Imagine if Tom Brady didn’t get strip sacked

by Matt Rooney

Super Bowl 52 – February 4, 2018

The New England Patriots vs the Philadelphia Eagles. Super Bowl 52. Eagles 38, Patriots 33. Fourth Quarter, 2:16 left on the clock. Patriots ball, 2nd and 2 from their 33 yard line.

Hogan motions right.

“Down, set, hike,” yells Brady as he snaps the ball, looking to construct another Super Bowl winning drive at the end of the game.

All of the sudden, the pocket collapses. Eagles star linebacker, Brandon Graham, bull rushes past Shaq Mason and is about to make a move on Brady. With his right arm, Graham reaches up and punches the ball, but miraculously, Brady somehow holds on. He looks right toward Amendola and pumps. Time is quickly running out for him to get rid of the ball. Then suddenly, free safety Malcolm Jenkins slips, and Gronk is wide open down the seam. Brady sees him and lets it fly, and they connect for a 45 yard completion. It was a monumental emotional rollercoaster, as Brady goes from potentially being stripped to connecting with Gronk for a huge gain.

First and 10 from the Philly 22 for the Patriots as they elect to let the clock roll all the way to the two minute warning. You could feel it. The magic was there. Brady was going to do it again. The Pats were going to win this football game.

The Pats line up with an empty backfield. Gronk and White out left, Amendola in the slot, and Hogan and Dorsett are wide right.

The Eagles immediately stack the box, making their intention clear: they are going for a momentum shifting play, a turnover.

Brady suddenly recognizes the all-out blitz coming. “Red Rover, Red Rover,” Brady screams, and instantly, James White motions from out wide, back to the typical running back spot, and Gronk slides in next to LT Nate Solder. Brady claps his hands and the ball is snapped.

White, acting like he’s staying in to block, suddenly slips out into the flat for a screen. Brady hits him with a bullet right in the chest while blockers make their way up the field. With a burst of acceleration, the shifty running back makes his way all the way to the Eagles six yard line before he is finally brought down, running the clock down to 1:15.

The next play is a toss to Dion Lewis for three yards. 2nd and goal with 39 seconds left. Three chances for Brady to get a TD and win his sixth.

“Down, hut.”

Brady hands it off to Dion Lewis up the middle and Lewis rumbles to the one. As the clock hits 15 seconds,  Belichick decides to use a timeout.

Two chances left.

The Pats line up with 5 wide, and Brady takes the shotgun snap from David Andrews. With the struggling Jalen Mills on him, Julian Edelman cuts hard and slants as Brady hits him right in the chest in the middle of the end zone.

TOUCHDOWN.

Game over.

Brady does it again as he marches the Patriots down the field in the fourth quarter to win his record sixth Super Bowl. Red and blue confetti is flying down everywhere as the Patriots celebrate on the field.

Victory, oh so sweet.

Press Conference – March 13, 2018

The Patriots announced an immediate press conference at 11:30 am for an “important announcement.”

Among the media members, nobody knew what to expect as they sat there waiting for someone to step up to the podium. Finally, someone did. Tom Brady.

“Hi everybody, thank you for being here today. I have an announcement to make. I’ve thought long and hard about this, and I have decided that last year was my final year playing football. It’s been an amazing 17 years with the New England Patriots, and I accomplished all I could have dreamed of. I have a family and it’s time for me to be a husband and a father. Thank you all so much!”

And with that, the Patriots dynasty was officially over.

March 14th, 2018

Head Coach Bill Belichick announces his retirement and OC Josh McDaniels is promoted to head coach.

March 31st, 2018

Rob Gronkowski announces his retirement, as he looks to pursue a career in acting.

2018 NFL Draft – April 26, 2018

“With the 23rd pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots select QB Lamar Jackson”.

“With the 32nd pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots select RB Sony Michel”.

Week 17 – December 30, 2018

The 2018 season has been incredibly tough for the Patriots, filled with losses (13 so far), thoughts of what could have been (Jimmy G) and disappointments (Lamar Jackson struggling and being moved to wide receiver).

Now, they face off against their division rival New York Jets for the best building block a team can get, the #1 overall pick in the NFL Draft.

The Patriots end up losing the game 17-14, but really, they won, as they will now receive the #1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. A new era for the Patriots is here. Will they draft the next great QB to lead them to many Super Bowls down the line? If their pick is 1/6 as good as Tom Brady, I think the Patriots and their fans would be ecstatic.

2019 NFL Draft – April 23rd, 2018

“With the 1st pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, The New England Patriots select …”

What story do you prefer?

The Patriots winning the Super Bowl and Brady walking off into the sunset followed by years of losing? Or losing the Super Bowl and being 7-2 and the favorite to represent the AFC in Super Bowl 53?

All in all, Patriots fans need to appreciate this run. It’s unprecedented. It’s unheard of. And it may be coming to an end soon.

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