Fifty seven years. Twenty thousand, eight hundred, fifty-nine days. That’s how long it’s been since the Eagles won a championship.
The Eagles are Super Bowl Champions. Never forget this moment, Philly. The Eagles beat the New England Patriots. Nick Foles beat Tom Brady. Doug Pederson beat Bill Belichick. It happened. It really happened.
In the wildest offensive Super Bowl in history, the Eagles got a defensive stop when they needed it most, as Brandon Graham stripped Brady with just over two minutes to play in the fourth quarter, picked up by rookie Derek Barnett. It was the first sack of the game, and the only turnover for the Patriots. And it came at exactly the right time.
The turnover came just after Zach Ertz caught a Foles pass to give the Eagles back the lead, capping a 14-play, 75-yard drive where Pederson opted to go for it on fourth down inside his own half with just over five minutes to play, rather than punt the ball back to the Patriots.
It was just one of a number of gutsy calls that Pederson made in this Super Bowl. He refused to play scared, and it brought the Eagles home a title.
There was a long review of the Ertz touchdown, because nobody in the NFL seems to know what a catch is. But the call was deemed a touchdown, which was the right call, to give the Eagles the lead back after Brady and the Patriots offense looked unstoppable much of the second half.
After the strip sack, the Eagles tacked on a key field goal, giving them an eight-point advantage with Brady needing to go more than 90 yards to score a touchdown and a two-point conversion just to tie. He couldn’t do it.
The Eagles are champions, thanks to Foles and Pederson.
The tone was set early, as Pederson and his offense did not back down the entire first half. The Eagles opened the scoring with a 14-play field goal drive, then held the Patriots to a field goal before the Birds struck on a three-play, 77 yard drive capped by a huge touchdown catch from Foles to Alshon Jeffery.
LeGarrette Blount gave the Eagles a 15-3 lead after he rumbled through his former team for the second touchdown of the game.
The Patriots did manage to settle in a little in the first half, as Brady racked up 276 yards on 12-of-23 passing — en route to 505 passing yards — scoring nine straight points on a field goal and a 26-yard touchdown run by James White, but the Eagles held a three-point lead after another missed extra point by a kicker, the third missed kick of the first half. And then magic happened.
The Eagles capped a seven-play 70-yard drive late in the first half by going for it on fourth down when a field goal would have put the Birds up by six points headed into halftime. Pederson was having none of that and called one of the great plays ever in the Super Bowl, and without question one of the best plays in Eagles history.
Pederson called a direct snap to running back Corey Clement who pitched to tight end Trey Burton, who then threw the ball to a wide open Foles in the end zone, making Foles the first quarterback in NFL history to throw and catch a touchdown in the same game.
Foles was 13-of-22 in the first half for 215 yards, a touchdown and a pick on a circus catch down near the goal line. That was the team’s only blemish in the first half. He finished the game with 373 yards and three touchdowns and was named Super Bowl MVP.
It came down to guts. It came down to fourth downs. And the Eagles did it like they did all season.
Grease all the poles. The Eagles are world champs.