When it mattered most, the Eagles offense rose to the occasion to help claim Philadelphia’s first Lombardi Trophy in franchise history on Sunday night in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Quarterback Nick Foles and company converted 10 of 16 third-down attempts and both fourth-down tries as the Eagles won a shootout 41-33 against the vaunted Patriots offense and quarterback Tom Brady.
Only one of the conversions — a 26-yard run by running back Jay Ajayi — came on the ground.
Foles completed 12 of 15 throws for 172 yards and two passing touchdowns, and added a receiving touchdown on the critical downs. He capped his performance with a game-winning, 12-yard touchdown pass to tight end Zach Ertz with just over two minutes left in the game.
Ertz’s call required an agonizing review of the catch rule after the ball was jarred loose once he landed in the end zone.
“It’s like a weird rule,” receiver Nelson Agholor said, “but when a guy catches a pass, faces up, takes two steps and on his own will dives in and scores — it’s a touchdown, man.”
Philadelphia primarily generated its first downs through Ertz. Five of his seven catches turned into first downs when the Eagles faced a third or fourth down.
Knowing his fan base, Ertz had a message for the City of Brotherly Love after he caught seven passes for 67 yards and a score. The Eagles last won an NFL championship in 1960.
“I hope everybody stays safe tonight,” Ertz said. “I hope not everything burns down. I hope nothing gets burned down.”
Jeffery sparks offense
Eagles receiver Alshon Jeffery, who before kickoff guaranteed a Super Bowl victory, caught three of the first five passes thrown to him for 73 yards, including an impressive grab on a 34-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
“Man, I told y’all,” Jeffery said. “We don’t care who we were playing.”
Foles targeted Jeffery deep again in the second quarter, when he tipped the pass into the air that was grabbed for an interception by Patriots safety Duron Harmon. In the second half Jeffery was only targeted once and the pass fell incomplete.
‘Coldest’ Super Bowl
The kickoff temperature of three degrees in Minneapolis officially made it the coldest Super Bowl on record, even though the game was played indoors.
The actual coldest game based on field temperature remains Super Bowl VI in 1972, when the Cowboys and Dolphins kicked off in 39-degree weather at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans.
Minnesota Timberwolves star and Eagles fan Karl-Anthony Towns was on hand as a photographer for The Players’ Tribune, an athlete-driven sports website.
Steph Curry, NBA-champion point guard for the Golden State Warriors, was also on hand wearing a sweatshirt representing Minnehaha Academy, based in south Minneapolis.
NFL grounds crew members apparently forgot to place hashmarks on both sides of the league logo at midfield of U.S. Bank Stadium. Workers quickly used paint brushes to apply the white lines a few hours before Sunday’s kickoff.