Other stories filed under Journal Pro Sports Column
Super Bowl LII: Eagles soar past Patriots
February 7, 2018
The New England Patriots burst into U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Sunday with one goal in mind: capturing the team’s sixth Super Bowl title during the Brady-Belichick era and third in the past four seasons. The only barrier that stood between the Patriots and their goal was the underdog Philadelphia Eagles, led by backup quarterback Nick Foles.
The Eagles started with the ball and their offense wasted no time marching down the field to score an opening field goal. New England needed a strong opening drive to show they were ready for the tilt.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, fresh off being crowned regular season MVP, looked to get the New England offense going. With head coach Bill Belichick, the Patriots have totaled zero points in seven previous Super Bowl first quarters. This game would prove to defy history in many ways, including this stat. The Patriots netted an early field goal, tying the game 3-3.
As the theme of the game was replying to Patriots scores with scores of their own, the Eagles made quick work of the Patriots on the next drive and scored a touchdown in just over a minute.
As halftime was rapidly approaching, the Patriots found themselves in a 15-6 hole to the Eagles. Brady brought the Patriots back to the Eagles territory and Super Bowl standout James White bounced off tacklers and ran the ball in from 26 yards out to cap off a 90-yard drive. The game was now 15-12 and looked like the Patriots were finally getting down to business.
With just over two minutes to play in the half, the Patriots were looking to make a stop to potentially get the ball back and take the lead going into the half. This was not the case, as Foles connected with running back Corey Clement on a pass for 55 yards. The drive ended dramatically, as the Eagles decided to go aggressive and roll the dice on fourth down. On a trick play, wide receiver Trey Burton passed the ball to an open Nick Foles, who caught the pass in the end zone. The half ended 22-12 in favor of Philadelphia.
Suffolk University alumna Lauren Spencer, ‘15, attended this years Super Bowl as the Patriots social media coordinator.
“I feel so lucky to be a part of the Patriots organization and learn from some of the best each and every day,” said Spencer in an interview with The Suffolk Journal on Tuesday. “To travel to the Super Bowl for a third straight year was something I’m so thankful for. I am looking forward to another great season in 2018.”
After halftime, Brady and the Patriots offense looked to dig out of a 10-point deficit.
The Patriots and Eagles both traded touchdown passes throughout the third quarter, with New England scoring two. The quarter ended with a score of 29-26.
The Patriots were satisfied with holding the Eagles to merely a field goal to begin the fourth quarter. The score was 32-26, leaving Brady and the Patriots a chance at taking their first lead in the tilt. After charging their way down the field, Brady found tight end Rob Gronkowski in the end zone for the second time of the night. After kicker Stephen Gostkowski netted the extra point, the Patriots took the lead.
With 9:22 to go in the game, Philadelphia needed a championship drive from inexperienced players. After a third down stop, New England had Philadelphia on the ropes. On fourth down, the Eagles went for it, again. They managed to knock off seven minutes while completing the drive in the best possible fashion: scoring a touchdown to give them a five-point advantage. They were two minutes away from a stunning upset.
With Brady being one of the greatest quarterbacks in history, the Patriots went onto the field with confidence. Brady connected with Gronkowski on the first play for eight yards. Then, the Eagles made a game-altering play. Defensive end Brandon Graham broke through the offensive line and got to Brady, knocking the ball out of his hands. The Eagles recovered the football, and knocked the wind out of the sails of the New England offense.
The fumble was the only real chance remaining for New England, as the game came down to a prayer. The Hail Mary pass by Brady at the end of the game fell to the ground un-harmed. Philadelphia completed a massive upset and won their first ever Super Bowl title, 41-33.
“I’m proud of the way our players, coaches and everybody competed for 60 minutes. It just wasn’t quite enough,” said Belichick in a post-game interview with ESPN.
A disappointed Brady said that someone needed to make a play to change the game, and noted it was the Eagles on the strip-sack.
“The [Eagles] made a good play. They got a good rush,” said Brady on the play.
Suffolk graduate Spencer was hoping to be able to celebrate another Patriots Super Bowl victory, she still enjoyed her experience with the team.
“Despite a disappointing outcome, the opportunity to work at Super Bowl LII this past week was truly a special experience,” said Spencer.
Brady now holds the record for most passing yards, 505, in any Super Bowl.
The 2018 Super Bowl was a host to many records, including most total yards from both teams. The Eagles and Patriots combined for over 1,100 total yards, displaying the complete lack of defense.