The Eagles Soar in Super Bowl LII

Photo Credit: CNN - Nick Foles holds championship trophy

Patrick Smith

Photo Credit: CNN - Nick Foles holds championship trophy

by Matt Zukauskas, Contributor

The Super Bowl is by far one of the most popular sporting events in America. According to CNN, last weekend’s Super Bowl 52 in Minneapolis, Minnesota was the 10th most watched program in television history. There were about 103 million sports fans who tuned in to NBC and an additional 2.02 million viewers per minute streamed the game online to watch the Eagles beat the Patriots 41-33.

While it wasn’t the most watched game in history, Super Bowl 52 might have been one of the greatest Super Bowls ever. Not only were Tom Brady and the New England Patriots playing in their eighth Super Bowl, but the Philadelphia Eagles were trying to win their first ever Lombardi Trophy.

The Philadelphia Eagles went up early in their first drive with a field goal. The New England Patriots came back to score their own field goal to tie the game. Towards the end of the first quarter, Nick Foles threw a thirty four yard touchdown pass to receiver Alshon Jeffery to make the score 9-3.

It became a nightmare after that for both kicking teams as the Eagles missed an extra point and on the ensuing drive the Patriots missed a field goal that could have made a big difference later on in the game.

In the second quarter, Eagles running back Legarrette Blount ran for a twenty one yard touchdown, but the Eagles failed to to convert a two point conversion. The Patriots bounced back and kicker Stephen Gostkowski kicked a forty five yard field goal to make the score 15-6.

Later in the second quarter, the Patriots would score again when Tom Brady threw a twenty six yard touchdown pass to James White. Gostkowski failed to make the extra point so the score was 15-12. Just before halftime, Philadelphia marched all the way down the field with a gutsy call on fourth down. It was a trick play when head coach Doug Peterson called a reverse and tight end Trey Burton threw a two yard touchdown pass to quarterback Nick Foles to make it a 22-12 score.

Following an exciting first half, Justin Timberlake performed for the halftime show. The show started off with his new song “Filthy”, followed by “Rock Your Body” and “Sexy Back”. He then sang “Suit and Tie” with a marching band in the background. After that he played the piano while singing “Until the End of Time” and then made a tribute to Prince singing, “I Would Die 4 You” along with a projection of Minneapolis’ own Prince singing along. The show concluded with a medley of Timberlake’s hit songs “Mirrors”, and “Can’t Stop the Feeling”.

After the much anticipated halftime performance, New England started the second half off with a bang. Tom Brady targeted Rob Gronkowski four times in the opening drive, including a five yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to just three points. The Eagles struck back with a twenty two yard pass from Foles to Corey Clement to make the score 29-19. The Patriots came back yet again thanks to a twenty six yard pass from Brady to Chris Hogan to make the score 29-26.

The fourth quarter left out no excitement when the Eagles scored an early field goal thanks to Jake Elliot to extend their lead to six. The Patriots came back yet again when Tom Brady led his team all the way down the field to connect with Gronkowski again to make the score 33-32. Philadelphia got the ball back with just over seven minutes to go.

The one thing the Eagles didn’t want to do was to give the ball back to Brady and his offense with too much time – and they got their wish. During this awe-inspiring drive, the Eagles converted a gutsy fourth down play to continue winding down the clock. This drive ended with a controversial touchdown catch by tight end Zach Ertz. This play gave the Eagles the lead with just over two minutes to play.

It’s second down and two with a little over two minutes to play and Tom Brady has the ball in his hands. Nobody could have thought that he would fumble, but he did. Eagles defensive end Derek Barnett fell on the ball and after three running plays, Eagles kicker, Jake Elliott, an alum from Lyons Township High School, kicked a forty six yard field goal to extend their lead to eight.  

There was still time for a comeback, but Tom Brady couldn’t get it done this year. The Eagles beat the Patriots in an enormous win 41-33.