MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Philly. Finally.
Look out Broad Street and Independence Hall and all those cheesesteak joints, there’s a Lombardi Trophy coming your way. At long last.
The Bold North has never extended so much brotherly love. A franchise bereft of much joy can now finally call itself champions, crowned Sunday night, becoming the best by beating the best. At long last, the Eagles won a Super Bowl, stunning the favored Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII inside U.S. Bank Stadium.
It was a breathtaking performance by Nick Foles, the backup quarterback who took over late in the season for injured MVP candidate Carson Wentz and took the Eagles where they never before have soared. In a game of overwhelming offensive pyrotechnics, Foles never wavered, playing with a lead most of the evening, then trailing in the fourth quarter, needing a comeback to save the day and slay the Tom Brady dragon.
Foles finished up 28-of-43 for 373 yards, three touchdowns and one interception to earn the Most Valuable Player award. Give him the Most Valuable Backup award as well. He did not outduel Tom Brady, but he did beat him.
The Eagles, trailing 33-32, got their winning points with 2:21 left when tight end Zach Ertz from the 11-yard line ran a slant, got inside Devin McCourty and made a head-first dive into the end zone, losing the ball upon contact with the turf and then gathering the ball back in while on his back. A long review had to have Philadelphia nervous, but the touchdown stood. The two-point conversion failed, and Brady got the ball back, trailing by five points and one time out to work with.
Plenty of time for vintage Brady magic, but not this time.
On the second play of the series, Brandon Graham got pressure on Brady, reached out and knocked the ball loose, causing a fumble that was recovered by Derek Barnett on the New England 31-yard line with 2:09 remaining. It was the first sack and first turnover of the game. The Eagles forced the Patriots to use their last time out and rookie Jake Elliott calmly drilled a 46-yard field goal for an eight-point lead with 1:05 to go.
Brady got the ball on his own 9-yard line with 58 seconds left and no time outs. He never had a chance. He got the ball to midfield and uncorked a Hail Mary that fell incomplete as the clock ran out, sending the Eagles into hysteria. Brady finished up 28-of-48 for 505 yards and three touchdowns, but he was done in by his defense.
It was Super Bowl loss No. 3 for Brady and Bill Belichick, to go along with five victories.