The New England Patriots are onto preparing for the 2018 season, but Duron Harmon and Chris Hogan are still stuck on the Super Bowl LII loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
February is over. But, it is hard not to think about what transpired at the beginning of the month. While the New England Patriots are preparing for free agency and the NFL draft, that Super Bowl LII loss to the Philadelphia Eagles still sting for both Duron Harmon and Chris Hogan.
While fans have the Rob Gronkowski saga to distract them from that 41-33 loss, the Patriots safety and wide receiver are still lamenting on that tough loss.
Speaking to ESPN’s Mike Reiss this past Friday, Harmon opened up about how he is dealing with that disappointing loss.
"“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about that game,” Harmon confessed. “I’m pretty sure everybody on our team feels the same way. The only thing you can do is just learn from it – what put us in position to lose that game and how to never do that again.”"
It was primarily the defense responsible for the loss. Bill Belichick has definitely taken his share of blame for not playing Malcolm Butler, but those playing the game still needed to make plays. According to Harmon, that simply didn’t happen.
"“Not getting off the field on third down,” the Patriots captain said. “Not marrying up good pressure with good pass coverage. We had opportunities to get off the field, to make plays and tackles, and we didn’t do it. You have to realize that the team that makes fewer mistakes is going to win, and they made a little bit less mistakes than us that allowed them to get the win.”"
Duron Harmon went on to talk about the team’s future and how different the team may look in 2018. The Rutgers product said he feels great about his team despite all the drama and question marks surrounding them. Quite frankly, in Bill he still trusts.
Chris Hogan is feeling the sting as well
Like Duron Harmon, wide receiver Chris Hogan still hasn’t gotten over the loss. In a game in which he had six catches for 128 yards and a touchdown, the veteran receiver can only think about what he could’ve done better to help the team win.
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"“It’s not a great feeling, especially a game like that that comes down to the last play,” Hogan said in an appearance on Good Morning Football, via Patriots.com. “you are going back and forth and you just kind of, I guess it kind of culminates at the end of that game and you think about everything you went through to get to that point. You just start reflecting on the game and you just start to think, ‘Could I have done this? Could I have done that?’”"
While he admits it was a great game despite the end results, Hogan is also looking forward to the 2018 season and a run at another Super Bowl.
Actually, for Chris Hogan, all he knows is Super Bowl appearances as a member of the New England Patriots. He helped the team win Super Bowl LI in his first season and watched as Tom Brady got strip sacked to lose in his second consecutive appearance.
The status of Jonathan Jones
One player who could’ve made a difference in Super Bowl LII was cornerback Jonathan Jones.
The second-year cornerback landed on injured reserve as a result of an ankle injury suffered in the divisional-round game against the Tennessee Titans. Slotted as the team’s No. 4 cornerback, one has to wonder how much more effective Jones would’ve been compared to both Johnson Bademosi and Eric Rowe.
While there is no sense of looking back at the “What ifs,” the team does expect Jones to be ready to participate in the team’s offseason workout program that begins April 16.
While the status of Jonathan Jones shouldn’t affect what the Patriots do in both the draft and free agency, his availability allows them to perhaps target certain types of cornerbacks.