Eagles stun Patriots for first Super Bowl title

Published 05/02/2018 in Sports

Eagles stun Patriots for first Super Bowl title
NFL Football – Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots – Super Bowl LII – U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. – February 4, 2018 Philadelphia Eagles’ Nick Foles celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl LII REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) – For a city that produced one of Hollywood’s ultimate underdog stories, the Philadelphia Eagles delivered an equally inspiring script by upsetting the New England Patriots on Sunday for their first Super Bowl title.

The Eagles were underdogs throughout the NFL playoffs, and just as most expected little from fictional Philadelphia boxer Rocky Balboa, few onlookers outside the City of Brotherly Love expected them to beat the defending Super Bowl champions.

But Philadelphia, who embraced their lowly status with some players wearing dog masks throughout the playoffs, stunned New England with a 41-33 victory to cap a remarkable turnaround after finishing last in their division a year ago.

“We’ve been doubted since Day One,” said Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, who caught what proved to be the game-winning touchdown. “This team, no one picked us. We come out here and we’re World Champions.”

The victory set off a wild celebration among the team’s many green-clad supporters who made the trek to chilly Minneapolis, while uplifting music from “Rocky” blared through the speakers above a field covered in silver and green confetti.

The Eagles limped into the post-season with an offense handicapped by a seemingly hopeless backup quarterback following an injury to Carson Wentz in December, but Nick Foles proved more than ready to shine on the game’s biggest stage.

Foles, who nearly retired after an underwhelming 2015 season with the St Louis Rams, showed no nerves playing in his first Super Bowl and went toe-to-toe with Patriots counterpart Tom Brady, a five-time Super Bowl champion.

“I felt calm,” said Foles, who was named the game’s Most Valuable Player after throwing three touchdowns. “We felt confident coming in and we just went out there and played football.”

The Eagles, who won three championships in the pre-Super Bowl era, had long been a tormented franchise and lost in their only two previous Super Bowl appearances, including to the Patriots in 2005, but dug deep to bring home a championship.

Trailing by a point late in the fourth quarter, the Eagles moved ahead for good when Foles connected with Ertz on a 11-yard touchdown to put his team ahead 38-33.

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  • “Losing sucks. That’s part of it,” said Brady. “You try to win and sometimes you lose. That’s the way it goes.”

    The Patriots now enter an off-season some feel could mark the beginning of the end for their dynasty after ESPN reported in January about a rift between Brady, Belichick and owner Robert Kraft.

    The trio have denied reports of any off-field tension but there will be no shortage of attention paid to their every move between now and next season.

    The game, played under a translucent U.S. Bank Stadium roof while temperatures outside plummeted, capped a season during which NFL ratings dropped after many players kneeled during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and as the league’s concussion protocol entered the spotlight.

    But no players protested while Grammy Award-winning pop singer Pink performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” ahead of the year’s most-watched U.S. television broadcast, attracting an audience of more than 100 million viewers.

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