“Tom Brady can’t lose. He’s the best of all time. The Eagles have no chance.” This is all that was said in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. Backup quarterback, Nick Foles and inexperienced head coach Doug Pederson led the Philadelphia Eagles into the Super Bowl to face the dominant Patriots dynasty led by Robert Kraft, Bill Bellicheck, and a 40 year old Tom Brady. The number one team in the NFC was given no shot by critics to take the Lombardi Trophy to Philadelphia for the first time in NFL history. The Patriots have built one of the greatest dynasties in NFL history and they felt comfortable in their eighth Super Bowl appearance with Tom Brady and Bill Bellicheck. Despite being the number one seed in the NFC, the Eagles managed to appear as underdogs throughout the whole playoffs, and they rallied around this. The game was set for February fourth and was a highly anticipated game. Everything had been leading up to this moment and all coaches, players, and fans were preparing for the one of the most important games in all of sports.
Tom Brady was drafted in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft out of Michigan and no one expected much out of him. Due to an injury to Drew Bledsoe, Brady was able to get a start and this kick started the Patriots impressive dynasty. Tom Brady has solidified himself as one of the best players to ever play the game and is even considered as the sole best player in NFL history by some people. This appearance is his eighth Super Bowl of his career, which is more than any other player ever. Along with Brady, the Patriots head coach Bill Bellicheck is one of the smartest football minds ever and is also considered one of the best coaches of all time. At this point in both men’s careers it seemed almost impossible for anyone to stop them.
The only team standing in the way of the Patriots and their sixth Lombardi Trophy was the Philadelphia Eagles. Throughout the regular season, the Eagles were led by second-year breakout quarterback Carson Wentz. He was having an MVP caliber season before a season ending ACL injury in week 14. Eagles fans everywhere were crushed as they thought there was no way to win the super bowl without their star quarterback. Then backup quarterback Nick Foles had the pressure placed on him for the rest of the season. The backup rose to the occasion and played stellar as he led the Eagles through the playoffs and to the Super Bowl.
All the anticipation led up to this game and right from the start, a dogfight between two powerhouses began. It was a David vs. Goliath matchup as the Patriots who had won 3 out of the last 4 super bowls, faced the Eagles who haven’t won a super bowl in franchise history. Patriots fans seemed to be used to the feeling while Eagles fans were gearing up for the most important night of their lives. Both teams arrived at U.S Bank Stadium in Minnesota to fight for the greatest achievement in professional football. The two best teams in the NFL were set to play for the coveted Lombardi Trophy. Following the National Anthem, the coin toss, and all other pregame events, Patriots kicker, Stephen Gostkowski was set to kick the ball off.
The Eagles had the ball first and Nick Foles led his offense out on to the field. The first quarter started off pretty quiet as each team kicked a field goal. Both teams were playing tight until Nick Foles threw a very long touchdown to receiver Alshon Jeffrey. Eagles kicker Jake Elliot missed the extra point and the Eagles were up 9-3. Then a couple minutes into the second quarter, wide receiver Brandin Cooks catches a pass and gets leveled by an incoming Malcolm Jenkins. Cooks sat on the ground for a little before being taken to the locker room and being ruled out for the game. This is a huge loss as the Patriots lose their number one receiver. After this, former patriots running back, LeGarrette Blount runs ahead for a seven-yard touchdown and the Eagles led 15-3. The Patriots respond by driving down and kicking a field goal. The defense then stepped up and picked off Nick Foles at the 10-yard line. The Patriots took advantage of this opportunity and drove the ball down which led to a James White touchdown. The Eagles are up 15-12 and with 38 seconds left the Eagles have a fourth and goal. What happened next will be talked about forever and will live in infamy known as “The Philly Special”. Nick Foles took the snap, turned around and handed the ball to Trey Burton on a reverse. Receiver Torrey Smith runs his route but is covered well and just when everyone thinks the play is dead, Nick Foles leaves the backfield and runs to the close corner of the end zone. Trey burton threw a perfect pass to a wide-open Foles and chaos ensues. One of the most memorable plays in Super Bowl history has just put the Eagles up 22-12 at halftime.
The Eagles kick the ball away to the Patriots to start the second half and the Patriots adjustments are very effective. On the first drive of the second half; Tom Brady hits his tight end Rob Gronkowski four different times and an eventual touchdown toss. This drive makes the score 22-19 in favor of the Eagles. As time continues to tick down in the third quarter, the Eagles ran a great drive and runs from Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount set them up in good position. Then with 7:18 on the clock, Nick Foles throws another strike to running back Corey Clement in the back of the end zone. The Eagles lead by 10 with only a quarter and a half remaining in the game. Then it’s time for Tom Brady to take over late in this game, exactly where Brady thrives. He leads a well-organized drive down the field and is able to find Ramapo High School alumnus Chris Hogan in the end zone for six. The third quarter comes to a close with the Eagles on a third and three from the Patriots 16-yard line and the Eagles are holding on to a 29-26 lead. Only ¾ done with this game and it already holds the record for most yards in a Super Bowl ever which is 962 yards.
The fourth quarter begins with a much-needed defensive stand from the patriots struggling defense. They are able to hold the Eagles to a field goal and Tom Brady will be getting the ball back down six. This is the first time the Eagles defense has struggled all game as Tom Brady is picking the secondary apart. After a series of long plays, Brady finds Rob Gronkowski for his second touchdown of the day. Stephen Gotskowski knocks through the extra point and the Patriots lead by one with nine minutes to go. The Eagles will leave it all out on the field to try and win this game late in the fourth and they will be tested as they have a fourth and one with about four and a half minutes remaining. Foles is pressured but finds Zach Ertz for two yards for the key first down. On a third and seven, Foles find Ertz again who extends to reach the end zone with around two minutes left. The two-point conversion is unsuccessful and the Eagles are up five but they have to give the ball to the most comfortable person in these situations. Then the unthinkable happens as Tom Brady is preparing to lead a game winning drive, Brandon Graham gets around the Patriots offensive line and sacks Brady forcing a fumble. Rookie Derek Barnett recovers at the New England 31 with two minutes remaining. The Patriots are able to use timeouts and hold the Eagles to a field goal but they are down eight with one minute remaining. Tom Brady stepped onto the field to attempt to add to his legacy by winning another Super Bowl. The Patriots are able to get the ball near midfield and attempt one last Hail Mary. Brady launched the ball looking for Rob Gronkowski but it’s knocked down incomplete and the celebrations begin for the Eagles. The Eagles have taken down Brady, Bellicheck, and the Patriots and have brought the first super bowl ever to Philadelphia.
Despite a tough loss, Tom Brady threw the ball for 505 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions, which is the best quarterback performance in super bowl history. Brady did all he could but it wasn’t enough as the Philadelphia Eagles took home the Lombardi trophy. Many people gave the Eagles no chance to win this game because a backup quarterback was leading them, but this backup just won Super Bowl MVP. Fans took to the streets immediately with riots and celebrations in the streets of Philadelphia. The Eagles had done the impossible and taken down the Patriots dynasty and were able to be a part of one of the greatest Super Bowl’s in NFL history.