MUCH like the entire city of Philadelphia I’m moving a bit slow this morning after last nights events. Those events included a handful of beers while watching the Eagles take down Tom Brady and the Patriots in Super Bowl LII. A record-breaking offensive performance from both sides was exciting right until the final play. Here’s how the 52nd Super Bowl unfolded.
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I’LL admit I had my doubts about Nick Foles. Ever since Carson Wentz went down the great unknown of how far Foles could take Philly was well documented. Well, yesterday we got our answer. Right out of the gate Foles looked comfortable and made big plays to deliver the franchises first Super Bowl.
Image from reuters.com
USING a bunch of RPO’s (run-pass options) helped the Eagles move the ball effectively against a New England defense that looked a step slow all game. The Patriots were equally up to the task offensively out of the gates, but slowly things started to unravel. A missed field goal from Gostkowski early in the second quarter and turning the ball over on downs in their next drive saw Philly waltz out to a double-digit lead, a lead that they took into the main break.
WITH the score at 22-12, New England came out blazing in the second half and after trading scores on each drive, they took the lead with a Gronk touchdown and just over nine minutes left on the clock. They didn’t lead for long as Foles marched Philadelphia right back down the field and connected with his own tight end Zach Ertz to regain the lead. What followed was perhaps the defining play of the game where Brandon Graham recorded the games only sack, striping the ball from Brady.
A Jake Elliott field goal later and the score was 41-33 with the ball in Brady’s hands. With the clock as his enemy, the Patriots advanced with the game coming down to a hail mary attempt. The ball hit the ground in the end zone and it was official, the Eagles were Super Bowl champs. With their last championship coming in 1960 (prior to the Super Bowl era) the drought was broken and the party was underway in Philadelphia.
HEAD coach Doug Peterson in just his second season with the team was the games real MVP. Masterful play calling made the Patriots defense look terrible the whole game and made their offense look invincible. Unable to stop the Eagles moving the ball, New England was playing catch up all night and no amount of Tom Brady brillance could stop them.
THE guy who will go down as the game’s MVP in the record books deserves credit too. Nick Foles threw for 373 yards and three passing touchdowns and silenced any doubters with a brilliant postseason. He also became the first player to pass and catch a touchdown in the Super Bowl with a second quarter trick play leaving him wide open in the end zone.
IT’S crazy to think that the Pats didn’t punt the entire game and yet they still lost. Both teams combined for 1,151 yards, the most yardage not only in a Super Bowl, but in any modern NFL game. Brady picked apart the Eagles defense just as much as Foles did to New England, but they just didn’t find a way to come through when it mattered most. This will be a hard pill to swallow for New England and it could be the beginning of the end of their dynasty.
JOSH McDaniels and Matt Patricia will leave the team to become the Colts and Lions head coach respectively with league MVP Brady and Belichick not getting any younger. Gronk is mulling retirement and their blueprint for the future is sketchy. That future might not include Malcolm Butler, who after playing over 97% of their defensive snaps all season was mysteriously benched for the entire game.
Image from si.com
THE Eagles, on the other hand, have one of the most exciting young groups in football and could very well be back on this stage next year. Of course, the dilemma under center will play out once Carson Wentz returns to full health. Teams will come calling for Nick Foles and Philadelphia holds a lot of power in potential negotiations over the Suber Bowl MVP.
RIGHT now though, no one in the franchise, or in the entire city is thinking about the 2018 season. They are in full party mode, planning a championship parade.
Fly Eagles Fly.
Banner from reuters.com