by Sullivan Burgess ’20
In a shocking turn of events, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII 41-33. In a game filled with trick plays, incredible catches, and beautiful runs, as well as a new Solo: A Star Wars Story ad, MVP stats, and a Prince tribute from Justin Timberlake, the Super Bowl brought a nail biting victory for the Eagles.
Not only is this the first time the Eagles beat the Pats in the Super Bowl, it is the first time the Eagles have won a Super Bowl in the history of their franchise. Before the game even began, the Eagles were on a whole new level of prepared and hyped as they ran out onto the field, with Meek Mill’s “Dreams and Nightmares” blasting through the stadium’s speakers.
Throughout the game, the Eagles played consistent defense against 2017 MVP Tom Brady. While Brady managed to set a record by throwing 505 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions, his arm and his offensive line could not match the strength and the speed of Fletcher Cox and the rest of Philadelphia’s defense. One play the Pats tried to use to trick the Eagles was a reverse to New England wide receiver Danny Amendola, who attempted to throw it to Brady, but Brady missed the ball as it hit his fingertips.
The Eagles at fourth and goal ran a wildcat counter to Trey Burton who threw it to Nick Foles for a touchdown in the 2nd quarter before halftime. Foles ended up winning MVP of the game for throwing 373 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception.
Granted Foles’s performance was not MVP status compared to Brady, we have to take into consideration that he was the second string quarterback for the Eagles coming into the season.
The original starting quarterback, Carson Wentz, a 2017 MVP candidate, suffered a torn ACL in December, ending his season. Credit must be given to Foles as he stepped up huge in a time of need and brought the spark needed for the team alongside veteran players such as Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, Zach Ertz, Jay Ajayi, and LeGarrette Blount.
Blount and Chris Long are notable players who came from New England last season and have now secured back-to-back championships playing for different teams. One of the players who had one of the biggest impacts on the Eagles was undrafted Wisconsin rookie running back Corey Clement. Clement lead in receiving yards for the Eagles with four receptions for 100 yards and one touchdown.
On the other side, Amendola, who finished the game with eight receptions for 152 yards, stepped up alongside Rob Gronkowski after Brandin Cooks suffered a head injury early in the game.
Another notable player who did not play for the Patriots was cornerback Malcolm Butler, who intercepted Russell Wilson at the end of Super Bowl XLIX to secure the win for New England in 2015.
Before the national anthem, Butler was informed that he would not be starting the game, which came as a shock to fans and even himself. Coach Bill Belichick, who called the move a “football decision” after benching a player who played 97.8 percent of the team’s snaps during regular season, stated, “We put the players and game plan out there that we thought would be the best, like we always do.” Recently, reports stated that Butler was benched for missing team curfew and other reckless activities, which both Butler and Brady denied to the press. Regardless of his presence off the field, it seemed the Eagles were in it to win in the long run.
Fans on campus had mixed emotions about the results of the game. Although New England fans were displeased with the outcome of the game, some shared that they were pleased the game was not a blowout.
Eagles fans on campus felt differently. Devoted Eagles fan Cayla Veverka ’20 stated, “Overall, I think the Eagles defense made a lot of good coverage plays. Foles had a great game with Ertz and Smith making amazing plays. I think the Pats missed crucial plays like the missed field goals and Brady dropping the pass. Fly Eagles Fly.”
Overall, this will go down in history as one of the greatest upsets and games in Super Bowl history. In the end, the Lombardi trophy is heading to Philadelphia for the first time in history. Philadelphia now joins New York City, Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles as the only cities to win the World Series, the Stanley Cup, the NBA Finals, and the Super Bowl. Congrats to the Eagles, and best of luck to them and all the other teams in the upcoming NFL Draft.