This season everything lined up for the New England Patriots to again storm to a final minute Super Bowl victory, but player Brandon Graham, a standout for the Philadelphia Eagles, shot past the offensive line and his strip sack of Tom Brady finished the threat, giving the Eagles a surprising 41-33 upset in Super Bowl LII and this team’s first championship since 1960.
Nick Foles, the backup quarterback who assumed duties as Philadelphia’s starting quarterback only after an unfortunate injury to Carson Wentz recently in Week 14, completed 28 of 43 passes for 373 yards and 3 touchdowns, and he even received a touchdown pass during an offensive effort that few predicted he was able to coming into the game. He continuously converted third down chances, threw aggressively all game, and appeared equally as poised and confident as Brady, the five-time champion on the opposite side of the field.
Three weeks previous the thought of Foles being titled the most valuable player of Super Bowl LII would seem ludicrous, but now after watching the Philadelphia Eagles’ QB crush the Minnesota Vikings in the N.F.C. championship game, and follow-up to match that performance against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, the choice now seemed obvious.
“I felt calm,” he stated before praising his teammates and the coaching staff.
Coach Doug Pederson was ecstatic after the game, proclaiming “We have the greatest fans in the world, and now we have the best team in the world.”
The Patriots struggled defensive problems early on in the season, but seemed to fix things. Today, however, they failed to stop the Eagles from scoring, and lost an incredible chance in which Brady and team pushed over 600 yards of offense.
The Eagles earned offensive stars all over the field, with LeGarrette Blount rushing for 90 yards and a touchdown, Corey Clement brought 108 yards of total offense, and Nelson Agholor caught 9 passes for 84 yards. But Zach Ertz, Foles’s favorite target, got the go-ahead touchdown in the final minutes when he soared over Devin McCourty for an incredible 11-yard touchdown pass. Ertz finished the game with 7 catches for 67 yards.
Halftime show. There was no wardrobe malfunction. No Prince hologram. Instead, it was all Justin Timberlake, who’s new album came out this week, running through an all-star medley of his hits, like “SexyBack” and “My Love.”
But after several years of immensely entertaining halftime shows including Lady Gaga entering the stadium from the sky, an ensemble performance from All Stars Beyoncé, Coldplay and Bruno Mars, and Katy Perry and Left Shark, Timberlake’s solo performance ultimately felt uninspired.
Ending a season marked by outrage in which players protested during the national anthem was one of the NFL’s dominant storylines, meanwhile no Eagles or Patriots players did so today during performer Pink’s rendition of the song.
While the New England Patriots were officially the home team, it sure didn’t feel that way in Minneapolis’s U.S. Bank Stadium. Fans wearing Eagles outfits outnumbered their counterparts wearing any Patriots gear and the biggest boos were reserved for Tom Brady.