(MINNEAPOLIS, MN) – From the opening coin toss to the last Hail Mary play by New England, Super Bowl LII was up for grabs between this year’s two most dynamic teams. In the end, the upstart Philadelphia Eagles prevailed over the dynastic New England Patriots, who were looking to repeat as champions, with a convincing 41-33 final score.
The 8-point, one possession, margin of victory was most fitting for this record smashing see-saw affair.
Although it always takes an entire team effort to win any team sport, undoubtedly the central dual of this match was akin to a doubles match in tennis. Namely the core battle was between the Pat’s all wise and stoic head coach, Bill Belichick, and his masterful QB, Tom Brady, verses the Eagles’ youthful and creative coach, Doug Pederson, and his staid back-up QB, Nick Foles, who replaced starting QB Carson Wentz only as recently as December 10.
Where the former pair produced a record breaking outcome of 613 yards of offense, 505 yards in the air including 3 TDs, in a losing effort, the later pairing managed a respectable 538 yards, 373 in the air, and 3 TDs. Foles, himself, caught a pass in the end zone, on an identical throw-back trick play that Brady and Danny Amendola jumbled early in the first half.
In total, the two QBs tallied a record breaking 1,151 total yards, but Eagles special teams added 23 points, besting New England’s 15 from special teams. As a result, Philly walked away with the franchise’s first Super Bowl and this year’s Lombardi Trophy winners.
The poised and spectacular effort by Foles was deservedly enough to also earn him the game MVP award. Particularly due to his mix of penetrating rushes, with running backs LeGarette Blount and Jay Ajayi, and pinpoint passes to Corey Clement and, later, Zack Ertz, the latter which resulted in an acrobatic entry into the end zone.
To their credit, Brady, who has already thrown his team into the big show eight times in his 16-year career, and Belichick took the loss in stride. They appeared fixed upon returning for at least one more, “kick of the can” next year.
New England remains one championship behind the Pittsburgh Steelers 6 Super Bowls as the most winningest NFL franchise. What remains to be seen, though, is how many more of the Pats 32 big game veterans, like Rob Gronkowski, will also join them in their remarkable quest in the 2018-19 season.