The King has been dethroned. The city of Philadelphia is rejoicing and celebrating, and they will be for many weeks to come, as the Eagles captured their first Super Bowl win in franchise history on Sunday, Feb.4 against Tom Brady and the defending champions, the New England Patriots, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn.
The term “underdog” was thrown around a lot to describe the Eagles during the playoffs, but why? The Eagles finished the NFL regular season at a 13-3 record, tied for first best across the NFL. However, they knew they’d have to enter the playoffs without their star quarterback, Carson Wentz. Wentz produced MVP caliber numbers throughout the regular season, but went down with an ACL tear in the week 14 game against the Los Angeles Rams. Who would fill his place? Nick Foles.
Foles was outstanding throughout the playoffs, leading his Eagles to a 15-10 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in the divisional round and then by picking apart the Minnesota Vikings 38-7 in Minnesota in the NFC Championship Game.
The Eagles were on the board first with a field goal in the first quarter, but the Patriots responded quickly. A Foles’ long touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery toward the end of the first quarter really got the Philly fans going. Then, the former Patriot, LeGarrette Blount, scored against his former team later in the second quarter.
A James White rushing touchdown for the Patriots would cut the deficit to three; however, Foles would connect with running back Corey Clement for a big gain to put the Eagles in scoring range late in the second quarter, where we then saw one of the trickiest plays in Super Bowl history, resulting in a touchdown catch, yes catch, for the QB Foles.
The trickery was something the Patriots attempted earlier in the game, with their five time Super Bowl winning champion QB, Brady, but he couldn’t haul the pass in.
After a Chris Hogan touchdown and a pair of Rob Gronkowski touchdown receptions, The Patriots would find themselves up by one in the middle of the fourth quarter.
Receiving the ball with about nine minutes left on the clock and down by one, the Eagles had to strategically manage the clock as well as get into the end zone. They completed a long drive in which they ate up the clock, converted a pass play on fourth down and ultimately took the lead on a Zach Ertz touchdown catch with 2:21 left to play in the game.
Tom Brady, known for his fourth quarter comebacks, wasn’t given a chance thanks to the Eagles, as Brandon Graham stripped Brady of the ball on the Patriots’ drive with a little over two minutes left. The Eagles recovered the fumble and forced the Patriots to use all three of their timeouts on the ensuing drive.
One final Hail Mary pass to the end zone intended for Rob Gronkowski fell to the turf, which was when green confetti fell from the ceiling of U.S. Bank Stadium. Patriots fans were distraught as they were looking for what would have been their third Super Bowl in four years, as Eagles fans started the celebration for their first Super Bowl win in franchise history.
Foles’ post game interview was powerful, as he talked about his previous failures and how they have led him to where he is today. Foles stated, “Without failure, where would you be?”
The once backup QB at the start of the season now celebrates with the Lombardi Trophy and his teammates after defeating Tom Brady and the New England Patriots 41-33.