Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Sports

Foles, Eagles outshoot Patriots for first-ever Super Bowl title

Eagles win first Lombardi Trophy as Foles outduels Brady in a shootout for the ages

  • APTOPIX-Eagles-Patriots-Super-Bowl-Football-1

    Philadelphia Eagles' Nick Foles holds up the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Minneapolis. The Eagles won 41-33. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

    AP

  • Eagles-Patriots-Super-Bowl-Football-22

    Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz scores past New England Patriots free safety Devin McCourty during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

    Eric Gay

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    Philadelphia Eagles' Zach Ertz scores on a touchdown pass during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game against the New England Patriots Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Matt York)

    Matt York

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    Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles catches a touchdown pass against the New England Patriots during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

    Eric Gay

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    New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady can't catch a pass on a flea flicker during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game against the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Matt York)

    Matt York

  • Eagles-Patriots-Super-Bowl-Football-4-3

    New England Patriots' Tom Brady (12) runs from Philadelphia Eagles' Brandon Graham during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

    Mark Humphrey

  • APTOPIX-Eagles-Patriots-Super-Bowl-Football-5-1

    New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady celebrates a touchdown run by James White during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game against the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

    Jeff Roberson

  • Eagles-Patriots-Super-Bowl-Football-6-3

    New England Patriots strong safety Duron Harmon intercepts a pass intended for Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

    Eric Gay

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    Philadelphia Eagles' Alshon Jeffery, right, catches a touchdown pass over New England Patriots' Eric Rowe during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

    Matt Slocum

  • Eagles-Patriots-Super-Bowl-Football-8-2

    Philadelphia Eagles' Trey Burton, left, throws a touchdown pass to Nick Foles during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game against the New England Patriots Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

    Mark Humphrey

  • Eagles-Patriots-Super-Bowl-Football-9-1

    New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski catches a pass during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game against the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

    Jeff Roberson

  • Eagles-Patriots-Super-Bowl-Football-10-1

    Philadelphia Eagles' Corey Clement crashes into photographers after catching a touchdown pass during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game against the New England Patriots Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Matt York)

    Matt York

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    Philadelphia Eagles' Corey Clement, right, celebrates his touchdown catch during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game against the New England Patriots Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

    Jeff Roberson

MINNEAPOLIS  — The Philadelphia Eagles’ flight from last to first ended up with a Lombardi Trophy.

In a record-setting shootout between Nick Foles and Tom Brady, the backup quarterback led a pressure-packed 75-yard drive to the winning touchdown, 11 yards to Zach Etrz with 2:21 to go Sunday night. Then a defense that had been shredded throughout the second half made two final stands to win 41-33.

Brandon Graham strip-sacked Brady and Derek Barnett recovered, setting up rookie Jake Elliot’s 46-yard field goal for an 8-point lead.

Brady got his team to midfield, but his desperation pass fell to the ground in the end zone.

The underdog Eagles (16-3), even injured starting quarterback Carson Wentz, came bolting off the sideline in ecstasy while Brady sat on the ground, disconsolate.

It was the first Super Bowl title for Philadelphia (16-3), which went from 7-9 last season to the franchise’s first NFL title since 1960.

“If there’s a word (it’s) called everything,” Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said. “That’s what it means to Eagles fans everywhere. And for Eagles fans everywhere, this is for them.”

Super Bowl MVP Foles orchestrated the victory with the kind of drive NFL MVP Brady, a five-time champion, is known for. The drive covered 14 plays, including a fourth-down conversion.

“I felt calm. I mean, we have such a great group of guys, such a great coaching staff,” Foles said. “We felt confident coming in, and we just went out there and played football.”

The Eagles had to survive a video replay because Ertz had the ball pop into the air as he crossed the goal line.

“If they would have overturned that, I don’t know what would have happened to the city of Philadelphia,” Ertz said. “But I’m so glad they didn’t overturn it.”

The touchdown stood — and so did thousands of green-clad Eagles fans who weren’t going to mind the frigid conditions outside US Bank Stadium once they headed out to celebrate. But not before a rousing rendition of “Fly Eagles Fly” reverberated throughout the stands once the trophy was presented to owner Jeffrey Lurie. Later, fans danced along with the “Gonna Fly Now,” the theme from “Rocky,” the city’s best-known fictional underdog.

The Patriots (15-4) seemed ready to take their sixth championship with Brady and coach Bill Belichick in eight Super Bowls. Brady threw for a game-record 505 yards and three TDs, hitting Rob Gronkowski for 4 yards before Stephen Gostkowski’s extra point gave New England its first lead, 33-32.

Then Foles made them forget Wentz — and least for now — with the gutsiest drive of his life, including a fourth-down conversion to Ertz at midfield.

Foles has been something of a journeyman in his six pro seasons, but has been spectacular in four career playoff games. He finished 28 of 43 for 373 yards and three TDs.

The combined 1,151 yards were the most in any modern NFL game, and Brady’s 505 were the most in any playoff contest. The 40-year-old master finished 28 of 48 and picked apart the Eagles until the final two series.

It was such a wild game that Foles caught a touchdown pass, and Brady was on the opposite end of a Danny Amendola throw that went off his fingertips.

Eagles coach Doug Pederson brought home the championship in his second year in charge. Belichick is 5-3 in Super Bowls and his teams have only a plus-4 overall margin in those games.

So this one was in keeping with that trend: thrilling and even a bit bizarre.

Former Wisconsin running backs Corey Clement and James White both had games to remember. 

Clement, for Philadelphia, caught four passes for 100 yards and a touchdown.

White, for the Patriots, rushed for 45 yards on seven carries and caught two passes for 21 yards. He scored on a 26-yard rush in the second quarter. 


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