’It breaks my heart’: Aussie NFL superstar Jordan Mailata shattered by teammate’s comment
Aussie NFL giant Jordan Mailata was left heartbroken after his first play-offs appearance, not by the lopsided result but a post-match comment from a teammate.
Sydney-born Mailata’s breakout season for the Philadelphia Eagles ended with a 31-15 thrashing at the hands of reigning Super Bowl champions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday morning (AEDT).
The loss left Perth tradie-turned-San Francisco 49ers punter Mitch Wishnowsky as the only Aussie still in the hunt for Super Bowl glory.
Led by NFL great Tom Brady, the Bucs brutalised Mailata and the Eagles, holding them scoreless through the first three quarters to end the contest before it even began.
Afterwards, Mailata said he was shattered to hear that quarterback Jalen Hurts had shouldered the blame for the comprehensive defeat.
“It breaks my heart to see my QB solely take responsibility and say that it’s on him,” a visibly emotional Mailata said.
“It’s not. It’s on me. It’s on every player. I messed up as well not giving him enough time.
“It breaks my heart to see him try to take the blame for everything. It’s not true.
“We all need to be better.”
Hurts, playing only his second season in the NFL, was criticised for his wayward passing and for appearing rattled on the big stage.
But Mailata said he had been inspired by the 23-year-old’s leadership.
“I want to follow that dude. He wants to fix his mistakes. When I see my captain doing that, I want to do the same thing,” Mailata said.
Mailata said that while the huge loss was difficult to take, the Eagles had a bright future ahead under coach Nick Sirianni.
“I think he’s a great, phenomenal coach. We all bought into his process and his fundamentals,” Mailata said.
“We trusted in him and we invested ourselves. We got to the play-offs.
“We’re a young team with a young coach and this is only the beginning.
“We’re going to look back at this film and we’re going to learn from it. We’re going to make the corrections and carry that chip on our shoulder until next year.”
Last Aussie standing
San Francisco 49ers punter Mitch Wishnowsky is the only Aussie left in the race for Super Bowl glory.
Wishnowsky cleared the NFL’s concussion protocols just in time to take his place in the 49ers’ play-offs clash with bitter rival the Dallas Cowboys on Monday morning (AEDT).
The Niners stormed into the final quarter up 23-7 and withstood a spirited Dallas fightback that left San Francisco residents on the edge of their seats.
Perth-born Wishnowsky, who in January 2020 became the second Aussie ever to play in a Super Bowl, punted four times at an average 44.8 yards, just under his season average of 45.
Having claimed a 23-17 victory, the Niners now travel to Wisconsin where they’ll meet the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Divisional playoff.
They’ll need to win that and one more game to have a shot at avenging the heartbreak of Super Bowl LIV, which Wishnowsky and co. lost at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Originally published as ’It breaks my heart’: Aussie NFL superstar Jordan Mailata shattered by teammate’s comment
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