1: Quarterback Nick Foles outdueled Quarterback Tom Brady in surprising yet convincing fashion. While both Qbs threw for 3 Tds and effectively spread the ball around. Nick Foles was far more effective in one area: Taking his shots deep into the end zone for TDs. He also caught a TD pass while Brady dropped a pass thrown into his hands earlier on in the game. Nick Foles performance in Super Bowl 52 was by far the best performance by any teams backup Quarterback that I have ever seen. It should be ranked even higher than Bradys first Super Bowl Performance.
2: TE Zach Ertz was as effective as New England’s very highly touted Rob Gronkowski. Not only did he score the game winner, but just as importantly he picked up a 4th and 1 on a beautiful pass from Nick Foles on the run. The Patriots had no answer for him throughout the contest as he caught 7 passes for 67 yards to go along with his diving game-winning touchdown reception.
3: Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson outcoached Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. To win the big Game Doug Pederson featured a series of extremely gutsy and aggressive play calls for 60 minutes. The call that stands out the most was his decision to go for the touchdown on 4th and goal near the end of the first quarter rather than settling for a field goal. The Play labeled ” The Philly Special” completely caught the Patriots defense off guard as RB Corey Clement caught the snap pitched the ball back to backup TE Trey Buton who then threw a TD pass to QB Nick Foles who was an eligible receiver because he was never under center for the play. This will go down as one of the greatest plays In Super Bowl history. Coach Doug Pederson and Eagles GM Howie Roseman also deserve tons of credit for the offseason that they’ve had in the last 2 years. The drafted QB Carson Wentz last year. This year they brought in free agents such as WR Alshon Jeffry, WR Torrey Smith, DE Chris Long, RB LeGarrette Blount, RB Corey Clement, RB Jay Ajayi via midseason trade…the list goes on and on. They also had an amazing draft with nearly every player they drafted making big plays this season. there will be more on that in the future. Let’s move on.
4: The Eagles Defense forced a huge game-winning turnover as The Patriots seemingly were not able to make a single stop. This was not a good outing for either defense but the defense of The Eagles stepped up big when it mattered the most as they strip-sacked Tom Brady and essentially ended any hope that the Patriots had left. DE Brandon Graham made the play and DE Derick Barnett recovered the fumble.
5: The Philadelphia Eagles three-headed rushing attack proved too much for their opponents all season long and proved to be no different in Super Bowl 52. RB LeGarrette Blount ran for 90 yards and a TD against his former team while averaging 6.5 yards per carry. RB Jay Ajayi ran for another 57 yard as well as three tough first down runs. RB Corey Clement only ran for 8 yards on limited carries but managed to catch 5 passes for 100 yards and an extremely impressive TD catch.
6: The Eagles receivers were too much for The Patriots. WR Alshon Jeffry caught a beautiful 35 yard TD pass and had 3 catches for 73 yards. WR Torrey Smith really surprised me by hauling in several first down receptions as he also added another 50 yards on 5 catches. In my opinion, the most Impressive of all was the underrated play of WR Nelson Agholor who caught 9 passes for 85 yards including a crucial first down catch which would set up the game winner to TE Zach Ertz.
7: The Eagles Knew they were underdogs in this game as they had been all postseason and the team fed on that energy. They played with more passion than their Super Bowl 52 counterpart. (Not that the Patriots played poorly. They played nearly as well as The Eagles…almost as well). Despite giving up far more yards than is characteristic on defense The Eagles hit hard defensively and they flew to the ball, and on offense, they played even better football than The Patriots which is no small accomplishment as they scored 41 points.
8: Eagles played great on special teams. The Eagles have one of the better special teams units in the NFL and it showed in the games biggest stage. They often tackled the Patriots kickoff returners well behind the 25-yard line with one tackle behind the ten-yard line.
9: Patriots Defensive Coordinator Matt Patricia had no answer for Philadelphia’s offense throughout the entirety of the game as the Eagles scored on all but one possession. He looked like a baffled cartoon character after QB Nick Foles scored a TD on his defense.
10: The refs called a fair game. What NFL fan did not think that The Patriots were going to get quite a few favorable calls simply because they’re the Patriots? Congrats to Pete Marinelli and his crew for staying unbiased and keeping his index card in his pocket.
11: The play of Quarterback Carson Wentz before his season-ending injury. QB Carson Wentz lead the NFL in TD passes with 33 to just 7 interceptions (Which broke The Eagles former TD passing record of 32 held by McNabb for 12 years.) and most likely would have won the MVP award if he had remained healthy and maybe he would have held up a second MVP trophy after the Eagles Won their first Super Bowl Championship. He had led The Philadelphia Eagles to an 11-2 record before suffering a torn ACL in a win over the L.A. Rams. He made several jaw-dropping plays throughout the course of the season. Nick Foles had an amazing postseason that I am very grateful for. That said without Carson Wentz leading the team to 11 victories prior to Foles taking up his mantle there would have been no playoffs for The Eagles. Thanks to Quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Nick Foles my Philadelphia Eagles have now won the Super Bowl!
Side note: The Philadelphia Eagles have just defeated a dynasty to win their first Super Bowl Championship and first Championship since 1960. With QB Carson Wentz at the helm, next season (hopefully for the whole season) can The Eagles start a dynasty of their own? I personally think they will win at least two more during the Carson Wentz Doug Pederson era and it’s possible that taking down a dynasty is what will help them form their own just like the Patriots did nearly two decades ago when QB Tom Brady defeated QB Kurt Warner and the greatest show on turf. For now, I am just going to enjoy this victory. Congratulations to The Philadelphia Eagles for winning the first Lombardi Trophy in Franchise History! Hopefully, there will be plenty more to follow for these Eagles.
Final side note: I’m looking forward to listening to Skip Bayless give The Eagles their dues. I know that Shannon Sharpe is very pleased.