Philadelphia Eagles soar to Super Bowl victory as New England Patriots and star quarterback Tom Brady are upset
The Philadelphia Eagles scored an upset 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots to win their first ever Super Bowl here Sunday after a late Tom Brady fumble ended the quarterback’s tilt at history.
A magnificent performance from the Eagles’ backup quarterback Nick Foles – who threw three touchdowns and nearly 400 yards – had helped Philadelphia into a 38-33 lead with just over two minutes left in the NFL championship game at Minneapolis’ US Bank Stadium.
The stage was set for Brady, 40, to mount one of his famous comeback drives as the clock ticked down and the Patriots took possession.
But superb pressure from Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham forced Brady to fumble, turning the ball over to Philadelphia deep in New England territory.
Brady, who had been bidding to become the oldest quarterback to win the Super Bowl and the first man to win six Lombardi Trophies, sat on the turf in disbelief as the Eagles erupted in celebration.
Philadelphia, who had taken the lead on the preceding drive when Foles found Zach Ertz in the end zone, then saw Jake Elliott kick a 46-yard field goal to take an eight-point lead at 41-33.
There was still a minute left for the Patriots to launch one last drive.
But Philadelphia were not going to be denied, and a desperate Brady Hail Mary failed to find a receiver as the clock ran out and green and silver confetti exploded across the stadium.
“I am speechless,” sais Foles, who was named MVP. “To be part of this organisation, to be in this moment is something you dream about as a kid. To be right here with the confetti flying with the greatest group of men.
“We have been wanting this for a long time, and I am just blessed to be a part of it.”
It was a bitter end for Brady, who incredibly threw for 505 yards – a Super Bowl record – in a game that set a record for combined offensive yardage.
Graham meanwhile could not his delight after the decisive play that won the game.
“We knew we were going against the best,” he said. “How much sweeter it is that we beat the best today.”
Yet the night belonged to Foles, who had only come into the Eagles’ starting line-up in December after a season-ending injury to star quarterback Carson Wentz.
Foles could unusually find himself without a job next season if he remains at the Eagles as a backup.
— NFL (@NFL) February 5, 2018
Eagles coach Doug Pederson meanwhile had never coached in a Super Bowl before and was coming up against the might of Patriots counterpart Bill Belichick, the most successful coach in NFL history.
Brady’s fumble was the decisive final plot twist in a Super Bowl that will go down as a classic.
The Patriots had fought back from deficits of 15-3 and 22-12 at half-time to edge into the lead in the fourth quarter by 33-32 when Brady picked out Rob Gronkowski for the go-ahead score.
But Foles, 29, showed a veteran’s composure to lead the Eagles back down the field for a touchdown to restore Philadelphia’s lead.
The score came when Foles hit Ertz in the end zone. There was an agonising wait as the touchdown was reviewed amid uncertainty that Ertz had made a fair catch, before it was finally confirmed.
The touchdown was the last of a roller coaster game dominated by offences as the defences failed to impose themselves.
The two sides had traded early field goals from Elliott and Stephen Gostkowski to open the scoring in the first quarter.
The Eagles scored the first touchdown when Foles found Alshon Jeffery for a spectacular catch in the end zone.
The Patriots’ attempt to craft a response was jolted when receiver Brandin Cooks was poleaxed by a brutal hit from Malcolm Jenkins that left him motionless on the turf after a 23-yard reception, and out of the remainder of the game.
A clever Patriots trick play – turning Brady into a receiver – then failed to come off when the quarterback was just unable to haul in a pass from Danny Amendola to the delight of Eagles fans.
The Eagles then took over and were soon celebrating their second touchdown when running back LeGarrette Blount powered over to make it 15-3.
The Patriots reduced the deficit with a James White touchdown but Foles then turned receiver himself to score in the end zone near half-time.
The two teams then traded touchdowns in the second half, with the Patriots seemingly scoring at will with Gronkowski and Chris Hogan snaring touchdowns.
Foles found Corey Clement with another exquisite pass in the end zone as the Eagles refused to roll over, and Ertz’s score set up the thrilling finish.