Isaiah Saint Hilaire
The Philadelphia Eagles have finally achieved what they have always yearned for since 1960. An NFL title! After almost a decade with NFC Championship game losses year after year, two different Super Bowl defeats in 1980 and 2004 and losing their starting quarterback Carson Wentz, finally the stars aligned to give the City of Brotherly Love the Lombardi trophy. It was a scorching victory for Eagles fans as they can finally celebrate their first Super Bowl victory with ease. The final score was 41-33 as the Eagles found a way to score within the last two minutes of the game. With nine unanswered points in the final minutes of the game, they defeated the New England Patriots and clinched their first championship ring in franchise history. Quarterback Nick Foles walked away with the Super Bowl MVP award and high stock this upcoming off-season, as Philadelphia now will look to ship their back-up QB at a high market price.
It was not all about Nick Foles in this game, it was about that defense that was able to strip sack Tom Brady late in the fourth quarter, forcing New England to burn their final timeouts in the game. Defensive end Brandon Graham reached for the football and allowed the ball to touch the turf and let his teammate pick up the ball and secure the possession for Philadelphia.
Nick Foles was an x-factor in the game throwing for over 300 yards and passing for three touchdowns against only one interception. While Tom Brady was allowed over 500 yards of passing, the defense for the Philadelphia Eagles could held their own when it mattered. They rushed Brady all game long, and gave the Eagles’ offense astounding field position to take the lead each position. Legarrette Blount had 90 yards and humbled his way toward a touchdown in the first half of the game to give Philly the lead. He played very well for a player who has been on three different teams within the past four seasons. He has been compared to an old Giants great, Brandon Jacobs with his 6-foot frame and ferocious 250-pound body type. Not only was Blount able to bull over defenders but his quickness enabled him to scurry for a 36-yard run that set up a touchdown for the Eagles and had them take the lead in a point in time that really mattered for the Eagles.
Alshon Jeffery was a difference maker as well. Although his skills were used severely in the first half only, his presence terrorized the Patriots defense who gave up over 400 yards of offense. Matt Patricia was rumored to become a head coach in the NFL but now, one cannot be so sure how many coaches will be interested in him after his defense gave up over 400 yards of offense to a backup quarterback.
Although the wide receivers for New England played very well, with Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski having over 100 receiving yards in the game, it was the defense that ultimately saved Philadelphia. Philly’s defense held Brady to under 150 yards in passing yards in the fourth quarter. In other words, they did not allow the Patriots to come back in the final frame of the game like the Falcons last season. Despite great performances all around the New England offensive machine and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels coaching a brilliant final game before leaving to take the Indianapolis Colts head coaching job, it wasn’t enough to claim a sixth Lombardi trophy for the franchise.
When it mattered most, the Eagle converted when they needed to. They caught the defense for the Patriots off guard and New England could not catch up with them. It wasn’t a mattered of talent, because both teams were extremely talented, but instead a matter of determination. Both teams knew they had a chance to win the Super Bowl. Any team that clinches a Super Bowl berth should always have that confidence. It was not about the fact that the Eagles knew they were underdogs, it was the fact that they knew they had a chance to win without their star quarterback. The main question becomes if they are this good without Carson Wentz, who was an MVP favorite before his season ending injury, how good can they be when he returns.