This time, the New England Patriots were the victims of a Super Bowl comeback.
MVP Nick Foles threw for three touchdowns and caught another as the Eagles defeated the Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis on Sunday night to win the franchise’s first NFL championship since 1960.
President Donald Trump tweeted his congratulations soon after the game ended.
“Congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles on a great Super Bowl victory!,” the president wrote.
Patriots QB Tom Brady was undeniably brilliant, throwing for 505 yards — a Super Bowl record — and three touchdowns, but was strip-sacked by Brandon Graham with 2:09 to play.
The Patriots scored touchdowns on their first three second-half drives, rallying from a 29-19 deficit to take a 33-32 lead with 9:22 to play. But Foles led the Eagles on a 14-play, 75-yard drive capped by an 11-yard touchdown pass to Zach Ertz with 2:21 to play for the winning score.
Two plays later, Graham made one of the few standout defensive plays in a game dominated by offense.
Jake Elliott provided the final margin with a 46-yard field goal with 1:06 to play. Philadelphia pinned New England back on its own nine-yard line on the ensuing kickoff and Brady could move the Patriots only 40 of the required 91 yards as a final Hail Mary pass fell short.
The Eagles ran their run-pass option offense to perfection, racking up 538 yards on a Patriots defense that only forced them to punt once. New England recorded 613 yards of total offense and did not punt at all, but missed a field goal and an extra point and turned the ball over on downs in Philadelphia territory before Brady’s ill-timed fumble.
The Patriots defense appeared bamboozled by the Eagles run-pass option offense, never more so than on the final possession of the first half.
Having cut the Eagles’ lead to 15-12, New England forced Philadelphia into a third-and-three at their own 37-yard line and had the chance to give Brady the ball and an opportunity to tie the game or take the lead going into halftime.
But Foles had other ideas. He hit Corey Clement on a wheel route out of the backfield for 55 yards to put the ball at the Patriots 8-yard line. After moving the ball seven yards in three plays, head coach Doug Pederson went for the touchdown on fourth down. Clement handed the ball off to tight end Trey Burton, who flipped it to a wide-open Foles for the touchdown that made the score 22-12 Philadelphia.
The trick play was a mirror image of one New England did not execute earlier in the first half on what may have been their most costly possession. After forcing an Eagles punt and trailing 9-3 in the first quarter, Brady hit Brandin Cooks for 23 yards, but Cooks was blindsided by a legal Malcolm Jenkins hit and had to leave the game with a head injury.
Two plays later, on a third-and-five at the Philadelphia 35-yard line, Brady handed off to James White, who flipped the ball to Danny Amendola. Amendola aimed a pass at a wide-open Brady in the right flat, but the ball clanged off the tips of his quarterback’s fingers. The Patriots eschewed having Stephen Gostkowski attempt a 52-yard field goal and went for it on fourth down. Brady’s deep pass to Gronkowski fell incomplete along the left sideline and the Eagles took over.
Six plays later, Blount drove 22 yards to make the score 15-3 as Foles’ attempted two-point conversion pass to Jeffery fell incomplete.
Foles and the Eagles set the tone in the first quarter, scoring on each of their first two possessions. Off the opening kickoff, Foles lead the Eagles to the New England 2-yard line, but a false start penalty blunted their momentum and Philadelphia had to settle for a Jake Elliott field goal. Philadelphia was more successful on their second possession as Foles followed up a 36-yard LeGarrette Blount burst by hitting Alshon Jeffery with a 34-yard strike in the back of the end zone.
The Patriots could only look back with regret on their missed chances to add to their total. On their second possession, they passed up going for it on fourth-and-one to have Gostkowski attempt a 26-yard field goal. Punter Ryan Allen mishandled the snap from Joe Cardona, throwing off Gostkowski’s timing, and the attempt hit the left upright.
As could be expected, the Patriots appeared to shake off the blow of losing Cooks, scoring 10 points on their next two possessions. A 46-yard screen to Rex Burkhead set up a 45-yard Gostkowski field goal to pull New England within 15-6. Then, after Foles forced a deep throw to Jeffery that was intercepted by Duron Harmon, Brady engineered the Patriots’ best drive of the half.
Helped by a third-down holding call against Jalen Mills on Chris Hogan, New England went 90 yards in seven plays. After Brady hit Hogan with a 43-yard completion, James White – along with Brady, the hero of last year’s epic Super Bowl comeback against Atlanta – scampered 26 yards. Gostkowski’s rough night continued when he pulled the extra point to the left.
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