Eagles take down Patriots 41-33 to win Super Bowl LII
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The Philadelphia Eagles' flight from last to first ended up with a Lombardi Trophy.
In a record-setting shootout between Nick Foles and Tom Brady, the backup quarterback led a pressure-packed 75-yard drive to the winning touchdown, 11 yards to Zach Etrz with 2:21 to go Sunday night. Then a defense that had been shredded throughout the second half made two final stands to win 41-33.
Brandon Graham strip-sacked Brady and Derek Barnett recovered, setting up rookie Jake Elliot's 46-yard field goal for an 8-point lead.
Brady got his team to midfield, but his desperation pass fell to the ground in the end zone.
The underdog Eagles (16-3), even injured starting quarterback Carson Wentz, came bolting off the sideline in ecstasy while Brady sat on the ground, disconsolate.
It was the first Super Bowl title for Philadelphia (16-3), which went from 7-9 last season to the franchise's first NFL title since 1960.
"If there's a word (it's) called everything," Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said. "That's what it means to Eagles fans everywhere. And for Eagles fans everywhere, this is for them."
Super Bowl MVP Foles orchestrated the victory with the kind of drive NFL MVP Brady, a five-time champion, is known for. The drive covered 14 plays, including a fourth-down conversion.
"I felt calm. I mean, we have such a great group of guys, such a great coaching staff," Foles said. "We felt confident coming in, and we just went out there and played football."
The Eagles had to survive a video replay because Ertz had the ball pop into the air as he crossed the goal line.
"If they would have overturned that, I don't know what would have happened to the city of Philadelphia," Ertz said. "But I'm so glad they didn't overturn it."
The touchdown stood -- and so did thousands of green-clad Eagles fans who weren't going to mind the frigid conditions outside US Bank Stadium once they headed out to celebrate. But not before a rousing rendition of "Fly Eagles Fly" reverberated throughout the stands once the trophy was presented to owner Jeffrey Lurie. Later, fans danced along with the "Gonna Fly Now," the theme from "Rocky," the city's best-known fictional underdog.
The Patriots (15-4) seemed ready to take their sixth championship with Brady and coach Bill Belichick in eight Super Bowls. Brady threw for a game-record 505 yards and three TDs, hitting Rob Gronkowski for 4 yards before Stephen Gostkowski's extra point gave New England its first lead, 33-32.
Then Foles made them forget Wentz -- and least for now -- with the gutsiest drive of his life, including a fourth-down conversion to Ertz at midfield.
Foles has been something of a journeyman in his six pro seasons, but has been spectacular in four career playoff games. He finished 28 of 43 for 373 yards and three TDs.
The combined 1,151 yards were the most in any modern NFL game, and Brady's 505 were the most in any playoff contest. The 40-year-old master finished 28 of 48 and picked apart the Eagles until the final two series.
It was such a wild game that Foles caught a touchdown pass, and Brady was on the opposite end of a Danny Amendola throw that went off his fingertips.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson brought home the championship in his second year in charge. Belichick is 5-3 in Super Bowls and his teams have only a plus-4 overall margin in those games.
So this one was in keeping with that trend: thrilling and even a bit bizarre.
The Patriots won the coin toss and deferred to the second half.
The Eagles, on their first drive of the game, picked up one first down before the Patriots were able force a third-and-long. Nick Foles connected with Torrey Smith for a 15-yard pickup to keep the drive alive.
Jay Ajayi was able to pick up another first down shortly after the long gain, putting Philadelphia on the Patriots' 27-yard line. Corey Clement followed with a long catch and run, setting the Eagles up deep in the Patriots' red zone.
The 11th play of the drive was a first-down run to LeGarrette Blount, putting Philly on the NE 1, but an incomplete pass on third down forced the Eagles to settle for a 25-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead with just under 8 minutes remaining in the first quarter.
The Patriots started their first drive of the game on their 25. Tom Brady's first pass was incomplete to Brandin Cooks on first down, but he was able to connect with James White for a 15-yard gain on second down.
New England was down to the Philadelphia 14-yard line three plays later.
Brady found White for 6 yards before Philly was able to stop White for no gain on a run, bringing up a third-and-four with four and a half minutes left in the quarter. Brady's attempt to Rob Gronkowski fell incomplete on third down, forcing a 26-yard field goal and tying the game 3-3.
The three points were the first points scored in the first quarter in the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era.
Philadelphia took the lead back thanks to a quick-striking drive late in the first quarter. Blount broke off a 36-yard run before Foles found Alshon Jeffery for a 34-yard touchdown catch, giving the Eagles a 9-3 lead. Jake Elliott missed the extra point.
The Eagles blew coverage in the secondary on third down, leaving Danny Amendola open for a 50-yard gain to the Eagles' 29. White rushed to the Philly 9 on the final play of the opening quarter.
On third down, an end-around play to Cooks was stopped a yard short of the first-down line, forcing a 26-yard field goal attempt that was missed by Stephen Gostkowski.
Philadelphia took over on their own 20 with about 14 minutes remaining in the opening half. The New England defense forced a three-and-out and took over on their own 37-yard line after a fair catch by Amendola on the punt.
The Patriots entered Eagles territory on first down when Brady found Cooks for a 23-yard gain. Cooks was injured on the play after he was hit by Malcom Jenkins. Cooks laid motionless on the field until team trainers ran to his aid. He was able to stand and walk off the field under his own power, according to the game announcers. Later in the half, Cooks was ruled out for the rest of the game.
From the Philly 40, New England was only able to gain five yards before facing fourth down. Brady's pass to Gronkowski then fell incomplete, giving the Eagles possession on their own 35-yard line.
Foles found an open Zach Ertz on third down, setting Philadelphia up on the 43-yard line, in Patriots territory.
A long catch by Jeffrey set up a 21-yard touchdown run by Blount, giving the Eagles a 15-3 lead with just under 9 minutes remaining in the first half. The Eagles were unsuccessful on a 2-point attempt after the score.
Brady hit Rex Burkhead for a 49-yard gain to the Eagles' 29 on first down after a touchback.
Brady was unable to find his receiver on third down, forcing a 45-yard field goal attempt, which Gostkowski made, cutting into the Eagles' 15-6 lead.
Philadelphia started its next drive at their own 25-yard line after a touchback on the kickoff.
On third down, Ajayi got loose for a 26-yard gain, setting Philly up in New England territory, but Foles threw an interception on the following play. Foles attempted a pass to Jeffrey down the right sideline, but the ball was juggled and tipped into the air, where Duron Harmon was able to secure it and return it to the Patriots' 10.
Facing a third down from their own 14, the Eagles were called for defensive holding, giving the Patriots a first down and breathing life back into the drive.
A few plays later, Brady found Kevin Hogan for a 43-yard gain, putting the Patriots on the Philadelphia 26-yard line. On the next play, White got free for a 26-yard touchdown run, cutting the Philly lead to 15-12. Gostkowski missed the extra point attempt.
Foles completed a 55-yard pass to Clement, setting the Eagles up inside the Patriots' 10-yard line with just under one minute remaining in the half. Clement pushed his way down to the 2-yard line, forcing the Patriots to take a timeout with 45 seconds remaining. Clement was stuffed on second down, forcing New England to take its second timeout of the half with 41 seconds remaining. An incomplete pass led to a fourth down, that Philadelphia took its first timeout to ponder. After deciding to go for it, the Eagles pulled off a trick play to score a touchdown, taking a 22-12 lead.
Foles caught a pass from Trey Burton, who had caught a pitch from Clement for the score.
The game became the first Super Bowl that both teams produced at least 300 yards of offense in the first half. It is also the first in which both quarterbacks threw for at least 200 yards in the first half. Foles became the first quarterback to catch a touchdown in the big game.
The Patriots started the second half with a pair of long plays to Gronkowski, setting the offense up on the Eagles' 26-yard line. Brady threw an incomplete pass on second down, bringing up third and 6. Brady connected with Gronkowski for the first down, the duo's third of the drive.
Brady then connected with Gronkowski for a 5-yard touchdown, cutting the Philadelphia lead to 22-19 with just over 12 minutes left in the third quarter.
Foles found Nelson Agholor for 17 yards on third-and-6 from the Eagles' 19-yard line, keeping the Eagles' first drive of the second half alive. A pair of solid runs from Ajayi and a nice pass by Foles set the Eagles up on the New England 22-yard line. On third-and-six from the 22-yard line, Foles hit Clement in the back of the endzone for a touchdown, reclaiming Philadelphia's 10-point lead, 29-19 with just over 7 minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Brady led the Patriots on a strong drive to answer Clement's touchdown. Brady capped a 7-play, 75-yard drive with a 26-yard touchdown strike to Hogan, cutting Philadelphia's lead to 29-26.
Foles hit Agholor for a 24-yard gain on the first play of the Eagles following drive. Foles then found Smith for a 17-yard gain, putting the Eagles on the New England 34-yard line. The third quarter ended with Philadelphia facing a third-and-three from New England's 16-yard line.
On third down, Foles completed a pass to Agholor, but he was tackled short of the first-down line, forcing a 42-yard field goal, which Elliott made, giving the Eagles a 32-26 lead.
Burkhead kicked off the New England drive with a few productive runs, picking up 18 yards. Brady's pass to Hogan picked up three yards and brought up a third-and-three from the Patriots' 46-yard line. Brady connected with Amendola for the first-down conversion. Brady connected with Amendola for a second consecutive throw, putting New England in Philadelphia's red zone. Brady's third consecutive completion to Amendola put the Patriots on the Eagles' 8-yard line.
After picking up a first down on the Eagles' 4-yard line, Brady connected with Gronkowski for the go-ahead touchdown, giving New England a 33-32 lead. Brady broke the record for most passing yards in a single Super Bowl during the drive. The record was previously held by Kurt Warner with 414 yards. Brady's total was 457 with 9:22 left in the game.
Foles led the Eagles down the field on a productive drive to answer the Patriots' first lead of the game. The Patriots called their second timeout of the half with 2:30 remaining and the Eagles facing a second-and-seven from the Patriots' 11-yard line. An incomplete pass to Jeffrey brought up third-and-seven. Foles connected with Ertz for an 11-yard touchdown, giving the Eagles a 38-33 lead. Philadelphia was unsuccessful on its 2-point attempt.
Brady fumbled while being sacked on second down, giving the Eagles the ball on the New England 31-yard line with 2:09 left in the game.
The Patriots used their final timeout with 2:03 left and the Eagles facing second down. A Blount run brought the game to the two-minute warning and Philadelphia controlling the ball with a third down. Blount was stuffed on third down, bringing up a 46-yard field goal attempt with 1:10 remaining.
Elliott nailed the kick, giving Philadelphia a 41-33 lead.
The Patriots were able to pick up one first down, on a pass to Amendola on fourth down. After a Brady spike, the quarterback hit Gronkowski for another first down and stopping the clock with 20 seconds. Gronkowski caught another pass and got out of bounds with 13 secondds remaining and the Patriots at midfield. A last-second, Hail Mary attempt came up short as the Patriots watched the clock strike zero.
The game set a postseason record for most yardage gained by both teams combined.
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