Philadelphia upsets New England in Super Bowl LII
On the night of February 4, 2018, a majority of NFL fans got exactly what they wanted; to see Tom Brady and the Patriots lose yet another Super Bowl after being regarded as the favored team in the match. After 1,151 total yards (the most in any NFL game ever), seventy-four points, a few lead changes, and a nail-biting finish that came down to the last play, the Philadelphia Eagles finally won their first championship since 1960, thanks to a stellar performance by quarterback Nick Foles and a defense that did just enough to hold on to the victory. Although the Eagles’ defense did let up thirty-three points and 505 passing yards (the most in any Super Bowl game ever) to Tom Brady and company, they did a fantastic job at applying the ‘bend, not break” strategy; basically allowing the other team’s offense to do some damage and gain some yardage but not allowing them to capitalize by scoring lots of points. Philly’s stout defense made big plays when they needed to, especially late in the fourth quarter when Brady was attempting to complete the comeback victory. A forced fumble and good defensive coverage at the end of the game sealed the win for Eagles, sending the city of Philadelphia into chaos.
Philadelphia’s offense outplayed New England’s defense, and that was the biggest difference in Super Bowl LII. With Malcolm Butler sidelined for the game for unknown reasons, the Patriot’s secondary came off as unusually weak, allowing Foles to get comfortable throwing deep from the beginning of the game. The Patriot’s pass rush was also underwhelming with only James Harrison putting on real pressure, which led to Foles keeping in rhythm and extending plays with his legs. The Eagle’s run game also did exceptionally well in the Super Bowl, including former Patriot LeGarrette Blount, who ran with power, as always, as well as great patience, allowing his blockers to set up gaps for big yardage gains. Nick Foles also managed to put together a fantastic touchdown drive late in the game right after the Patriots took their first lead, including a Zach Hertz touchdown catch that sparked another one of those “was it or wasn’t it a catch?” debates. With an eight-point lead and the clock on their side, the Eagles held off the Patriot’s last-ditch effort to tie the game to finally claim the Lombardi Trophy. It will be interesting to see how both the new defending champions and the New England Patriots, who will have a forty-one year old quarterback next season, will adjust over the offseason and if they can repeat their successes of their thirteen-win seasons.
Other than the game itself, there are two things from the Super Bowl that garner massive attention from fans and social media; the half-time show and the commercials. Justin Timberlake performed the Super Bowl half-time show this year for the first time since 2004, and fans were not too excited for it due to his recent underwhelming album “Man of the Woods.” However, Timberlake stuck mostly to his older, catchy hit songs that most everyone in America knows, singing very few of his recent songs that have not been as well received. There was also a small tribute to the rock icon Prince which included a projection of him singing a hit song. Some of the more memorable commercials that made some lasting impressions include the Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. “Dirty Dancing” reenactment, the Mountain Dew/Doritos commercial featuring Morgan Freeman and Peter Dinklage rapping, and a Tide ad that was hard to tell what the ad was for. Overall, an extremely hyped super bowl lived up to its expectations with an incredible record-breaking game as well as a great halftime show and hilarious commercials per usual.