As the dust settled in Minneapolis this weekend, the underdog mask wearing Philadelphia Eagles were the ones left standing, defeating the New England Patriots 41-33 in a Super Bowl for the ages.
This marks the Eagles first ever Lombardi Trophy, with their last championship coming in 1960 – before the Super Bowl era.
Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was named the game’s MVP, completing 28 of 43 passes for 373 yards and three touchdowns. Foles also caught a one-yard touchdown pass late in the second quarter, adding to the Eagles’ lead going into halftime.
“I felt calm. I mean we, have such a great group of guys, such a great coaching staff,” said Foles. “We felt confident coming in, and we just went out there and played football.”
Foles led a 14-play, 75-yard drive late in the fourth quarter that was capped off by an 11-yard touchdown pass to tight end Zach Ertz with 2:21 left in the game, and also gave the Eagles the lead.
“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.”
During the Patriots drive immediately following, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was stripped by Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham, with Derek Barnett recovering the fumble and giving the Eagles the ball back in Patriots territory. This set up rookie kicker Jake Elliott for a 46-yard field goal, which gave the Eagles an 8-point lead and all but sealed the game.
“For us, it was all about one stop we had to make,” Graham said. “We went out here and made that one stop.”
Brady then attempted to lead a comeback drive with 58 seconds left. He got them to the Patriots 49-yard line but came up short on an incomplete Hail Mary pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski.
The teams combined for 1,151 yards of total offense, the most in any modern NFL game. This was due largely to Brady completing 28 of 48 passes for 505 yards. There was also only one punt in the entire game.
Gronkowski and Brady both talked about their futures after the game.
“I mean it’s 15 minutes after the game ended, so I’d like to process this a little bit,” 40-year-old Brady said. “I wouldn’t see why I wouldn’t be back.”
Gronkowski sounded a little more undecided, saying that he will “sit down in the next couple of weeks and see where I’m at.”
If this was Gronkowski’s last game, he finished in style, posting nine catches for 116 yards and two touchdowns.
Two Eagles players, running back LeGarrette Blount and defensive end Chris Long, played for the Patriots last year, making them both back-to-back Super Bowl champions.
Head coach Doug Pederson is a Super Bowl champion in his second year as the leader of the Eagles, recovering from a 7-9 record last year. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is now 5-3 in in Super Bowls.