Patriots

Bedard’s Offensive Breakdown: McDaniels called near-flawless game but will have one regret

(Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports)

As opposed to his defensive colleague, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels had a stellar Super Bowl.

I know, I know. They only had 613 yards of total offense. That’s some really brilliant analysis. Bed-ahd, you're a freaking genius.

Not really going to argue with that, but I will say that having 350 yards and only 12 points at halftime is not good enough. If we’re going to say yards don’t matter for the Patriots’ defense and points are the more important stat, then we have to say the same for the offense. Therefore, the Patriots left too many points on the field in the first half, and that was among the many things (defensive strategies, Malcolm Butler’s benching) that contributed to the 41-33 loss in Super Bowl LII.

And even though he calls the plays, I can’t find much fault with McDaniels’ play-calling in the game. Everything worked. Even the trick plays. That’s a tribute to everyone involved in the game-planning process, from the advanced scouts and the positional coaches with their own assignments (third downs, red zone, drive starters, etc.). To McDaniels for putting it all together. And Tom Brady keeping the Patriots out of bad plays, and his phenomenal execution.

The Patriots did have some missteps, but in my opinion, they almost exclusively fall on failed execution by the players. I’m sure McDaniels will have a much longer list, but in the 72 plays the Patriots ran against the Eagles, I think there’s really only one play the offensive coordinator will be kicking himself about all offseason.

We’ll get to that play in a minute, but let’s go through the plays that contributed to just a 12-point first half: