How Foles, Eagles Took Home the Lombardi Trophy

Thomas Ziegler, Staff Writer

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Super Bowl LII was one to remember, as the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots 41-33.

The Eagles, coming out as NFC champions, had gone 13-3 despite losing their starting QB Carson Wentz to an ACL injury in Week 14. The heavily favored Patriots were AFC champions yet again and finished the regular season with a record of 13-3.    

Nick Foles, who was the starting QB for the Eagles from weeks 5-16 in 2013 and weeks 1-8 in 2014 before breaking his collarbone and ending his season, had taken over and went 2-1 finishing the regular season.

Tom Brady was named NFL MVP for the third time despite the rise of other young players at skill positions.

The Eagles were underdogs yet again against the Pats. The Eagles won the coin toss and had elected to receive. They scored a field goal after driving down the field 67 yards in 14 plays.

The Patriots started the second quarter off with an 8 play, 74-yard drive sadly ending in a missed field goal from the 26-yard line. When New England got the ball back after an Eagles punt, Patriots WR Brandin Cooks remained on the bench with a head injury after being rocked by Eagles S Malcolm Jenkins and was pronounced out for the rest of the game. Philadelphia stormed down the field in three minutes to have RB LeGarrette Blount rush 21 yards for a TD, but a failed two-point conversion left the score with Philly leading 15–3. The Patriots responded with a 45-yard field goal from Gostkowski. Philly had possession but quickly gave it back after Nick Foles’ pass towards Alshon Jeffery was intercepted by Duron Harmon at the New England 10-yard line. On the next Pats drive, Brady hit Chris Hogan for 43 yards which led to a James White 26-yard TD run.  

One of the most memorable plays came on the next Philadelphia drive. It was  4th down and goal for Philly, and head coach Doug Pederson decided to go for it all. The Eagles went to the back of the playbook where TE Trey Burton threw to QB Nick Foles. The play was executed to perfection as Foles snuck to the right of the offensive line and the ball was snapped to Burton, and Foles was wide open in the end zone for a TD.

Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski was very quiet in the first half but had four catches for 68 yards on the Pats opening second half drive.  He then caught Brady’s first TD pass from five yards out with the extra point good as the score was 22–19 as New England came within three of Philly.

The Eagles converted three third-downs on a drive that put the lead at 10 yet again from Nick Foles’ pass to RB Corey Clement from 22-yards out on third down. Tom Brady went 3/3 passing on a drive that ended in a Chris Hogan over the shoulder catch from 26 yards for a TD which put the Patriots within three of Philly yet again. Philadelphia ended the third quarter on the Patriots side of the field at the 23-yard line as K Jake Elliot nailed a 42-yard field goal.

With just the fourth quarter remaining, New England needed a play that would ignite their team to take the Eagles lead away as the offense has possession. Brady threw a short pass to WR Danny Amendola, and he ran to the Eagles 17–yard line for 30 yards to setup the Pats in the red zone. On 2nd and goal, Tom Brady throws a lob to Rob Gronkowski for his second TD reception as New England had its first lead.

On the next drive, Philadelphia took up almost eight minutes of the 4th quarter driving 14 plays for 75 yards. Eagles TE Zach Ertz is open in the end zone from 11 yards out to give them the lead at 38-33 with a failed two-point conversion attempt. The Patriots had two minutes to score a TD and win the Super Bowl. However, things go awry on the second play of the drive when Brady is strip-sacked by LB Brandon Graham, and Philly recovered at the New England 28-yard line. It’s only the second turnover by either team—the first by the Patriots. New England uses its two final timeouts to conserve the clock. The Eagles kicked a 46-yard field goal to make it an 8 point game with one minute to go.

On the final drive of the game, New England never made it on the other side of the field. There was time for one final play, and it had to be a Hail Mary.  Brady heaved the ball 51 yards away from the end zone and Gronkowski had his hands on it for a second, but it was knocked away.

The Eagles staff and players cried in tears of joy and jumped in triumph as they brought home the first Lombardi Trophy to Philly ever.

Despite the loss, Tom Brady passed for 505 yards and 3 TDs, the most yards by a QB in Super Bowl history. Nick Foles put on a phenomenal performance for a backup QB and won the Super Bowl MVP. Overall, this Super Bowl will go down in history as one of the most action-packed games ever.