Brian Messing, Section Editor
NFL fans across the United States and the world alike, were treated to a historic and record-breaking Super Bowl on Feb. 4. The Philadelphia Eagles won their first Super Bowl, denying the New England Patriots their sixth franchise title, winning the game 41-33. Despite winning three NFL Championships in the pre-Super Bowl era, the Eagles had never won a Super Bowl, leaving only 12 teams now that have never won the big game.
Super Bowl LII was hosted in Minneapolis, Minn. at the gorgeous new US Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis. The stadium is home to the Minnesota Vikings, who lost the NFC Championship game two weeks before to the Philadelphia Eagles. This provided a slightly awkward mood for Viking fans as the Eagles won the Super Bowl in the stadium of the team they defeated in the NFC Championship.
The game itself was nothing short of historic. Super Bowl LII carries with it the highest number of yards ever gained in an NFL game, racking up a total of 1,151 yards. That is the most yards in an NFL game since a game in the 1950’s when the Los Angeles Rams played the New York Yanks (yes, those were the actual team names). The combined total points scored (74) is just a point shy of being a Super Bowl record. The current highest number of points scored in a Super Bowl (75) happened in 1995 in Super Bowl XXIX.
Super Bowl LII MVP, Nick Foles, quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles set impressive records as well. For a backup quarterback who was given the starting job when Eagle’s franchise quarterback, Carson Wentz, was injured in the late regular season, Foles played like a true starting quarterback. In addition to being named Super Bowl MVP, Foles also threw for 373 passing yards, which places in the top five highest passing yards for a quarterback in Super Bowl history. This has led to much speculation about Foles’ future with so many teams searching for a franchise quarterback and the certainty that Wentz will be the starting signal caller for the Eagles next year.
Super Bowl LII was a deeper and more interesting game to watch, than just a bunch of statistics about yardage. The game featured two trick plays, which could also be interpreted as metaphors for how the game went. On two separate occasions, each team’s quarterback pitched the ball to a different player on offense who then proceeded to throw the ball back to the quarterback. This play was first attempted by the Patriots on offense where it failed as Tom Brady dropped the wide-open pass, possibly because of his hand injury. It was tried more successfully later by the Eagles when Foles caught a touchdown pass from tight end Trey Burton.
The Philadelphia Eagles led for most of the game, but in the fourth quarter Brady led the Patriots 75 yards downfield to score a touchdown and take the first lead of the game, putting them up 33-32. The Eagles got the ball back and drove down the field methodically, after facing several third downs. Eventually, the Eagles scored a controversial touchdown pass that was reviewed and stood. When the Patriots got the ball back, Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham stripped the ball from Brady, leading to a recovery by the Eagles. The Patriots used all their time outs and eventually held the Eagles to only a field goal. The Patriots got the ball back and moved down field slowly. With nine seconds left, Brady was on the 49-yard line and threw a hail mary pass to the end zone. The pass was incomplete and time expired. The Eagles had won their first Super Bowl title ever as blue and green confetti poured into the stadium.