Eagles stun Patriots to win franchise’s first title

Ronit Kumar, Sports Editor

On Sunday, Feb. 4, the Philadelphia Eagles stunned the New England Patriots in Minneapolis on Super Bowl Sunday with Eagles quarterback Nick Foles using trick plays to win the game by a score of 41-33.

The first quarter started with both teams immediately advancing the ball downfield. Despite the nation initially doubting Super Bowl MVP Foles’ capability of leading the Eagles to their first franchise title, he managed to execute effectively with the help of Head Coach Doug Pederson’s smart play calling. He set Eagles’ kicker Jake Elliott in position for an easy 25-yard field goal and even completes a 34-yard pass to his star receiver Alshon Jeffery for the first touchdown of the game. The Patriots merely answered with a 26-yard field goal by kicker Stephen Gostkowski. As a result, the Eagles led the Patriots by a score of 9-3 at the end of the quarter.

“It was a much better game than I expected it to be. It was completely possible that Philadelphia could win, but the Patriots were never really out of it. Brady continuously replied which was great,” said DV spectator Phillip Nho.

Similarly, in the second quarter, both offenses consistently scored points. As Eagles’ running back LeGarrette Blount rushed for 21 yards to the end zone, he earned his team a 12-point lead, the largest lead of the game for either team. However, the Patriots soundly responded with Gostkowski nailing a 45-yard field goal along with Patriots’ running back James White dashing for 26 yards to the end zone. The most astounding play occurred with 34 seconds remaining in the half, which was a very complex “Philly Special” often run by the Eagles on two-point attempts. A lateral pass was made to Eagles’ backup tight end Trey Burton who passed the ball to Foles in the end zone for maybe one of the greatest touchdowns of all time. Consequently, the Eagles took a 22-12 lead at halftime.

“They had  good offense. They had a lot of touchdowns, and that ‘super pass’ was amazing,” said DV sophomore Omkar Patil, a spectator of the game.

Entering the second half, a ten-point deficit didn’t seem like a very big deal as the defending Super Bowl champions had rallied from a 25-point deficit in the previous Super Bowl against the Atlanta Falcons. However, the Eagles’ offense didn’t degrade to the extent that occurred with Atlanta last year. Patriots’ veterans quarterback Tom Brady immediately threw four quick receptions to his star tight end Rob Gronkowski to score a needed touchdown. Similar to the first half of the game, Foles didn’t stay quiet and maintained the Eagles’ two possession lead by throwing a 22-yard dart to his running back Corey Clement into the end zone. Brady replied yet again by communicating with receiver Chris Hogan for a 26-yard touchdown. At the end of the quarter, the Eagles led only 29-26.

“Both offenses were strong. Foles stepped up. Their head coach, Pederson, had some gutsy calls. Both defenses did not play well,” said DV Football Coach Drew Kravitz.

“It was a much better game than I expected it to be. It was completely possible that Philadelphia could win, but the Patriots were never really out of it. Brady continuously replied which was great,” said DV spectator Phillip Nho.

With only 15 more minutes of NFL football remaining in the season, the game became very physical with both teams eager to win the Lombardi Trophy. Luckily, the Patriots defense limited the Eagles’ offense to a 42-yard field goal by Elliott. Suddenly, Brady and his favorite target receiver Gronkowski execute a remarkable drive, ending with a Brady touchdown pass to Gronkowski, giving the Patriots their first lead of the game of 33-32. However, MVP Foles quickly responded with an 11-yard touchdown pass to his star tight end Zach Ertz. With two minutes to go, Brady attempted to rally his team to a comeback win, similar to last year. Unfortunately, a shocking forced fumble led by Eagles’ defensive end Brandon Graham set the Eagles in a winning field position. The Patriots defense kept the team in the game by limiting the Eagles to a 46-yard field goal by Elliott. However, Brady’s attempt for a miraculous touchdown drive remained unsuccessful as Philly’s defense held their ground effectively on Brady’s Hail Mary to Gronkowski. As a result, the Eagles held off the Patriots to win the 2018 Super Bowl 41-33.

“Lots of wide receivers were getting open on obvious plays. The Patriots’ defense had no answer,” said Nho, regarding the outstanding offense of the Eagles.

With the last NFL game of the 2017-18 season coming to an end, the 32 teams will work in the offseason to acquire coaches and players to help them execute effectively. The Patriots will remain a contender as long as Head Coach Bill Belichick and Brady stay on task. However, a young team like the Philadelphia Eagles have a bright future ahead, especially when MVP candidate Carson Wentz returns from his injury.