The Philadelphia Eagles, led by Nick Foles, dethroned league MVP Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 52.
The conclusion to the 2017-18 NFL season ended with a final score of 41-33. The Eagles brought home their very first Super Bowl championship in franchise history and Foles was named the MVP.
A Minneapolis crowd of 68,000 was fortunate to have witnessed not just Super Bowl history, but NFL history as well with a record-breaking combined 1,151 yards between the two offenses. There was just a single punt on the night.
Despite throwing for a Super Bowl record-high of 505 passing yards, Brady was unable to earn his sixth ring. Foles had a performance for the books, completing 28 of 43 attempts for 373 yards, putting himself into the top five for Super Bowl passing yards in a game.
After driving down the length of the field, Foles tossed the go-ahead, game-winning, 11 yard touchdown to tight end Zach Ertz with just 2:21 left in the ball game.
Following the late score, Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham made a signature moment with the strip-sack on Brady which then set up the rookie kicker Derek Barnett’s 46-yard field goal to extend to an 8-point lead. Barnett’s kick was a record setting distance for a rookie in any Super Bowl.
With just over a minute left to play, Brady and the New England offense were able to take the field with no timeouts remaining. Three completions drove the Patriots to their own 49 with just :9 seconds to go.
After the Hail Mary attempt to tight end Rob Gronkowski was incomplete, the game-clock had expired; the Eagles were officially named Super Bowl 52 champions.
“Get used to this,” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said. “This is the new norm in Philadelphia,”
This was quite the Cinderella story amongst Super Bowl winning teams. Losing your MVP-candidate, star quarterback for the backup to make a run into February and come home with a Lombardi Trophy. The Eagles were point-spread underdogs in each of their postseason games.
Carson Wentz, Eagles’ starting QB who tore his ACL prior to the playoffs, will likely reclaim his role as the team’s starter for week one in 2018. Popular belief is that the Eagles will consider plans to trade Foles, but it remains uncertain at this point in the offseason.
This loss brings Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and long-time quarterback, three time MVP Tom Brady to a 5-3 record in Super Bowls for both of their careers. As of today, both Belichick and Brady (age 40) are expected to return to New England for the 2018 season.
The Super Bowl 52 MVP began his career in Philadelphia when he was drafted in the third round of the 2012 NFL draft. In March 2015, he was traded to the L.A. Rams in exchange for Sam Bradford and a fifth round draft pick. Later, the Rams ended up deciding to release Foles after he was benched for Case Keenum. This situation unfolded at age 27, and he had strongly considered options regarding retirement from the game of football.
“I think when you look at a struggle in your life, just know that’s just an opportunity for your character to grow. And that’s just been the message. Simple. If something’s going on in your life and you’re struggling? Embrace it. Because you’re growing,” Foles said in the post-Super Bowl press conference.
Last March, the Arizona alum returned to the Eagles on a two-year backup deal behind Wentz. Once he was asked to take the field in week 14 of the 2017-18 regular season, the rest, as you know, is history.
No matter the outcome of Foles’ career as an Eagle, it is near certain that no. 9 will forever be praised in the city of Philadelphia.