Super Bowl 52, like most other Super Bowls, went off with a real bang; but this time it felt a bit different, even in the build-up.
Many people had expected the Minnesota Vikings to make it to the final to face the New England Patriots in order to become the first ever side to play a Super Bowl at their home stadium. That wasn’t to be though as the Philadelphia Eagles side stepped them, as they had side stepped so many other teams as the underdog, to make it all the way to the final.
Heading into the final, the Eagles were the clear underdogs once again, especially against the New England Patriots, the defending Super Bowl champions led by Tom Brady. However, it was difficult to decide who fans were actually rooting for. Plenty wanted the Eagles to win as they were the underdogs, but the “home” support was surely rooting for the Patriots; as it was the Eagles who prevented them from playing at home, in the Super Bowl, for the first time.
It was remarkably the Eagles who came out on top with some fans as a lot of fans expected them to rise up and beat the Patriots. So the first stars of Super Bowl 52 have to be the Eagles themselves. They have been perennial underdogs throughout the season and beyond, but they’ve harnessed their status and used it to their advantage. It’s been their motivation and it has proven enough to see them be declared Super Bowl champions.
Nick Foles, the Eagles’ quarterback, had come into the fold way back in week 14 when Carson Wentz tore his ACL. Many people saw him as one of the main reasons why The Eagles were seen as the underdogs in their playoff games and the Super Bowl itself, but Foles starred against the New England Patriots, putting up 373 yards passing, with three passing touch downs and one receiving. He was named the MVP of the 2018 Super Bowl.
It was Zach Ertz’s touchdown which really helped to secure victory for the Eagles with less than three minutes to go, giving them a five point lead. That moment and Ertz himself will go down in Eagles and Super Bowl history, as will Brandon Graham too. It was his sack on Tom Brady just moments later that really put the game beyond the New England Patriots and any hope they had of a comeback.
There also has to be a special mention for Eagles coach Doug Pederson. Bill Belichick, the coach of the New England Patriots, is widely regarded as the best in NFL history but Pederson never let this phase him. In fact, he went toe to toe with Belichick by ensuring that his Eagles side played their own game, at full speed, never letting up. They have been superb this season and while they may not be seen as the underdogs anymore, there is plenty more to come from Pederson and the Eagles.