On Thursday night, the Eagles couldn’t move the ball against the Falcons, so Doug Pederson dug into his bag of tricks and called for “Philly Philly,” a brilliant trick play that got the Eagles a first down and kickstarted their come-from-behind win.
Except, Pederson didn’t really reach into his bag of tricks. Instead, he reached into the Patriots‘ bag of tricks and stole the exact same play the Patriots ran against them in the Super Bowl.
A day later, when Brady was given a chance to react to the play, he didn’t say anything juicy. But he did seem to indicate that he knows full well that the Patriots’ version of the play would’ve worked had he, you know, caught the pass.
“Good execution wins games,” Brady said, per ESPN. “I think that’s ultimately what we have to do. When you have to make the plays, you either make them or you don’t.”
Well, Brady’s not at all wrong. The Patriots really did draw up the perfect play in the situation and if Brady had been able to catch that pass, they would’ve picked up a fresh set of downs. Instead, he dropped it, the Patriots failed to pick up the first down on the ensuing play, and then the Eagles took the ball and scored a touchdown to extend their lead. Don’t blame the play call. Blame the execution.
Unlike the Patriots, the Eagles executed when they needed to. Foles caught his pass to pick up a first down, the Eagles finished the drive with a touchdown to take the lead over the Falcons, they hung on for an ugly win, and then they took their shot at Brady.
Brady’s unwillingness to snap back shouldn’t be a surprise. His unwillingness to say anything buzzworthy was a theme of his press conference on Friday.
Based on what he said, we should expect it to remain a theme throughout the season.
“I don’t want to bring on any drama this year,” Brady said. “I’m just focused on what I want to do, and be a great football player for this team and be a good example in the locker room, provide great leadership. That’s where my focus is. I know people want to talk about a lot of other things, but I just really want to stick on football and focus on being the best I can be for this team.”