game today,” Brady said. ”They deserve to win. That’s why we’re not the champs.”
The fumble, forced by Brandon Graham and picked up by Derek Barnett, put the Eagles in position for a field goal that pushed their lead to eight points. Brady and the Patriots had one last possession, but his final heave from midfield was batted down to give the Eagles their first Super Bowl trophy with a 41-33 victory and drop Brady’s career record in the title game to 5-3.
The all-time leader with eight career postseason fourth-quarter comebacks, Brady wasn’t able to notch a ninth.
”We obviously didn’t make enough plays in the red zone and turned the ball over one time,” offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said. ”If we have a turnover that leads to some points for them, and you fail to score a couple of touchdowns in the first part of the game, generally speaking against a really good team, it usually comes back to bite you.”
Brady already owns a healthy share of the NFL record book Nick Martin Jersey , but there’s a new entry that he and all of New England would prefer to erase. Brady became the first quarterback in NFL history to lose a game, in the regular season or the playoffs, despite passing for 500 or more yards, three or more touchdowns and no interceptions.
”You always hope you come out on the winning end of the shootout,” Brady said. ”We didn’t win it today.”
Brady finished 28 for 48 for 505 yards and three scores and a 115.4 passer rating. He has two of the three 400-yard passing games in Super Bowl history, with his 466 yards in last season’s overtime win over Atlanta and Kurt Warner’s 414 yards for the St. Louis Rams in a victory over the Tennessee Titans 18 years ago.
”I’ve played in eight of them, and they’re all good games. Today, we had our opportunities,” Brady said. ”Never really got control of the game. Never really played on our terms. Just didn’t make plays when we needed to.”
This was the second time Brady was voted the NFL’s Most Valuable Player and lost in the Super Bowl, a contrast he also experienced 10 years ago.
In fact, the past nine winners of the Associated Press MVP award to reach the big game have lost. The others were Kurt Warner (2001), Rich Gannon (2002), Shaun Alexander (2005) Tyler Higbee Jersey , Peyton Manning (2009 and 2013), Cam Newton (2015) and Matt Ryan (2016).
Brady led the league in 2017 with 4,577 passing yards, despite losing standout wide receiver Julian Edelman to a knee injury, so he sure hasn’t been slowing down. There’ve been reports of friction between Brady, coach Bill Belichick and owner Robert Kraft, but any potential dysfunction didn’t deter him. He was all smiles during his interview sessions during the week, wondering with seeming sincere curiosity why there’s been so much media fixation on when he’ll ever retire. This one, though, had to hurt.
”No one is going to feel sorry for us,” Brady said. ”We’ll evaluate like we always do. I’m sure everyone is pretty tired after a long year. That’s football.”
While new Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper would like the focus to be on his plans for the team's future, he cannot completely put the franchise's sullied past behind him.
Tepper has to keep the prominent statue of Panthers' founder Jerry Richardson outside of the stadium as part of the NFL-record $2.2 billion deal he agreed to in June after Richardson decided to sell the team in December amid reports of sexual and racial misconduct in the workplace.
Tepper said Tuesday when he was introduced as the team's new owner that he's "contractually obligated" to keep the 13-foot high statue of Richardson standing alongside two growling panthers where it is.
The league substantiated the allegations against Richardson following a six-month investigation and fined him $2.75 million.
Fans have expressed their desire on social media and sports talk shows to remove the statue, which was built in 2016.
And while Tepper said contractually he can't do that Harrison Phillips Jersey , he spoke repeatedly about changing the environment of the Panthers workplace.
Tepper said there will be "no impediment" in employees feeling comfortable coming forward if they if they have any problems on the business side of the organization.
He wants to create an environment where "everybody feels safe like a family."
Sports Illustrated reported in December, citing unnamed sources, that Richardson made sexually suggestive comments to women and on at least one occasion directed a racial slur at an African-American Panthers scout. The report states that he reached settlements that included non-disclosure requirements forbidding the parties from discussing the details.
"Listen, whatever was, was. This is now," Tepper said. "This is going to be an open place. So there are not going to be non-disclosure agreements, no matter what, in this new place. That was then, this is now."
The Panthers are only tied to Charlotte through June 2019 in terms of a stadium agreement, but Tepper reiterated the city is "the most logical place" to keep the team, although adding that a "redo" is necessary.
The Panthers and the city of Charlotte came to an agreement on improvements for the team's stadium in 2013, calling for the city to contribute about $87 million for renovations to Bank of America Stadium in exchange for a six-year hard tether to keep the NFL franchise in Charlotte.
Tepper's focus right now is on new practice facilities.
He said the Panthers are "falling behind a little bit" other teams in the league.
He is considering moving the team's practice facilities to South Carolina, in part to keep both states interested in the team. The Panthers currently practice on three fields within walking distance to their downtown stadium. Tepper said that valuable land could be used for developmental purposes.
Tepper Kony Ealy Jersey , who grew up playing football, also said he wants more events at the team's stadium, including high school state championship football games and the "right kind of concerts."
He is excited about the football side of the team, praising two-time AP Coach of the Year Ron Rivera and his hiring of new offensive coordinator Norv Turner to replace Mike Shula.
"I'm not looking to do too much there," Tepper said of the coaching side.
However, Tepper plans to hire a new team president to replace Danny Morrison, who left last year, and former COO Tina Becker, who resigned on Monday after seven months in the position. He said he has two replacement candidates in mind, both with some marketing background.
He also likes the makeup of the team's roster with training camp right around the corner, citing how involved players are in the community and charity work.
He cited Spider-Man, saying that "with great power comes great responsibility."
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