By Adam Malev
This year’s Super Bowl was an amazing competition between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles. Hosted in US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, the game was expected to excite football fans as both top seeded teams faced each other in the biggest football game of the year. The game featured two of the best teams in the league and were able to compile over 1,000 total yards in the game.
Aside from a missed field goal by the Patriots and a missed extra point by the Eagles in the first quarter, both teams played stellar football. By the end of the first half, the Eagles had taken a 22-12 lead that they knew they would have to maintain in order to avoid deja vu from Super Bowl 51, in which the Patriots came back from a 25 point Falcon lead. Quite surprisingly, Bill Belichick, the Patriots’ jubilant head coach, decided not to play Malcolm Butler, a star cornerback who likely would have changed the dynamic of the game, increasing the versatility of the Eagles passing game.
After Justin Timberlake’s performance, the second half started with the Patriots scoring another touchdown to cut the Eagles’ lead to 3. A touchdown a piece in the rest of the third quarter meant an exciting 4th quarter to come as the Eagles maintained a 29-26 lead.
Less than a minute into the 4th quarter, the Eagles made a field goal to take a 6 point lead. On the following drive the Patriots scored a touchdown to take the lead. But, the Eagles would retaliate on their next drive lasting seven minutes but resulting in a touchdown and a failed 2 point conversion attempt. On the subsequent drive Tom Brady would get strip sacked by Brandon Graham, and the Eagles would recover the football and later score a field goal to extend the lead to 8. With 1:04 to play, the Patriots would have to score a touchdown and make a 2 point conversion in order to send the game into overtime. With 9 seconds to play Tom Brady received a snap 51 yards from the end zone and threw a “Hail Mary” pass to the end zone. With Rob Gronkowski leaping in the air in an effort to save the game for the Patriots, five Eagles defenders leaped into the air with him and were able to get the pass to land on the ground as time expired.
Nick Foles, the Eagles backup quarterback, played in the biggest game of his career. After taking on the starting role when Carson Wentz was ruled out after tearing his ACL in Week 14, Foles stepped up for the Eagles for the following games leading up to Super Bowl 52. In Super Bowl 52, Foles asserted his dominance passing for 373 yards, 3 touchdowns and receiving one on an incredible trick play on 4th and Goal in the second quarter, in which running back Corey Clement took the snap and flipped it to tight end Trey Burton who passed the football to a wide open Nick Foles. Foles was named Super Bowl MVP as the Eagles were able to hang on to stun the Patriots and win their first Super Bowl.