Dallas Cowboys

Foles, Eagles stun Patriots to win Super Bowl LII

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery. Foles, who played at Austin Westlake, was named most valuable player after passing for 373 yards and three touchdowns. He also caught a touchdown.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery. Foles, who played at Austin Westlake, was named most valuable player after passing for 373 yards and three touchdowns. He also caught a touchdown. AP

Improbable finish.

Improbable player.

Improbable season.

Nick Foles passed for 373 yards and three touchdowns and also caught a touchdown to lead the underdog Philadelphia Eagles to a 41-33 win over New England in Super Bowl LII Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn.

It was the Eagles’ first Super Bowl title in three trips.

The defending champion Patriots were making their eighth trip to the Super Bowl with five wins.

Foles, a graduate of Austin Westlake, took over for injured starter Carson Wentz in Week 14 and guided the Eagles to their first Super Bowl title. Foles was named the game’s most valuable player.

Foles is the third quarterback to start and win the Super Bowl after starting three or fewer games in the regular season, joining Doug Williams (Washington, Super Bowl XXII) and Jeff Hostetler (New York Giants, Super Bowl XXV).

Foles, who also had a 1-yard touchdown reception from tight end Trey Burton, is the first player in NFL history with a touchdown pass and a touchdown catch in a Super Bowl.

“I’m fortunate to be around a great coach and great players,” Foles said. “Everyone kept working and kept believing and now we’re world champs.”

As improbable as Foles’ journey was this season so was that of the team.

The Eagles’ rags to riches story had them improving from 7-9 and last in the NFC East a year ago to 13-3, division champions and now a Super Bowl title. The last two teams that went from “worst to first” in their division and earned a Super Bowl berth were the 2003 Carolina Panthers (Super Bowl XXXVIII) and the 2009 New Orleans Saints, who won Super Bowl XLIV.

“It’s a great feeling,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. “Hats off to our fans.

“It’s a great way to end the season.”

New England’s Tom Brady completed 28 of 48 passes for 505 yards and three touchdowns. However, a late fumble proved to be the game-changer that the Patriots couldn’t recover from this time.

“They made a lot of good plays today,” Brady said. “We battled, but obviously didn’t get the job done today.

“We just came up short.”

The Eagles took the opening kickoff and drove 67 yards in 14 plays to take a 3-0 lead on rookie Jake Elliott’s 25-yard field goal at the 7:55 mark.

New England countered with a similar drive, driving 67 yards in nine plays to tie the game at 3-3 on Stephen Gostkowski’s 26-yard field goal with 4:17 left in the opening quarter.

Three plays later, Foles threw a 34-yard touchdown to Alshon Jeffery. Elliott missed the extra point to leave the score at 9-3.

Two plays into the second quarter, Gostkowski missed a 26-yard field goal after the snap was bobbled, forcing Gostkowski to double-clutch on his kick.

The Eagles extended their lead to 15-3 on LaGarrette Blount’s 21-yard touchdown run. The Eagles failed on a two-point conversion pass play.

Gostkowski’s 45-yard field goal closed the gap to 15-6 midway in the second quarter.

After a Duron Harmon interception, the Patriots drove 90 yards in seven plays with James White scoring on a 26-yard run. However, Gostkowski missed the extra point, leaving at the score at 15-12.

The Eagles gambled and it paid off in the final minute of the half.

Facing a fourth-and-1 at the Patriots’ 1, Trey Burton threw a touchdown pass to Foles on a reverse to push the Eagles’ lead to 22-12 at the halftime. It was the first time in Super Bowl history that a half ended with a 22-12 score.

The Patriots took the second-half kickoff and drove for a touchdown. Brady threw a 5-yard touchdown to Rob Gronkowski, who had four catches on the drive, to make the score 22-19.

Philadelphia answered with Foles throwing a 22-yard touchdown to Corey Clement and a 27-19 advantage.

The back-and-forth trend continued as Brady threw a 26-yard touchdown to Chris Hogan to stay within a field goal at 29-26.

On the second play of the fourth quarter, Elliott made a 42-yard field goal to extend the Eagles’ lead to 32-26. It was the longest field goal by a rookie in Super Bowl history.

Limiting the Eagles to a field goal put the Patriots in position to take their first lead of the game and they did. Brady threw a 4-yard touchdown to Gronkowski. Gostkowski’s kick gave the Patriots a 33-32 lead.

Foles threw a 12-yard touchdown to Zach Ertz to regain the lead. The two-point conversion pass failed, but Philadelphia was back in front at 38-33 with 2:21 left in the game.

Ertz’s dive into the end zone was reviewed, but the touchdown stood.

Two plays later, Brady was stripped of the ball by Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett recovered at the 31.

Elliott tacked on a 46-yard field goal to make it 41-33 with 1:05 left in the game.

  Comments