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Super Bowl LII: Tom Brady gives credit to Eagles, wishes Pats finished drives in first half

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) walks

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) walks off the field after Super Bowl LII against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Minneapolis. The Eagles won 41-33. Credit: AP / Chris O'Meara

MINNEAPOLIS — If there’s any consolation for Patriots fans after Sunday’s 41-33 loss to the Eagles in Super Bowl LII, it’s that Tom Brady expects to be back again next year to try to win a sixth Super Bowl ring.

“I expect to be back,” Brady said. “It’s 15 minutes after the game ended, so I would like to process this. I don’t see why I wouldn’t be back.”

Brady suffered his third Super Bowl defeat in his eighth appearance, with the previous two losses against the Giants. He was trying to win a Super Bowl for the third time in a four-year span for the second time in his career.

Brady had a mostly magnificent game, throwing for a Super Bowl-record 505 yards and three touchdowns against one of the league’s top defenses. He wasn’t intercepted, but the only time he was sacked proved costly. With the Patriots trailing 38-33 late in the fourth quarter, he had the ball stripped from his hands by defensive end Brandon Graham. The ball was recovered by Derek Barnett at the Patriots’ 33 with 2:09 to play. The Eagles converted the turnover into a 46-yard field goal by Jake Elliott to increase their lead to 41-33 with 1:05 to play.

The Patriots moved to midfield on their final possession, but a desperation heave to the end zone by Brady fell incomplete with no time remaining on the clock.

“They made a good play,” Brady said of the sack. “I’d obviously love to not have it stripped from me. I was just holding the ball trying to get it downfield. Those guys had a good rush and got in there and made a good play. They made one good play at the right time. They stripped the ball and got it back and kicked a field goal. Down eight, had a chance at the end zone, but just came up short on the Hail Mary.”

He added: “The Eagles played a better game today. They deserve to win. That’s why we’re not the champs.”

Brady won the regular-season MVP award for the third time and attempted to become the first quarterback since Kurt Warner of the Rams in 1999 to win both the regular-season MVP and Super Bowl MVP.

It was not to be. Eagles counterpart Nick Foles was named Super Bowl MVP after going 28-for-43 for 373 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

Brady lamented the Patriots’ inability to finish drives with touchdowns in the first half as a critical factor in the final score. The Patriots racked up 350 yards in the first half but came away with only 12 points.

“We moved the ball a lot and didn’t score a lot of points,” he said. “We did a better job in the second half, had a chance. First half, we had a lot of yards, but just didn’t have a lot of points. That came back to bite us in the end.”

The Patriots took their only lead of the game, 33-32, in the fourth quarter but gave up what proved to be the winning touchdown on an 11-yard pass from Foles to Zach Ertz with 2:21 to play.

“It’s tough to lose these games,” Brady said. “You can’t win the game if you’re not in the game. You play to win, and sometimes you lose. Disappointed. Wish we could have done a better job. I give the Eagles a lot of credit. They played a great game. They got a great team.”

New York Sports