By Andrew Rosario
They weren’t supposed to be in the biggest NFL game after losing their starting quarterback. Carson Wentz blew out his knee against the Rams in week 14 after passing for over 3,200 yards. A leading candidate for MVP, Wentz season ended and for most Philly fans winning the division seemed like a minor consolation. Facing the Patriots and Tom Brady playing in their 8th Super Bowl, the Eagles were confident after taking out the Atlanta Falcons. The Minnesota Vikings came to town and were destroyed sending the Eagles to their 3rd Super Bowl.
The very first time the Eagles got the ball, their confidence was justified. They marched down the field as QB Nick Foles completed his first 10 passes (4 first downs) giving the team a 3-0 lead. Brady did not blink, marching his team down the field resulting in a game tying field goal.
The next Eagles possession first saw running back LeGarrette Blount rumble for 36 yards. Foles then airs it out finding wide receiver Alshon Jerffries in the back of the end zone for the 34 yards touchdown giving them a 9-3 lead as the extra point was missed. The Eagles defense stepped up stopping the Patriots as they needed 2 yards for a first down. New England botched their field goal attempt. The Eagles go 3 and out and perhaps two of the biggest plays of the game took place.
First, after catching a pass from Brady, Brandon Cooks gets leveled by Malcolm Jenkins. Cooks would not return. Second, on the same possession, Brady flips the ball to Danny Amendola and runs out for the pass. Brady is wide open but could not come down with the pass. The Eagles score the next time they got the ball giving them a 15-3 lead. Blount running in from 21 yards.
Rex Burkett takes a short pass from Brady and 47 yards later sets the Partiots next score a 45 yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal. The Patriots then come up with the first turnover of the game. Foles looking for Jeffries down the right sideline. He could not come down with the one arm catch attempt and Deron Harmon comes up with interception.
The Eagles took a 22-12 halftime lead with one of the gutsiest plays in Super Bowl history. On 4th down and 2 from the 2 yard line, Foles steps right as the ball is snapped to running back Corey Clement who then flips the ball to tight end Trey Burton. Foles gallops into the end zone and taking the pass from Burton for the touchdown.
Knowing the Patriots would not lay down especially after their epic comeback last year against Atlanta, they did just that outscoring the Eagles 14-7 cutting the lead to 3 points (29-26).
The Eagles weathered the New England 4th quarter after giving up 1 point lead (33-32). Foles then moves them 75 yards in 11 plays ending with a touchdown pass to tight end Zack Ertz. After a 46 yard field goal extended the lead to 8, Brady could not rally the Pats for a potential game tying score.
MVP Foles finished the game throwing for 373 yards and 3 touchdowns. Brady, looking for his 6th Super Bowl win threw for a stunning 505 yards and 3 touchdowns himself.
For the 2 weeks leading up the Super Bowl, the Eagles mantra was they were not satisfied to just get to the big game. They wanted to bring the Vince Lombardi trophy back the city of Philadelphia. They did just that.