Foles, Eagles prevail in record-breaking Super Bowl

The Philadelphia Eagles are the 2018 Super Bowl champions. Philadelphia defeated the New England Patriots 41-33 on Sunday in Super Bowl LII in what was an historic display of offense for an NFL playoff game, with a record 1,151 total combined yards. The Eagles were overlooked by many heading into the postseason due to starting quarterback Carson Wentz’s season-ending injury, but backup Nick Foles guided them to victory despite being underdogs for their entire playoff run.

Foles was named MVP after throwing for 373 yards and three touchdowns. He wasn’t expected to start a game heading into the season but he looked perfectly comfortable countering New England’s regular-season MVP quarterback Tom Brady with drive after drive. Foles’ only blemish was an interception on a long pass that was deflected, and his most remarkable play came at the end of the second quarter with Philadelphia facing fourth and goal from the 1-yard line. Knowing they needed a touchdown with the Patriots set to receive the second-half kickoff, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson used some trickery and ran a play that ended with tight end Trey Burton throwing a touchdown pass to a wide open Foles for his first career catch.

New England ended the first half down by 10 points but scored touchdowns on three consecutive drives to open the second half. Brady connected with Rob Gronkowski for two of those three scores, putting the Patriots up 33-32 early in the fourth quarter. The lead would have been more substantial if not for a missed 26-yard field goal early in the second quarter due to a bad snap, as well as a failed extra-point attempt by Stephen Gostkowski.

Those missed opportunities would come back to haunt New England when Philadelphia regained the lead with another touchdown, this time an 11-yard toss from Foles to Zach Ertz. The Patriots had just over two minutes to respond, but Brady fumbled the ball on a sack by Brandon Graham and the Eagles recovered, leading to a 46-yard field goal by Jake Elliott that increased Philadelphia’s lead to eight.

The Eagles have Foles under contract for another season, although the offense still firmly belongs to the younger Wentz, who received some regular-season MVP votes for his stellar play prior to the injury. It’s possible Foles will be traded in the offseason if a franchise hungry for a quarterback makes an irresistible offer, but Pederson would no doubt be fine entering next season with both Wentz and Foles as options.