It just wasn’t meant to be.
The Patriots fell in Super Bowl LII Sunday night, dropping a 41-33 heartbreaker to the Eagles. With the win, Philly won its first Super Bowl in franchise history.
Birds are clutch
The Eagles just did not fade. Nick Foles found Zach Ertz on a crossing pattern with 2:21 left in the fourth to go up, 38-33.
Moments later, Brandon Graham strip-sacked Tom Brady and changed the NFL narrative. The Eagles got the ball back, milked clock, and Jake Elliott banged home a 46-yard field goal.
Tom Brady and the Patriots made Philly sweat with less than a minute left, but Brady’s Hail Mary fell short and the Eagles came away champions.
The battle of the big play
Nick Foles had another tremendous day for Philly as he made an outstanding throw midway through the third quarter – hitting Corey Clement perfectly in stride in the back of the end zone to put the Eagles up, 29-19. The strike came on the heels of a textbook opening third quarter drive by the Patriots, which had cut the Philly lead to three. It was at that point that the Patriots knew this would be a wire-to-wire battle.
On the Eagles’ first scoring drive of the contest, old friend LeGarrette Blount busted up the middle for 36 yards and that set up a gorgeous grab by Alshon Jeffery in the back for the end zone for a 34-yard Philly touchdown. The score put the Birds up, 9-3.
The Patriots also came up with big plays early as Stephon Gilmore broke up a deep pass intended for Jeffery. The ball was tipped in the air and fell into the hands of Duron Harmon. It was a huge play for the Pats, as Philly had owned all the momentum prior to the play.
The Pats then turned it on on their next drive as Brady found Chris Hogan for 43 yards and James White scampered in for a 26-yard TD run. Hogan also capped off a classic Pats drive in the third quarter, hauling in a 26-yard TD pass from Brady.
In the first half, the Eagles out-tricked the Patriots as Foles caught a TD pass from tight Trey Burton to put Philly up, 22-12.
The Patriots did not fare quite as well with their pass to the quarterback earlier in the first half as Danny Amendola’s perfect lob to a wide open Tom Brady was dropped by the GOAT – leading to many bad jokes on Twitter and Facebook.
Put the ball in the hands of your best players
A 10-point lead over the Patriots at halftime is nothing. We’ve known that for some time, and the Pats took advantage by having the ball to open the second half as Brady looked Rob Gronkowski’s way over and over. A deep pass down the right sideline went for 25 yards to Gronk, followed by a 24-yard pass to the tight, followed by yet another pickup by No. 87 – this time for 14 yards on third down.
Gronk, of course, finished off the drive with a five-yard TD grab to cut the Philly lead to three early in the third quarter.
Brady found Gronk yet again in the Patriots’ go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter, perfectly hitting him in stride.