By now, you’ve probably heard: The New England Patriots haven’t scored in the first quarter of any of their previous seven Super Bowl appearances with Tom Brady as the starting quarterback and Bill Belichick as the head coach.
It’s a rather strange streak, especially when you consider the Patriots won five of those Super Bowls and New England frequently boasts an explosive offense with Brady at the helm. And it’s also a little misleading, if you ask Brady.
“There is a little caveat to that, in my opinion,” Brady said this week ahead of Super Bowl LII, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “In 2007, it was our first drive of the game (in Super Bowl XLII) and it just happened to be the first play of the second quarter (that we scored).
“But you’re right: I’d love to score 21 points in the first quarter if we can, but obviously this (Philadelphia Eagles) defense is going to make it really tough for us.”
Brady has a good memory.
Laurence Maroney scored on a 1-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter in Super Bowl XLII against the New York Giants after being stopped short by Justin Tuck on the final play of the first quarter. Stephen Gostkowski tacked on the extra point to give the Patriots a 7-3 lead, which they eventually carried into halftime.
Brady probably would like to forget how that game ended, though, especially as he prepares to face an Eagles defense that’s somewhat similar to the daunting defense the Giants rode to an upset victory in 2007. Plus, not scoring in the first quarter hasn’t been too problematic when you consider the Patriots’ 5-2 record in Super Bowls under Brady and Belichick.
“Bill always reminds us when we don’t score,” Brady said this week, per Reiss. “We’re trying to score every time we take the field.”
That’s a strategy worth sticking with.
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