SAU Buzz

Eagles fly pasts Patriots, win first Super Bowl

by Erik Butzen
Posted on Feb 19, 2018

Philly Philly! On Sunday, February 4, quarterback Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles toppled Tom Brady and the New England Patriots 41-33 to claim the first Super Bowl victory in their franchise’s history.

Foles was the game’s MVP, throwing for over 370 yards, along with three crisp touchdown passes. He also added a receiving touchdown on a trick play late in the second half.

“I’ve got the best players in the world,” said Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson. "It's a resilient group. I love this coaching staff. Not only do we have the best fans in the world, we now have the best team in the world.”

The big headline early on Super Bowl Sunday was the benching of Patriots star cornerback, Malcolm Butler. After speculation that he broke team rules,  the New England Sports Network reported that his benching was “strictly performance based.” The former undrafted free agent out of the University of West Alabama claimed the team “gave up on him.”

Butler’s absence showed to be crucial early, as Foles and the Eagles’ passing attack racked up 61 passing yards on their first drive of the game, which resulted in a field goal.

Brady and the Patriots responded immediately with a 26-yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal.

Late in the first quarter, the Eagles started to catch fire. Foles dropped a dime to former Chicago Bear Alshon Jeffery for a 34-yard touchdown pass. Eagles kicker Jake Elliott shanked the extra point the following play.

New England couldn’t stop the run game, allowing the Eagles to gain 164 yards on the ground, 90 of them coming from former Patriot, LeGarrette Blount.

Early in the second quarter, Blount powered his way into the endzone for a 21-yard touchdown, making the score 15-3.

The Patriots then started to regain some momentum after their star wide receiver, Brandin Cooks, left the game after a ferocious hit by Eagles Safety Malcolm Jenkins.

On back-to-back drives, New England got themselves back into the game after another Gostkowski field goal, as well as a James White 26-yard touchdown run.

With a 15-12 score late in the second half, Foles and the Eagles wanted to rack up a quick last minute drive before halftime. Foles led the team to the Patriots one yard line in just over a minute and a half.

With the expectations of the Eagles pounding it in with Blount, who is a consistent red zone running back, the Eagles decided to do some trickery.  Foles calledl a play that went from a tight end reverse, to a pass to Foles. The play call went in Philly’s favor, as tight end Trey Burton, who was once a quarterback at the University of Florida, threw a touchdown pass to a wide open Foles, giving the Eagles a 22-12 lead at the half.

Brady and the Patriots have never come back from this kind of deficit before, right?

Brady, a five time Super Bowl Champion, led his team on a remarkable feat back into the game. As he tossed not one, not two, but three touchdown passes in the second half. Two of those touchdown passes went to New England Tight End Rob Gronkowski.

With about nine minutes left in the Super Bowl, Brady hoped to have a more Super Bowl magic in him as he found his massive tight end for a four-yard touchdown, giving the team their first lead of the contest.

With the score at 33-32 in favor of New England, Philly had one more shot of knocking off the Super Bowl favorites.

After a 14 play, seven minute drive, Zach Ertz caught another bullet from Foles regaining the lead with just over two minutes to go.

Patriots Coach Bill Belichick has been in this situation many times before, including last year’s Super Bowl.

Unfortunately for New England, Eagles’ Defensive End Brandon Graham sacked Brady, forcing him to fumble and turn the ball over to the Eagles. Brady’s fumble led to a Philadelphia field goal, making it an eight point contest.

With only a few seconds left on the clock, New England had a chance to chuck a Hail Mary and win the game, but their attempt was foiled by the Eagles’ secondary, as he completely locked down Gronkowski.

As much adversity as Philadelphia saw, including the loss of star quarterback Carson Wentz, the Eagles overcame it and won their first Super Bowl title.