Nick Foles and the underdog Eagles did what so many other teams have failed to do. They killed a classic Patriots comeback to get a 41-33 Super Bowl win — the first in franchise history.
The Eagles went into the half with a 22-12 lead, thanks to Nick Foles outplaying Brady in every possible way, including as a receiver. The Eagles extended their lead to 10 points with a trick-play pass from Trey Burton. But never forget Super Bowl 51 and that 28-3 lead the Falcons carried into the half. No lead is safe against Tom Brady and the Patriots.
Brady came out dealing in the second half, and he led a drive that got Gronkowski in the end zone to cut the Eagles’ lead to 22-19. That was the pivotal moment when it looked like the Pats would pull off a trademark comeback. The Patriots took a 33-32 lead over the Eagles with just over nine minutes left to play. But the Eagles didn’t give up when Carson Wentz went down with a torn ACL, and they didn’t give up on Super Bowl Sunday.
Foles hit Zach Ertz for a touchdown to take a 38-33 lead with 2:21 left to play. They missed the two-point attempt, and they left the Patriots plenty of time. But Brady fumbled and the Eagles recovered just 12 seconds later. They turned that into three more points, taking a 41-33 lead with just over a minute left to play.
This was a ridiculous, fun game from start to finish. These teams combined to break the record for the most yards in a Super Bowl before the third quarter was even over. LeGarrette Blount put up 90 yards and a score against his former team. And Foles, a backup, becomes just the second quarterback in NFL history to pull off a win over the vaunted Patriots.
This was almost a classic Patriots comeback. But the Eagles fought hard for the first Super Bowl win in team history, in this weird-ass, wildly entertaining game.
Nick Foles did more than enough to win
Pretty much everybody counted out the underdog Eagles starting the moment that Carson Wentz tore his ACL. But Foles absolutely held his own.
Then the Eagles ran a trick play with Foles as a receiver on fourth down for a touchdown. It worked.
And no, it wasn’t an illegal formation.
Foles finished 28-of-43 for 373 yards, three touchdowns — not including his receiving score — and one pick.
Patriots ran a trick play with Tom Brady as a receiver
Brady holds a bunch of Super Bowl records and has five rings. But Foles has a ring now, and he has Brady beat as a receiver, at least.
Rob Gronkowski had 68 yards on the first drive after the half
This was almost a really nice drive for Gronkowski. Actually, it culminated in a touchdown, so it worked out just fine for the Patriots.
Gronk also scored the touchdown that gave the Patriots their first lead of the night in the fourth quarter with just 9:22 left to play.
Gronk caught just nine of his 15 targets but still put up 116 yards and two scores. It just wasn’t enough to push the Patriots to a win.
The kickers had a very bad day
The Eagles got into the end zone first with a 34-yard Foles pass to Jeffery. But kicker Jake Elliott shanked the extra-point attempt.
Then Stephen Gostkowski missed a 26-yard chip shot of a field goal attempt for the Patriots.
And then Gostkowski missed an extra point of his own.
The Eagles also missed two different two-point attempts, from Foles to Jeffery early in the game and one after Ertz’s fourth-quarter score to take the lead back. Those could have sunk them, but they still managed to pull off the win.
Duron Harmon pulled off the most ludicrous interception ever
Harmon led the Patriots in picks this season with four. But he had perhaps the best of his career on Sunday, with a little help from Alshon Jeffery.
Jeffery tries to pull in this Foles pass, but can’t do it. He bobbles the ball into the air, and Harmon’s in the right place at the right time to make the play.
This was really Foles’ only mistake of the day. It was a wild play, but it was really just kind of par for the course for this roller coaster of an upset win by the Eagles.