By Ryan Touhey
Asst. Sports Editor
The Vince Lombardi Trophy is headed to the, “City of Brotherly Love,” for the first time ever. The Philadelphia Eagles dethroned the defending champion New England Patriots, 41-33, in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
The game was a close battle from start to finish. The Eagles scored first in the first quarter. Rookie placekicker Jake Elliott, kicked a 25-yard field goal to put the Eagles up, 3-0. The Patriots responded later on in the quarter with a field goal of their own from their placekicker, Stephen Gostkowski. He made it from 26 yards, which tied the game at 3.
The Eagles would regain the lead at the 2:34 mark of the first quarter. Quarterback Nick Foles threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. That put the Eagles ahead, 9-3. Elliott followed that up with an unsuccessful extra point attempt, as the ball went wide right.
The Patriots had a chance to make it a 9-6 game at the beginning of the second quarter, as Gostkowski was set up for another 26-yard field goal attempt. However, the snap from Joe Cardona was botched and holder Ryan Allen had trouble with it. Gostkowski still managed to get his foot on the ball, but it wound up hitting the upright.
The Eagles then jumped ahead 15-3, on a 21-yard rush by running back, LeGarrette Blount. Philadelphia would then miss a two-point conversion attempt.
The Patriots cut the deficit down to nine after Gostkowski made a 45-yard field goal at the 7:24 mark. They would then score their first touchdown of the game on a 26-yard run from running back James White at the 2:04 mark. That cut it to 15-12 Eagles.
However, the Eagles would respond before the end of the quarter. On fourth and goal, with 38 seconds left, the Eagles pulled off a reverse play as tight end Trey Burton threw a touchdown pass to Foles. Elliott followed that up with an extra point, making it 22-12 Philly.
The first half of the game ended with both teams gaining 300 yards, which was the first time that had ever happened in a Super Bowl.
The second half of the game began with New England striking first. With 12:21 remaining in the third quarter on second and goal, quarterback Tom Brady threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski. That made it 22-19 Philly. Gostkowski missed the extra point though, keeping the score as it was.
The Eagles then responded with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Foles to running back Cory Clement at the 7:18 mark. Elliott followed it up with an extra point and that made it 29-19.
The Patriots then scored on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Brady to wide receiver Chris Hogan at the 3:23 mark. Gostkowski hit the extra point, and the Pats trailed 29-26.
The fourth quarter began with Philly adding to their lead. Elliott made a 42-yard field goal, which made the score 32-26.
The Patriots then took their first and only lead of the night when Brady threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Gronkowski and Gostkowski hit the extra point. The Patriots led 33-32 with 9:22 remaining in the game.
The Eagles then retook the lead at the 2:21 mark, when Foles threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to tight end Zach Ertz. Elliott added the extra point, which gave Philly a 38-33 lead.
The Pats tried to respond with 2:16 remaining in the game. However, Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham, strip sacked Brady. That led to Brady fumbling the football, and the play all but ended New England’s hopes of their third Super Bowl title in four years.
Elliott made another field goal for good measure, and the Eagles went on to win the Super Bowl, 41-33.
“I thought it was a really good game,” said graduate student Geno Gonnello. “I think that the biggest factor in last night’s game was special teams, I think that’s what really hurt the Patriots.”