By Andres Cruz
After both being number one seeds in their conferences’ playoff rankings, The New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles both sealed their spot against one another in the 52nd Annual SuperBowl. The Eagles went into the game as the underdog team, led by back-up Quarterback Nick Foles, and chased their first championship win, whereas the Patriots were looking for a repeat victory. Played in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the U.S. Bank Stadium, Super bowl LII will go down as one greatest championship games in NFL history.
To start off the night, world famous singer and entertainer, P!nk, gave an outstanding performance of the national anthem. Minutes later, officials brought out WWII veteran and medal of honor recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams to the field as honorary captain to do the coin toss. Philadelphia called tails, but the coin toss ended in heads and the Patriots’ decision to kick-off first. The Eagles returned the ball to the 25-yard line to start off Super Bowl LII.
Right from the get-go, Nick Foles and the Philadelphia offense ran an impressive drive down the field throwing pass after pass. An impressive, 38-yard pass to Wide Receiver Torrey Smith set up a bulldozing run from Jay Ajayi to put the Eagles within New England’s ten yard line on the their opening drive. However, their opening drive luck ran out near the goal line as Foles threw two consecutive incomplete passes, setting up a successful field goal attempt at 4th & goal.
As the Eagles quickly gained the lead with the first three points of the game, The Patriots’ offense tied it up with a similar opening drive. The Patriots also started off at the 25-yard line, and advanced down the field with a series of pass plays like the Eagles. A pass to Danny Amendola for over twenty yards set up a failed attempt to score on 4th & goal. The patriots tied the game 3-3 with a field goal.
This pattern of game play was consistent through the first quarter, with the Eagles using their Overpowered, bulldozing running game to move down the field. Running Back Legarrette Blount proved phenomenal throughout the game, Rushing for thirty six yards which eventually set up a touchdown pass for the Eagles in the first quarter. After a missed extra point attempt, the Eagles led 9-0. Tom Brady and the Patriot offense came back with back-to-back, wide open throws to Danny Amendola. The first quarter ended with a 3rd & one for Patriots, Eagles leading 9-3.
To start off the second quarter, the Patriots were unable to gain another first down, forcing them to go for another field goal attempt. However, this time the ball slipped in the snapper’s hand, causing the pats to miss it. The New England defense retaliated by forcing to incomplete passes by Foles and an Eagles’ punt. Later on during a New England drive, Receiver Brandin Cooks got buried by Eagles defender Malcolm Jenkins, got walked off the field, and sat out for the rest of the game. The Eagles defense owned the majority of the second half, forcing incomplete pass after incomplete pass. The Patriots were so desperate for a first down, they ran a pass play to Quarterback Tom Brady on fourth down. The play was a failure, causing the turnover on downs to the Eagles.
Nick Foles once again led the Eagles down the field with well executed pass plays. Eventually, Blount took hold of the reigns once again rushing and this time all the way into the end zone. After the touchdown, the Eagles went for a two point conversion that failed, extending their lead 15-3. The Patriots would go on to complete a 45-yard field goal to make the score 15-6. Shortly after the field goal, New England rushed for a touchdown and missed the extra point, shortening Philly’s lead 15-12.
As Philly made their way back down the field on offense, they ran a “spit in your face” play against the pats. They threw the ball to Quarterback Nick Foles, who ran it in for a touchdown, making the lead 22-12 at the end of the half. That was the same play that Tom Brady couldn’t complete, causing a turnover on down for the Patriots.
Then, began the highly anticipated Half-Time show, performed by Justin Timberlake. Timberlake started off his Super Bowl performance in a small concert room within the stadium, gradually make his way out onto the main stage on the field. He performed a medley of his greatest recent hits, such as “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” and “Suit & Tie,” along with some classic hits including, “Cry Me A River,” “Suit & Tie,” “SexyBack,” “Senorita,” “Mirrors,” and “My Love.” He later went into the Philly-fan section of the crowd and sang next to a kid who took a selfie with him while he performed. Within minutes, the kid became a meme all over social media, with the hashtag #SuperBowlSelfieKid trending during the game.
The highlight of Timberlake’s performance was his cover of Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U,” which Timberlake sang and performed on the piano with a large video projection of Prince performing the song simultaneously. It was a tribute to the late artist as the Super Bowl was in Prince’s hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The Patriots started off the second half with a touchback as they started from the 20-yard line. Straight out of the locker room, Brady completed pass after pass to Tight End Rob Gronkowski. The passing between the two eventually led to Gronkowski scoring a touchdown, depleting their trail at 22-19. Just like the Patriots have the dynamic duo of Brady and Gronkowski, the Eagles passing game in the second half was defined by Nick Foles and Wide Receiver Nelson Agholor. Agholor put on one heck of a show during the second half, spinning and stiff arming defenders to gain tremendous yardage alongside his other offensive teammates. With a mix-up of passes to Ertz and Agholor and running from Ajayi and Blount, another Eagles touchdown was set up. Foles completed a pass in the endzone to Corey Clement, extending their lead to double digits, 29-19.
After a New England touchdown by Wide Receiver Chris Hogan, the third quarter came to an end with the Eagles leading 29-26. As the 4th and final quarter started, Agholor was quickly stopped for a loss of eight yards by blitzing patriot defenders, forcing a field goal attempt by the Eagles. Jake Elliott, rookie kicker for the Eagles, knocked down the 42-yard field goal making the score 32-26. However, the Eagles game-long lead was diminished When Brady came back with an impressive passing drive, throwing a touchdown pass to Gronkowski, giving them the lead 33-32.
The rest of the quarter went on to be a magnificent display of gameplay from both sides, with impressive drives down the field and defenses cracking down on offensive drives. After back and forth gameplay, the Eagles took the upper hand and scored with a pass to Wide Receiver Zach Ertz, putting them back in the lead. Once again the Eagles went for and missed a two point conversion, leaving the score 38-33.
With less than three minutes left in the game, the Eagles defensive line blitzed the New England offense and stripped the ball from Tom Brady. This was the big turning point in the game as it solidified Eagle rule in the last minutes of the game. After an impressive run by Jay Ajayi, bulldozing through four defenders, the Eagles couldn’t convert for a first down. Instead, Jake Elliott once again landed an impressive 46-yard field goal to give the Eagles an eight point lead, 41-33.
With only seconds left, Brady took a knee and sacrificed a down to stop the clock at twenty six seconds. The Patriots went on to run an all or nothing hail Mary pass play, and came up short as the clock hit 0:00. The Philadelphia Eagles won their first ever Super Bowl in franchise history, 41-33.
Super Bowl LII will go down as one of the best Super Bowl’s in NFL history due to the amount of athleticism and competition that was displayed during the game. Both Nick Foles and Tom Brady threw for well over one thousand yards, with Brady breaking the recording for most yards in an NFL postseason game. Nick Foles holds the second place record for most yards in an NFL postseason game.
As the Eagles wallowed and cried in victory, owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, Jeffrey Lurie, was presented with the Lombardi Trophy. “ If there’s a word called ‘Everything’, that’s what it means to Eagles fans everywhere”, explained Lurie on their Super Bowl win. “For Eagles fans everywhere, this is for them.”
“To be out here with my daughter, my wife, my family, my teammates, this city… we’re very blessed,” said Nick Foles, who was awarded Super Bowl MVP.
Not only is this Super Bowl special for the team, but also for Eagles fans everywhere and the City of Philadelphia. Broad street is now packed, exceeding its fullest capacity as the city of brotherly love celebrates the victory of their beloved eagles. Fly Eagles Fly!
Source:: The Harbinger