Super Bowl 52: The Underdogs Fly High


Streeter Lecka

Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Chase Bagnall- Koger, Staff Writer

After a a long 2017-2018 NFL season, including 256 games and heated playoffs, the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles were named the competitors of Super Bowl 52. The Patriots were the Super Bowl Champions in 2017 and have won the second-most Super Bowl titles in the NFL with five (narrowly trailing the Pittsburgh Steelers who have won six). However, they just barely won their playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, coming back with two touchdowns in the 4th quarter for a 24-20 win. The Philadelphia Eagles had only made two Super Bowls previously, and had second-string quarterback Nick Foles standing in after their starting quarterback (Carson Wentz) tore his ACL earlier this season.

Christian Petersen
Nick Foles prepares to pass the ball in the beginning of the first quarter.

The game took place at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Feb. 4. It started at 6:15 P.M. when the Patriots won the coin toss and chose to allow the Eagles to begin with the ball. The Eagles scored the first points of the game with a field goal in the seventh minute of the first quarter. The Patriots retaliated a few minutes later, but were unable to complete a touchdown. They successfully kicked a field goal from the 8-yard line. The quarter ended on a a 34-yard touchdown pass from Eagles quarterback Nick Foles to Alshon Jeffery on the left side of the field. However, a missed extra point by the Eagles brought the score to 9–3.

With the second quarter underway, failed offensive attempts by the Patriots gave the Eagles the ball on their own 35-yard line. They proceeded to score a 21-yard touchdown, but failed their attempt at a two-point conversion. With 7:24 on the clock, the Patriots intercepted the ball and went on offense, scoring a 24-yard running touchdown and a field goal. The Eagles regained the ball and, by the end of the quarter, were in a position to score. They scored off of a trick play; Foles stepped up to line of scrimmage while running back Corey Clement took a direct snap and pitched the ball to tight end Trey Burton, who then threw the ball into the end zone to Foles for a touchdown. This remarkable play makes Foles the first quarterback to receive a touchdown pass in a Super Bowl, and allowed the Eagles a 22-12 lead at halftime.

“I thought the game was really good. I really enjoyed watching it with my family and friends,” freshman Madeline Cohen said.

Getty Images
Justin Timberlake performing at the 2018 Super Bowl halftime show.

After an excellent halftime show, featuring Justin Timberlake, the game resumed with the Patriots receiving the second-half kickoff. The Patriots gained yardage over the next several plays and completed a 5-yard touchdown reception along with an extra point. The Eagles retaliated several minutes after with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Corey Clement on a third down. Though the touchdown was held up by a replay review, officials confirmed that Clement kept both feet in bounds and controlled the ball. The Eagles also earned an extra point, which made the score 29-19 in their favor. However, before the quarter ended, the Pats managed to score another touchdown. They completed a series of passes, ending with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Hogan that brought the score to 29–26.

The Eagles opened the last quarter of the game with a quick field goal by Jake Elliott. Brady came back with another 75-yard drive that ended with a 4-yard pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski, his second touchdown of the game, and gave the Patriots their first lead of the game with the score at 33-32 after a completed extra point.  After much back and forth throughout the quarter, Foles threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Ertz with 2:21 remaining in the game. After careful review, the touchdown was judged to be legitimate and play proceeded. The Eagles attempted a two-point conversion, which failed and left them with at 38-33 lead. The Patriots were unable to maintain possession, fumbling the ball and letting the Eagles put their offense on the field. The Eagles regained the ball and kicked a 46-yard field goal, successfully wasting the remaining 1:05 in the game.

“The Eagles definitely deserved to win this game. They had to overcome a lot of obstacles throughout the season to get there and have consistently put in hard work,” freshman Lucas Gonzalez said.

The 41-33 victory by the Eagles took many fans by surprise, making it an interesting game to watch.  It marked the first and only Super Bowl win for the Philadelphia eagles in all 52 years the Super Bowl has been played. It was also a personal win for Eagles quarterback Nick Foles. Foles was drafted by the Eagles in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft, but played with several teams in the next few years as a second-string quarterback. In March 2017, Foles signed a two-year contract to return to the Philadelphia Eagles to back-up 2016 first-round pick Carson Wentz, but began starting after Wentz tore his ACL. This Super Bowl, he tied the record for most touchdown passes thrown in Super Bowl history and was named Super Bowl MVP. Super Bowl 52 will certainly be remembered for all the spectacular performances that occurred throughout the game.