As you know by now, I got my wish, and it was glorious. I grew up in the Washington, D.C. area, and many of my close friends and family were Eagles fans in lieu of actually having to support the Redskins (fair enough). I also got to see our hometown hero Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith win his second Super Bowl ring, which was incredible in and of itself.
Philly got off to a solid start, and backup QB Nick Foles was cool as can be as the Eagles decisively drove the ball down the field. They were unable to capitalize, however, and settled for a field goal that put them up by three as Brady took the field for the first time.
Brady marched the Pats down the field in a similar fashion to the Eagles opening drive — but Brady was unable to connect with Rob Gronkowski and the Pats settled for three. The Eagles followed that with a 34-yard bomb to Alshon Jeffery for a diving touchdown grab, and then botched the extra point attempt to lead 9-3.
Amidst all this action, viewers are having their minds blown by cryptic Tide commercials that have us questioning life itself — this isn’t an article, it’s a Tide ad.
After another massive drive from Brady’s offense, the Pats got another field goal opportunity after a failed third down conversion. The snap was low, and the placeholder bobbled the ball causing kicker Stephen Gostkowski to send what should have been a chip shot ringing off the upright.
“LACES OUT!” cried the ghost of Ray Finkle.
A few drives later, the Pats tried a little razzle-dazzle double handoff that left Brady open in the flat … and he dropped it. Queue the endless barrage of memes. Anybody who plays Madden video games knows Brady’s agility is the lowest in the game, so they saw that coming.
The Eagles took over, and a few bombs from Foles led to a massive TD run by LeGarrette Blount, which extended Philly’s lead 15-3. After another Patriots drive, New England settled for a field goal, bringing the score to 15-6. After a big interception on a tipped pass, the Pats re-took possession and set up a massive 26-yard touchdown run for James White — then New England missed yet another chip-shot attempt for the PAT. I’ll spare you further Finkle references, but you get it.
After another impressive drive from Foles and the Eagles, Philly found themselves at a pivotal fourth and goal with 38 seconds left in the half. Rather than go for the safer field goal option, they pulled an incredible trick play that almost identically mirrored New England’s earlier attempt. Foles moved to the line, leaving running back Corey Clement alone in the backfield for the direct snap. Clement pitched the ball to Trey Burton, who then passed it to a wide open Foles in the end zone for a Philadelphia touchdown that will be re-enacted at every Philly dive bar for all eternity.
The teams went into the locker rooms at halftime with Philly up 22-12. Justin Timberlake put on a halftime show that was so good everyone forgot they were still mad at him for his last halftime appearance with Janet Jackson
The Patriots took advantage of their first drive of the second half, and Brady connected with Gronkowski for a touchdown inside the red zone, narrowing the Eagle’s lead to just three, at 22-19. The Eagles answered with a controversial TD catch from Foles to Clement — the likes of which will be angrily disputed by Pats fans and happily re-tweeted by Eagles fans for months to come. The challenge stood, and the Eagles kept the points.
Brady responded with a massive drive that ended in a 26-yard TD bomb to Chris Hogan, which cut the Eagles lead to 3 points. Following a Philadelphia field goal, Brady and the Pats went back on the offensive. Brady connected once again with his favorite target — Gronk — and took the lead for the first time in the game 33-32.
A rugged drive on the heels of a series of gutsy play calls led to another Eagles touchdown. Philly converted on a crucial fourth and 1, knowing it was better to risk a turnover on downs than willingly give the ball back to Brady. Zach Ertz, the same man who kept the drive alive, was the one who scored a diving 11-yard TD to put Philly ahead 38-33.
The Eagles defense came through in the end, with a strip-sack that dashed all remaining hope the Patriots had to win the game. The Eagles made history with their franchise’s first-ever Super Bowl win, at the same time seemingly cracking the immortal Patriots dynasty. The game gave us a plethora of firsts: including most total yards (1,151), fewest punts in a game (one), most drunken Kevin Hart attempts to get on stage (two) and many more.
What a time to be alive.