Super Bowl LII Review

Super Bowl LII Review: Eagles vs. Patriots

By Loot, NFL Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Date: February 4, 2018

Site: U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Point Spread: New England Patriots by 4.5 points

Score: Philadelphia Eagles 41, New England Patriots 33

MVP: QB Nick Foles

Super Bowl LII featured yet another matchup of number-one seeds, with the AFC’s defending Super Bowl champions taking on the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFC. The game produced a surprise and the first ever Super Bowl Championship for the Eagles, led by QB Nick Foles, who won the MVP. The Eagles were able to overcome the loss of their starting QB, winning the whole thing with their backup. They were underdogs to the Patriots, but managed to turn the trick and bring the first title to the City of Brotherly Love.

The game itself was a very entertaining game, one of the better Super Bowls to be played in recent seasons. With one punt all day, it was an offensive game that set the Bowl record for the most offensive yards before the third quarter was even over. The 1151 combined yards emphatically set a record for the most offense in a Super Bowl. And with the Patriots losing with 33 points, they set the mark for the most points by a losing Super Bowl team.

In just his second season at the helm, Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson was able to do what no other Eagles coach has done and win the Super Bowl. And the road to riches wasn’t always paved with gold. After losing Carson Wentz late in the season, the Eagles became an afterthought when Super Bowl contenders were discussed. But they overcame that, saw their backup Nick Foles play well, and parlayed it into a championship. In the game, they kept attacking, took chances, didn’t sit on a lead, and were able to beat the favored defending champion Patriots for the biggest win in the long history of the Eagles.

Right from the beginning, it was obvious the Eagles were not in awe of the almighty Pats. The Patriots had become the obvious NFL frontrunner after a 2-2 start, winning 16 of 17 games coming into the Super Bowl. The New England offense was able to do damage, but the Eagles’ defense were able to come up big when it counted most. And the New England defense, a unit that had really gotten their act together over the season, had few answers for the diverse Philly offense, with Foles having a gutty performance that garnered him MVP honors.

BET ON NFL FOOTBALL GAMES AND ALL
SPORTING EVENTS USING YOUR CREDIT CARD AND GET A 50% BONUS UP TO $250 FREE
AT BOVADA
SPORTSBOOK
!

Philadelphia entered the postseason with a lot of questions looming. They held on to beat a peaking Atlanta team in the divisional round, winning 15-10. A 38-7 smashing of the Vikings in the NFC title game offered some promise, as they really pounded the second-seed in the conference. The rest was history. New England, meanwhile, started their postseason with a bang, pounding the Titans, 35-14. Things weren’t as easy in the AFC title game, when they had to come from off-the-pace to defeat the Jaguars, 24-20. The closeness of the game wasn’t a factor in the odds, as the Patriots were still favored to win.

Super Bowl LII Recap:

First Half:

The game opened up quickly with the Eagles taking over 7 minutes to set up a Jake Eliiott field goal to take an early lead. Nick Foles served notice of a nice showing by completing a handful of crisp passes. He was getting everyone involved, with LeGarrette Blount and Jay Ajayi working well on the ground, while Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith hauled in key passes. The Patriots responded with a nice drive, however. Tom Brady completed six passes, his longest to Chris Hogan for 28 yards. They stalled inside the Eagles’ ten and a Stephen Gostkowski field goal tied it at 3-3. The Eagles got the ball back and a Foles pass to Nelson Agholor and a long Blount run led to Foles hitting Jeffery on the right side of the field for the touchdown. A missed extra point led to it being 9-3.

The second quarter saw the Patriots drive, but emerge empty-handed after a boggled snap led to a missed field goal. The Patriots’ defense, however, was able to dig in and force the only punt of the game on the next Eagles’ possession. The Patriots then drove, but saw WR Brandin Cooks knocked out of the game, while Brady was unable to haul in a pass on a trick play. The Eagles took over on downs and two nice pass-plays to TE Zach Ertz and Jeffery set up Blount for another long TD run to make it 15-3 after a failed two-point conversion. The Pats looked poised for a nice drive after a big play, but had to settle for a 46-yard field goal to make it 15-6. The Eagles saw their following drive end inside the Pats’ ten-yard line, when a deflected pass led to an New England interception.

The Patriots then went on a nice drive, highlighted by a Brady pass-completion to Hogan for 43 yards. A 26-yard TD run by James White put the Patriots back in business, but another kicking snafu led to it being 15-12 after the missed extra point. With time running out in the half, the Eagles took over after a nice return and a short pass to Corey Clement led to a 55-yard gain. With the Eagles up-close and facing fourth down, the most-memorable offensive moment of the game ensued, as a trick play saw Foles catch a Trey Burton pass for a touchdown with just over 30 seconds left. The Eagles took some nice momentum and a 22-12 lead into the locker-room.

Second Half:

The Patriots got off to a fast start in the second half. Brady started hitting Rob Gronkowski with regularity, after a slow first half for the all-pro tight end. Five completions by Gronkowski helped, with the fifth being for a touchdown that cut into the lead to make it 22-19. The next drive saw the Eagles show some of the guts that would help make them champions. Foles showed his mettle in converting a trio of third downs. A 22-yard TD to Corey Clement made it 29-19. The Patriots did not fade into the good night, immediately responding with a drive that culminated in a 26-yard TD pass from Brady to Hogan, making it 29-26.

The fourth quarter started with the Eagles on yet another drive, with Elliott kicking a FG to make it 32-26. With so many fruitful Patriots fourth quarter performances previously in the Super Bowl, a Patriots’ TD was ominous. Brady quickly marched the team downfield, completed a big pass to Danny Amendola led to Gronkowski catching his second touchdown of the game. They had taken their first lead of the game, 33-32. The Eagles then sprung back into action, converting a third down early in the drive, going for and converting a fourth down behind the 50, and eventually getting down close enough and scoring a touchdown with a Zach Ertz TD reception from 9 yards out to retake a 38-33 lead after a failed two-point conversion.

Many still expected the Patriots to again stage a big comeback win, but those hopes took a major hit when Brandon Graham stripped Brady with Derek Barnett recovering the ball for the Eagles. After running the clock down to just over a minute and forcing the Pats to burn all their timeouts, Elliott booted a field goal to make it 41-33. The Pats couldn’t get past the 50-yard line and a late Hail-Mary fell short, giving the Eagles the big win. Foles was named the MVP, going 28-for-43 for 373 yards and three touchdown throws and a TD reception.