Tom Brady may have been named MVP of Super Bowl 51, but he could not have done it without a pair of unsung heroes.
Patriots running back James White and rookie receiver Malcolm Mitchell turned in the best games of their careers at the perfect time.
It’s going to stick to him for a while, like a bad smell. He’ll have to answer for it again when he’s introduced in Santa Clara, just as he kept having to answer for it Super Bowl night in Houston — both in front of the cameras and, it’s been reported, on the concourse of NRG Stadium, where the Falcons’ coaching staff had to detour because of postgame elevator problems.
Brand-new head coaches have shown up for work on a slightly higher note than this.
The aforementioned baggage of the devastating collapse against the Patriots will add a level of expectations and scrutiny that’s distinct from what he already was going to get. Shanahan got quite the buildup for this, thanks to being the assistant on the eventual NFC champs, staying in the spotlight of his old job longer, having been on every team’s hot list not just this year NFL Jerseys China but last year — and because there were tangible results throughout the playoffs for everybody to see.
Had the Falcons held that lead, he would be coasting in on a tidal wave of adulation. Even if they’d lost, but just in a conventional way rather than blowing the biggest NFL Jerseys Wholesale lead in the game’s history, the positivity would far outweigh the negativity.