In the Philadelphia Eagles’ action-packed 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, there were several standout plays that played a substantial role in determining a wildly entertaining game.
Here are four key plays that proved to be crucial to Philadelphia’s first Super Bowl title.
Trick and treat
Minutes after Tom Brady failed to reel in Danny Amendola’s pass on a Patriots gadget play, the Eagles decided to pull off their own trickery – and this time do it right. On a gutsy fourth-and-goal call near the end of the first half, Philadelphia ran a reverse throwback with tight end Trey Burton tossing a touchdown pass to Nick Foles. The Eagles quarterback did what Brady couldn’t as his safe hands gave his side a 10-point lead off a play called the ‘Philly Special’.
Foles drops a dime to Clement
Of all the beautiful throws Foles uncorked, his 22-yard connection with running back Corey Clement may have been the best. With the Eagles facing a third-and-6, Foles spotted Clement in a favourable match-up with New England linebacker Marquise Flowers and sent a perfect pass before safety Devin McCourty could get over to help. Clement appeared to bobble the ball just a tiny bit, but the scoring play held up on review and extended Philadelphia’s lead to 29-19.
Zach attack on do-or-die
This was a play most coaches wouldn’t even attempt, given the situation: fourth-and-1 from your own 45-yard line with 5:39 left in the contest and a red-hot Tom Brady waiting to get the ball back on the other side. And yet, Doug Pederson didn’t flinch and called for one of the Eagles’ bread-and-butter plays, a mesh concept, which resulted in Foles finding Zach Ertz on a shallow cross to keep alive a drive that the tight end would later finish off for a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Graham finally gets to Brady
Philadelphia only managed to sack Brady once, but they sure made it count. Just when it seemed like Brady and the Patriots might pull off another remarkable comeback, Brandon Graham squashed any chance of late heroics by strip-sacking the quarterback with just over two minutes remaining. The Eagles recovered the fumble and the turnover would lead to a field goal that gave Philadelphia a more comfortable eight-point lead, which New England couldn’t overcome in the final minute.
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