The ghosts of 1960 can officially be put to rest. The Philadelphia Eagles are Super Bowl LII champions after defeating the New England Patriots 41-33 on Sunday night from US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Backup quarterback Nick Foles hit tight end Zach Ertz for a game-winning 11-yard score with 2:21 remaining to secure Philadelphia’s first Super Bowl ever and first NFL championship in 58 years.
Foles won the game’s MVP award, passing for 373 yards with three passing touchdowns and a receiving score as Carson Wentz’s replacement found a way to outduel Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, who were appearing in their eighth Super Bowl together.
Brady once again put together a stunning performance on the game’s biggest stage, passing for 505 yards and three touchdowns. He set a Super Bowl and NFL playoff record for most passing yards in a single game, but it still wasn’t enough in an offensive shootout that saw a championship game record 1,151 total yards.
The game’s opening two drives stalled in the red zone as both teams had to settle for opening field goals from Philadelphia’s Jake Elliott and New England’s Stephen Gostkowski within 30 yards.
Gostkowski’s 26-yard field goal was the first points recorded by the Patriots during the first quarter of a Super Bowl in the Brady-Belichick era.
The first touchdown of Super Bowl LII came in the form of Foles’ 34-yard strike to Alshon Jeffery in the back of the end zone to give the Eagles a six-point lead, an advantage that did not grow after Elliott missed the extra point.
Gostkowski joined Elliott’s kicking troubles early in the second quarter, missing a 26-yard field goal off a botched snap early in the second quarter to end the opening streak of scoring drives at three.
While the Eagles defense began to get pressure on Brady, the offense continued to click as Blount ripped off another big run, a 21-yard touchdown to put the underdogs up 15-3 after a failed two-point conversion with 9:45 remaining.
The Patriots responded with nine unanswered points to get within a field goal. After a Gostkowski field goal, James White scampered in from 26 yards out to cap off a 90-yard drive that was efficiently completed in just 2:57. However, Gostkowski missed the ensuing extra point.
Philadelphia’s offense continued to click, expanding its lead to 10, 22-12, at halftime thanks to some trickeration on a 4th-and-Goal from the one. A reverse to backup tight end Trey Burton became a dizzying pass play when he hit a wide-open Foles with 38 seconds to go. The Eagles quarterback became the first player in Super Bowl history to record both a passing and receiving touchdown.
It was a frantic end to a frantic half that saw both teams combine for 673 total yards, the second-highest output in Super Bowl history.
But the offensive frenzy only continued as three-straight touchdown drives opened the second half.
After being held to just one reception for nine yards in the first half, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski came alive on the opening drive of the third quarter, catching four passes for 68 yards, including a five-yard touchdown pass to bring the Patriots back within three.
The Eagles looked as though they were not going to fall into the same lull as the Falcons did last year, answering right back when Foles hooked up with Corey Clement for a 22-yard score. However, the Patriots continued to counterpunch when Hogan hauled in a 26-yard dime from Brady.
An Elliott field goal broke the trend of touchdowns in the second half, which opened up the door for the Patriots to take their first lead of the game when Brady and Gronkowski got together again on a four-yard touchdown fade to go up 33-32 with 9:22 to play.