Eagles’ quarterback Nick Foles had three touchdowns. (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images).
On Sunday, Feb. 4, the New England Patriots lost to the Philadelphia Eagles 41-33 in Super Bowl 52.
For many New England Patriots fans, Sunday’s Super Bowl loss will yet again haunt the memory of their team’s legacy. Like the Patriots’ 2008 and 2012 Super Bowl losses, both to the New York Giants, many people believed the veteran team choked and underperformed.
Although quarterback Tom Brady and his stellar offense made plays, many argued that the defense allowed too many scores, especially with the benching of star cornerback Malcom Butler. Rumors saying that the cornerback broke curfew and was in possession of marijuana spouted to the surface.
Butler later denied the rumors on twitter and thanked his team for their support.
When asked about Butler’s benching, UMass Lowell sophomore Lukasz Kornilowicz said, “I don’t agree with Belichick’s call, but he might have seen something in the Eagle offense that I didn’t. At the end of the day I don’t agree with it, but who am I to question one of the greatest NFL coaches.”
Even with the Patriots’ defense lacking their usual prowess, Brady still managed to set new standards for NFL quarterbacks. He threw for 504 yards in the Super Bowl, breaking his previously set record of 466 yards. On the other hand, the Eagles’ quarterback, Nick Foles, who was on the verge of quitting the NFL, had an answer for Belichicks’ calls. Foles racked up 373 yards and three touchdowns. Even with the odds against them, the Eagles took the Lombardi trophy back to Philadelphia.
When re-examining the game, two crucial plays that solidified the Eagles’ victory surfaced. First was Foles touchdown catch. On this play the ball was directly snapped to the Eagles running back, passed to tight end Trey Burton, and finally thrown to Foles for a touchdown. The Patriots tried a similar play a few possessions prior but ended up short.
With the clock running down in the second half, the Eagles heightened their lead and wore the Patriots defense down. The Patriots crucial second-to-last possession helped the Eagles secure the win. The Patriots offense was at their 20-yard line when Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham slipped by the Patriots offensive line and sacked Brady.
With the ball back in their hands, the Eagles set up a field goal making it a two-possession game and setting them up for a trip to the White House. The Patriots general strategy is typically to wear the other team out. On both offense and defense, they usually play less aggressive in the hopes of wasting their competitions’ energy. The first half of the game seemed like any other; the Patriots defense let the Eagles offense score a few touchdowns to save their strength.
After Nick Foles’ touchdown, the Patriots defense seemed more weary than usual. As the second half approached, New England fans believed the Patriots would start to pick it up. Throughout their reign in the NFL, the Patriots have been known for their second half performances.
For example, in Super Bowl 51, the patriots were down 28-3 in the third quarter, mustered up their strength, and won the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, in Super Bowl 52 the Patriots got too tired, too quick and could not answer the Eagles. Although Tom Brady could not further extend his ring count and lost this year’s Super Bowl, his legacy of greatness and perseverance is still cemented in the NFL’s history.
Who know, maybe if Brady didn’t get sacked in the fourth quarter, the Patriots would be parading around Boston right now. What we know is that Super Bowl 52 is in the books and the Philadelphia Eagles are world champions for the first time in existence.