FOXBORO, Mass. — More than two hours after the New England Patriots wrapped up their second consecutive AFC title Sunday evening, a bearded man in cargo shorts remained on the field at Gillette Stadium, soaking in what likely was his final home victory as a Patriots coach.
Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is expected to become the next head coach of the Detroit Lions once this season ends, finishing a Patriots tenure that began in 2004. After New England rallied to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-20 in the AFC Championship Game, he was the last to leave the field, celebrating the win by making confetti snow angels and playing touch football with his young son.
Patricia was asked about the moment Monday morning in a conference call with reporters.
“(My son) hasn’t really been to a lot of games,” he said. “He’s been to two, so that was his second game. And he wanted to go play on the field. So we played a good game of touch football. He beat me 4-0. Kind of outran me there a little bit and made some good plays on me. I couldn’t catch him. It was just fun to have him out there running around and just seeing the excitement that he had to be out there on the field, that’s all. It was just kind of a special little moment for myself and him and my wife.”
The Patriots will take on the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII on Sunday, Feb. 4.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images