Tom Brady will get the bulk of the credit for another brilliant 4th quarter comeback in the Super Bowl. As he should.
Bill Belichick will once again be hailed as the genius who made adjustments on offense and defense at halftime to propel that Patriots to a miraculous 4th quarter rally. As he should.
But as the great Sun Tzu wrote in the Art of War, “Every battle is won or lost before it’s ever fought.”
Which brings me to how Bill Belichick put together this incredible roster of mid or late round draft picks, a motley crew of players who were incredible in this Super Bowl. Everyone knows Chris Hogan (4 catches, 57 yards) was undrafted and played lacrosse in college; Julian Edelman (5 catches, 87 yards, including this miracle) was a college QB at Kent State; Danny Amendola (8 catches, 78 yards) was also undrafted, and so on.
But two 4th round picks, James White (2014) and Trey Flowers (2015) eclipsed them all.
White’s monster game (29 yards rushing, 110 yards receiving, three TDs) came out of nowhere. Literally:
James White in the Super Bowl: 139 total yards, 3 TDs.
James White in his 5 previous games TOTAL: 114 yards, 1 TD.
White had his most yards rushing and receiving this season in the Super Bowl. He scored five TDs all season (zero rushing).
Trey Flowers, a 4th round pick out of Arkansas, led the Patriots in sacks this year. But he did it in virtual anonymity; more people were aware Belichick cut loose 2015 sack leader Chandler Jones in the offseason.
Against the Falcons, Flowers had 2.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss and tied for the team lead with six tackles. On a defense with no big names – Malcolm Butler was undrafted – Flowers was part of a group that shut out the #1 offense in the NFL in the 4th quarter as the Patriots offense rallied.
James White and Trey Flowers. This is why Bill Belichick is the greatest coach in NFL history, and the Patriots dynasty is the most impressive in sports history.