What. A. Game.

Holy smokes, that was one of the greatest Super Bowls I’ve witnessed in a long time. The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles put on a game for the ages — especially following last year’s overtime victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

However, this game wasn’t a blowout that eventually turned into a monumental comeback led by Tom Brady. Instead, Brady and Nick Foles went toe-for-toe in an epic shootout.

As I wrote in an earlier piece leading up to the Super Bowl, history was going to be made on Sunday. Either Brady and Bill Belichick were going to win their sixth Super Bowl championship for the Patriots, or the City of Brotherly Love was going to first their first-ever Lombardi Trophy.

So, who hoisted the Lombardi after the confetti fell? Well, let’s get to it.

First Quarter

The Patriots won the coin toss and deferred to the second-half, meaning Foles and the Eagles offense would take the field first. Foles came out slinging the rock around to receivers Nelson Agholor, Alshon Jeffrey, Torrey Smith and Zach Ertz. However, after reaching the New England 7-yard line, Philly settled for a Jake Elliot 25-yard field goal.

3-0 Eagles.

Coming off a thrilling comeback victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Patriots looked to defend their title in the big game after trailing 3-0 early on in the first. Brady got Chris Hogan going early after 32-yards set them up in Eagles territory.

Brady made history, in which he set up Stephen Gostkowski to nail a 26-yard field goal, and got the Patriots on the board for the first time in the first quarter; a first for Brady in his six Super Bowl trips.

3-3 Tied.

Foles’ second possession turned into the beginning of the shootout between the two quarterbacks. Taking only 4:17, Foles hit Jeffrey on a 34-yard deep pass for the game’s first touchdown of Super Bowl LII. Elliot’s PAT was NO GOOD and the Eagles’ offense was beginning to take shape on the game’s biggest stage.

9-3 Eagles

Second Quarter

Now trailing 9-3, the Patriots looked to take the lead after Philly punted the ball to the New England 37-yard line. Brady hit a big gainer to Brandin Cooks for 23-yards. Unfortunately, Cooks was hit from behind by Malcolm Jenkins, and suffered a concussion, ending his Super Bowl.

Things got worse for the Patriots, after sure-kicker Gostkowski missed a 26-yarder to keep the score at 9-3. A theme that may pop up again, maybe…

On Philadelphia’s next possession, after a failed fourth-down conversion by the Patriots, Foles decided it was time to start pouring it on the Patriots. Big gains by Ertz and Jeffrey of 19 and 22 yards, LeGarrette Blount barreled through the Patriots’ defense for a 21-yard touchdown. And the Eagles offense that looked so explosive with Carson Wentz under center, looked just as good with Foles. However, the 2-point conversion was no good, and the lead was 12 nearing the end of the first half.

15-3 Eagles.

Brady started his next drive with a huge gain of 46 yards by Rex Burkhead to the Philadelphia 29. However, the drive stalled and Gostowski nailed a 45-yard field goal to cut the deficit to nine points.

15-6 Eagles.

Foles’ lone mistake came late into the second quarter after a pass intended for Jeffrey was broken up by Stephon Gilmore, tipped up, and intercepted by Duron Harmon.

If you give the GOAT an opportunity, then more likely than not, he’s going to make you pay.

Brady took over at his own 10-yard line and went to work. After a few minimal gains by Dion Lewis, Brady hit Hogan for 43-yards on 2nd-and-10. On the very next play, James White ripped off a 26-yard touchdown run and brought the Patriots right back into this one. But remember the mysterious Gostkowski reference from earlier? Well, he missed the PAT. Gostkowski’s missed kicks led to a total of four points left off the board. In a game where defenses failed to make stops, points are everything.

15-12 Eagles.

With 2:04 left in the first half, head coach Doug Pederson knew how huge this game was. Especially, if they went three-and-out after the Patriots just scored to make it a three-point game. But great head coaches know when to take chances, and Pederson decided to ride his hot quarterback until the end of the half.

After a quick hit to Ertz for seven yards, Foles connected with Corey Clement for a monster gain of 55 yards to the New England 8-yard line. And then came the trickery. Earlier, the Patriots tried a trick play of their own when Danny Amendola threw an incomplete pass to Brady who was streaking down the sideline.

The Patriots couldn’t complete their trickery, but the Eagles did.

Foles moved from under-center, and tight end Trey Burton received threw to a wide-open Foles in the end zone. When an opportunity for points presents itself, you take it. Regardless if it was on fourth down.

HALFTIME: 22-12 Eagles.

Justin Timberlake was the halftime entertainment, and performed a number of hits, including a Prince projection that saw the city of Minnesota become purple in memory of one of the greatest performers of all time.

Now that the musical theatrics have settled, it was back to Super Bowl LII.

Second Half

The Patriots received the ball first looking to cut into their 10-point deficit. With Cooks ruled out for the rest of the game, it was time for other Patriots to step up. Enter Rob Gronkowski or as I called it, “The Gronk Drive.”

Brady targeted his star tight end, early and often for 49 yards to set up the Patriots in the red zone. Gronk got you down there, so it was only fitting to reward the big fellah.

Brady hit Gronk for a five-yard touchdown that looked too easy for #12, and the Patriots once again cut the lead to three points. We also witnessed out first GRONK SPIKE of the night.

22-19 Eagles.

Putting up points was no stranger to Foles and Co. and with Super Bowl LII getting tighter and tighter, the Eagles knew they had to keep their foot on the pedal, and continue to put up points.

After a few positive plays by Agholor and Blount put them near midfield, Foles took a shot on a deep pass to Clement, which was caught for a touchdown, but amid controversy.

Clement appeared to haul in the pass, but the ball appeared to move in his arms before going out of the end zone. With all the controversy surrounding what is a catch, it’s a play that took awhile under review before head referee Gene Steratore could not confirm the play and ruled it as stands.

Nonetheless, Philly scored another touchdown and now lead the Patriots 29-19.

With the third quarter winding down, this time last year, Brady and Co. began their comeback against the Falcons, and now in 2018, it was time do it again.

Brady let his duo receiving corp in Amendola and Hogan make plays against the Eagles defense, who like the Patriots defense, had been out there a lot. Brady launched a 26-yard pass into the end zone for Hogan, and once again we had a game. If you were turned off by last year’s one-sided affair early, then this was the game for you. Two explosive offenses with no regard for human life. This is the Super Bowl, and there’s no tomorrow.

Hogan’s touchdown, once again, cut it to a three-point game. And the drama was far from over.

29-26 Eagles.

Once again, the Eagles had no problem moving the ball into Patriots territory. However, for the first time since their opening drive, the Eagles had to settle for a Elliot field goal.

The Eagles led it 32-26, and we’ve entered my favorite phrase for describing the fourth quarter of a close NFL game: The Heart Attack Quarter. #HAQ.

The Patriots had been there before, and with the game just a six-point game, they had a chance to take the lead for the first time tonight.

Brady began to dissect Philadelphia’s defense with passes to Amendola and Hogan to set up shop near mid-field. Four plays later, Brady found Gronkowski again for the touchdown. And finally, the Patriots had their first lead of Super Bowl LII.


33-32 Patriots.

You could feel the tide turning after New England was finally able to hold Philadelphia to a field goal on their previous drive.

With 09:22 remaining in the fourth quarter, it was Foles’ time in the Heart Attack Quarter to respond with a score to restore the Eagles’ lead.

Starting at their own 25-yard line, Jay Ajayi started with a four-yard run, followed by an incomplete pass from Foles and a seven-yard completion to Ertz. Faced with a fourth-and-1 from their own 45, Foles found Ertz for a two-yard gain to keep the drive alive.

Seven plays later, Philly was among another controversial call when Ertz appeared to lunge into the end zone with the ball popping lose after making contact with the ground.

You make the call:

Regardless, it’s ruled a touchdown and the Eagles reclaim the lead, 38-33, with 02:21 to go in Super Bowl LII.

Now to this point Brady had yet to be sacked, but suffered an unfortunate time for the Patriots to give up a sack with time of the essence.

On 2-and-2 from their own 33, Brady under pressure is sacked by Brandon Graham who forces the fumble and recovered by Derek Barnett. The Patriots had been perfect on the night in protecting the rock, but pressure on any quarterback, Brady or not, is always trouble.

However, Philly would run the clock and tack on a 46-yard field goal to lead it, 41-33.

Brady, now with time not on his side, needed to go 91-yards with 01:05 left in Super Bowl LII.

Spoiler alert: they don’t.

The Patriots get to their own 49 and Brady fires up a prayer that would not be answered, as the pass falls incomplete in the end zone.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Philadelphia Eagles, led by Foles, have won Super Bowl LII defeating the Patriots, 41-33! Foles finished the game with 373 yards, three touchdowns and one interception and was named Super Bowl LII MVP.

Brady finished with 505 yards and three touchdowns, which is the most passing yards for a quarterback in a losing effort.

Super Bowl LII had everything a fan could hope for, and then some. Explosive plays, big hits and a pretty well-reffed game.

Congratulations to the Eagles and their fans in bringing their first-ever Lombardi trophy to the city of Philadelphia.

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