Mohamed Sanu is the newest member of the New England Patriots after the Atlanta Falcons reportedly traded him for a second-round draft pick Tuesday, and the veteran wide receiver already has firsthand knowledge of how well quarterback Tom Brady and his offense operate under pressure.
Sanu spent the first four seasons of his NFL career with the Cincinnati Bengals before signing with the Falcons as a free agent entering the 2016 campaign. The Falcons met the Patriots in Super Bowl LI during the 2016 season, and we all remember Atlanta having a 28-3 third-quarter lead in that game until Brady engineered the greatest comeback in league history to lead New England to an improbable 34-28 overtime victory.
The 30-year-old wideout was a guest on ESPN's "First Take" a few months after the painful Super Bowl loss to the Patriots, and he was asked about the moment he knew the tide was starting to turn against the Falcons on that night.
"After the sack-fumble, I was like, ‘Whoa, like, this is crazy. We're just not moving the ball at all, not putting up any points, and they're out there -- they are on us.'" Sanu said in June of 2017. "They're a great team, don't get me wrong. They are a great team and they showed what they can do. We're a great team as well. I just had the confidence in my teammates and myself. They had that confidence in themselves, too, and that's what makes them a great team. They have a great leader in Tom Brady, and he went out and does what he does best, and that's perform at a high level."
The Falcons have fallen apart after that Super Bowl defeat.
Atlanta lost in the NFC Divisional Round in 2017, then missed the playoffs in 2018 before starting out 1-6 this season. The Patriots, who enter Week 8 with a 7-0 record, saved Sanu from the misery of the 2019 Falcons, and now he has a great opportunity to get back to the Super Bowl and win the Lombardi Trophy that he came so close to hoisting in 2016.