58 years. That’s the last time the Philadelphia Eagles won a championship of any kind.
But the streak is over. Philadelphia finally has their first Super Bowl, beating the New England Patriots 41-33 in a wild game from start to finish.
The Eagles began the game by taking 7 minutes off the clock on a dink-and-dunk drive, striking first with a Jake Elliott chip shot field goal. The Patriots responded with a Stephen Gostkowski field goal, following an efficient drive that was shut down by a clutch deflection from Jalen Mills.
The next drive took a lot less time for the Eagles. LeGarrette Blount took off for a 36-yard run, which the Eagles immediately capitalized on with a beautiful 34-yard touchdown throw from Nick Foles to Alshon Jeffery. Elliott shanked the extra point wide right to keep the score at 9-3.
Tom Brady found Danny Amendola on a wide-open 50-yard pass to set the Patriots up in the red zone. However, Rodney McLeod made an amazing tackle to stop Brandin Cooks on a third-down end-around, and the drive ended in disaster for New England.
A poor snap from long snapper Joe Cardona caused Gostkowski to doink another field goal try off the left upright. The Eagles would go three-and-out on the ensuing possession early in the second quarter though.
Cooks caught a 23-yard pass from Brady to begin the next drive for the Patriots, getting knocked out of the game with a concussion on a hard but legal hit from Malcolm Jenkins. They tried a reverse pass from Amendola to Brady on third down, but Brady dropped the wide-open throw. A fourth-down throw to Rob Gronkowski fell incomplete, giving the ball back to the Eagles.
Zach Ertz converted a third-down conversion three plays later, and after a 22-yard catch from Jeffery, Blount finished off the drive with a 21-yard touchdown run. The Eagles tried a fade pass to Jeffery for a two-point conversion which fell incomplete, leaving the score at 15-3.
Rex Burkhead put the Patriots in scoring range during the next possession with a 46-yard swing pass, but the Patriots stalled soon afterward, only managing a 45-yard field goal from Gostkowski, narrowing it to 15-6 midway through the second.
While the Eagles moved the ball well on their next series, highlighted by a 26-yard third-down run from Jay Ajayi, but it didn’t end well. Foles tried another deep pass to Jeffery, who bobbled the ball, giving Duron Harmon an opportunity for an interception.
A holding call on Mills during a third-down incompletion would extend the following drive for the Patriots. Brady then found Chris Hogan on a 43-yard bomb to set up a 26-yard TD run for James White. Gostkowski pushed the extra point wide left to leave the score at 15-12.
The Eagles got the ball back right at the two-minute warning, and a 55-yard catch and run from Corey Clement put them inside the Patriots 10-yard line. After two running plays and a pass to Jeffery in the end zone that fell incomplete, a fourth-down trick play resulted in a TD pass to Foles from tight end Trey Burton, sending them to halftime up by 10.
The Patriots started the second half with two 20+ yard passes to Gronkowski. Another completion to Gronk, this time on third down, put them inside the Eagles 10-yard line, and he’d finish the drive off two plays later with a 5-yard TD catch, putting the Patriots within 3.
Nelson Agholor converted a third-down try for the Eagles on the ensuing series, followed up by a successful 3rd-and-short throw to Ertz. Foles found Clement in the end zone on another third down, with the play getting upheld on review, giving them a 10-point lead once again.
Gronk would get held by Mychal Kendricks near the start of the next Patriots possession, and after passes to Hogan and Amendola, Brady tossed a great 26-yard TD pass to Hogan for a score of 29-26. Agholor would again kickstart the next Eagles drive with a nice reception, which ended in an Elliott field goal early in the fourth.
Some Burkhead runs and a third-down catch from Amendola had the Patriots moving on the next series. Amendola also caught a wide-open 30-yard reception and a 9-yard screen pass afterward, giving way to a 4-yard lob to Gronk for a TD and a one-point Patriots lead.
Ertz made another tough third-down catch for the Eagles during the next drive, though the Eagles had to go for it on fourth-and-short after a failed third-down swing pass to Torrey Smith. Foles would convert the attempt on a tough throw to Ertz, however. Two passes to Agholor would put them in field goal range, and another got them in the red zone.
The Eagles took the lead back on a slant pass from Foles to Ertz just before the two-minute warning, though they failed to convert another two-pointer on a pass to Clement (Kyle Van Noy may have gotten away with a pass interference). On the second play of the next drive, Brady would get strip-sacked by Brandon Graham, with Derek Barnett recovering for the Eagles.
Three Blount runs would waste the rest of the Patriots timeouts, and Elliott extended the lead to 8 on a 46-yard field goal. A failed reverse on the ensuing kickoff left the Patriots stranded inside their own 10-yard line. While they did convert a fourth-down try and moved the ball to midfield with some short dumps to Gronk, the hail mary at the end was batted down, and the Eagles came away with the win.
Foles threw 373 yards and 3 TDs on 28 for 43 passing, along with his TD catch. He won the MVP award. Clement ended up leading the team in receiving yards with 100 on 4 grabs and a TD. Agholor (9 catches, 84 yards), Jeffery (3 catches, 73 yards, TD) and Ertz (7 catches, 67 yards, TD) were all heavily involved in the passing game.
Blount led the team in rushing with 14 carries for 90 yards and a TD. Ajayi chipped in with 9 rushes for 57 yards.
Brady broke the Super Bowl record for passing yards with 505 on 28 for 48 passing to go with 3 TD throws. The lone sack allowed by the Patriots offensive line was the thing that gave the game away.
Three Patriots receivers (Amendola: 8 catches, 152 yards; Hogan: 6 catches, 128 yards, TD; Gronkowski: 9 catches, 116 yards, 2 TDs) broke the century mark for receiving yards. White led the team in rushing yards with 45 on 7 carries and a TD.
The two teams combined for a Super Bowl high 1,151 yards, breaking the record in the third quarter. It was the second-highest combined score for a Super Bowl as well.