This past Sunday, Feb. 4, the Philadelphia Eagles became Super Bowl champions for the first time in franchise history. The rather strange and unusual game was primarily defined by the Eagles’ ability to make important plays and the Patriots’ inability to do so when it mattered most.
The first half of the game was filled with plenty of drama. After exchanging a pair of field goals to begin the game, the Eagles scored an unbelievable touchdown on a deep pass by quarterback Nick Foles to wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey.
The Eagles, however, missed the ensuing extra point attempt. The Patriots followed up the Philadelphia touchdown drive by missing a short field goal of their own due to a muffed snap by the holder. The next Patriots drive ended in disaster, as well. Down 9-3 and in Eagles territory, the Patriots ran a trick play on third-and-five, a double-reverse-pass to Tom Brady down the sideline, but he dropped the wide-open pass that would have resulted in a big gain for the Patriots.
After a failed fourth down attempt, the Eagles marched back down the field and capped off the drive with a 21-yard LeGarrette Blount run to take a 15-3 lead. The Patriots would not go down easily, though.
New England kicked a field goal to cut the lead to nine, then scored their first touchdown that cut the Eagles lead to 15-12. The Eagles got the ball back with just under two minutes remaining in the first half. A pass to Corey Clement got the ball inside the 10 and set the Eagles up well to pad their lead before the half.
After being unable to score their first few plays, Philadelphia went for it on fourth and goal from the one and scored on a legendary play now known as the “Philly Special.” The Eagles ran a direct snap to running back Corey Clement, who reversed it to tight end Trey Burton, who then threw a pass to a wide-open Nick Foles in the end zone, giving Philadelphia a 22-12 lead heading into halftime.
On the first Patriots drive of the second half, Brady remembered tight end Rob Grownkowski and fed him the ball the whole drive, capping it off with a touchdown pass to the massive tight end. The ensuing Eagles drive ended with a masterful touchdown pass by Foles to Clement down the seam. On the second play, the Eagles were able to sack Brady for the first time all game, and defenseive end Brandon Graham made what was arguably the play of the game.
He strip-sacked Brady, causing him to fumble, which gave the Eagles the ball back up five and in New England territory, leading to a field goal which stretched the lead. Down eight with just 40 seconds remaining and no timeouts, nearly all hope was lost for the Patriots, who had to go the length of the field and get a two-point conversion to force overtime.