Trailing 33-32 in the fourth quarter, backup quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles led his Philadelphia Eagles to a 14-play, 75-yard drive, which resulted in a touchdown by Zach Ertz. Taking over seven minutes off the clock, the successful drive put the Eagles ahead for good as they triumphed their first Super Bowl in Philadelphia history.
After the Eagles’ offense came in clutch, their defense forced a fumble leading to the first and only turnover of the game for the New England Patriots. With 2:16 minutes left in the game, the Eagles kicked a field goal with one minute remaining to go up 41-33.
Down eight points with a minute left, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady attempted to pull off the impossible and force overtime for the second year in a row. Similar to every Super Bowl the Patriots have played in, the game came down to the wire, the last play and the final whistle. In 2002 and 2004, Adam Vinatieri kicked a game-winning field goal as time expired to win the game. In 2005, a late Rodney Harrison interception lead the Patriots to a Super Bowl victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Lastly, a Malcolm Butler interception, who was benched for this year’s Super Bowl, at the goal line lead the Patriots over the Seahawks in 2015.
As a lifelong Patriots fan, the game clearly didn’t end as planned. But what separates this Super Bowl loss from the previous two lies in the fact that the Patriots did not have a defensive meltdown or squander an opportunity to win the game. New England did not lose the game as much as Philadelphia proved why they deserved to win.
Tom Brady threw for over 500 yards and three touchdowns, and three receivers caught for over 100 yards, including Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski who hauled in two touchdowns. Playing the entire season without their All-Star wide receiver Julian Edelman, New England gave everything they had and fell short to an excellent Philadelphia team.
With their historic win, Philadelphia joins Boston, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles as the only U.S. cities with a team that has won the Stanley Cup, World Series, NBA Finals and Super Bowl. A city full of history, Philadelphia earned their spot in joining other elite U.S. sports cities. With Carson Wentz back next year, the Eagles have a bright future and deserved to be NFL champions this year — and that’s coming from a New England fan.
Email Brendan Duggan at [email protected].