How the Eagles Won Their First Super Bowl Title, Drive by Drive

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles celebrates after winning Super Bowl LII

Everything had lined up for the New England Patriots to once again storm to a last-minute Super Bowl victory, but Brandon Graham, a standout defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles, shot through the offensive line and his strip sack of Tom Brady ended the threat, handing the Eagles a shocking 41-33 upset in Super Bowl LII and the team’s first championship since 1960.
Nick Foles, the backup quarterback who took over as Philadelphia’s starting quarterback only after an injury to Carson Wentz in Week 14, completed 28 of 43 passes for 373 yards and 3 touchdowns, and he even caught a touchdown pass in an offensive effort that few predicted he was capable of coming into the game. He repeatedly converted third down opportunities, threw aggressively into coverage all game, and appeared every bit as poised and confident as Brady, the five-time champion on the other side of the field.
Three weeks ago the thought of Foles being named the most valuable player of Super Bowl LII would have seemed ludicrous, but after watching the Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback crush the Minnesota Vikings in the N.F.C. championship game, and then essentially match that performance against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, the choice seemed obvious.
“I felt calm,” he said before praising his teammates and coaching staff.
The Patriots battled defensive problems early in the season, but had seemed to figure things out down the stretch. On this day, however, they were unable to stop the Eagles from scoring at will, and they squandered an incredible effort in which Brady and Co. generated more than 600 yards of offense.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady after the loss
The Eagles had offensive stars all over the field, with LeGarrette Blount rushing for 90 yards and a touchdown, Corey Clement contributing 108 yards of total offense, and Nelson Agholor catching 9 passes for 84 yards. But it was Zach Ertz, Foles’s favorite target, who got the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter when he dove over Devin McCourty for a thrilling 11-yard touchdown pass that stood up to a long review by the officials who were trying to determine if he had possession of the ball before it shot out of his hands in the end zone. Ertz finished the day with 7 catches for 67 yards.
Asked about the catch after the game, Ertz poked fun at Philadelphia’s rowdy fan base and how they would have reacted if the call had gone the other way.
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On one final drive, Brady drove his team 40 yards, but it was too little too late, and he lost in a Super Bowl for just the third time in eight tries.
The effort put forth by Foles in the last two games will certainly raise questions as to his status for next season, as he is currently expected to go back to being a backup to Carson Wentz. While the Eagles will assuredly want to stick with Wentz, Foles may seek a trade so he can start somewhere else, though he said all week that he had no plans to demand such a move.
Here’s how the Philadelphia Eagles won their first championship:
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith makes a catch under pressure from New England Patriots cornerback Eric Rowe on the opening drive.

Eagles settle for a field goal on first drive.

It was like watching a replay of the N.F.C. championship game, with Nick Foles repeatedly succeeding on third down and simply marching down the field into the red zone. A few attempts into the end zone fell incomplete, but Jake Elliott came out and his 25-yard attempt sailed through the uprights to give the Eagles an early 3-0 lead.
After a brief delay caused by the lights being too dim for kickoff, Stephen Gostkowski kicked off to Corey Clement who took the ball to the Philadelphia 26-yard line. A pair of quick completions from Nick Foles to Nelson Agholor picked up a combined 6 yards and on third down he rolled out to his left before completing a 17-yard pass to Alshon Jeffery that gave the Eagles a first down.
A run by LeGarrette Blount went nowhere, with the big running back knocked backward for a 1-yard loss, and a Foles pass to Torrey Smith fell incomplete, setting up another third down, which Foles, after waiting for something to develop, converted with a 15-yard pass to Smith.
Foles found his favorite target, Zach Ertz, for a 7-yard gain then Jay Ajayi had a pair of short runs, the first of which picked up a first down. Foles sold a nice pump fake and then hit Clement for a 16-yard catch-and-run that put Philadelphia on New England’s 5-yard line.
Blount went up the middle to the 2-yard line, but a false start penalty by Ertz moved the ball back to the 7. Foles overthrew Agholor in the end zone, setting up a third-and-7, and an attempt to Jeffery also fell incomplete, setting up Elliott for the short field goal.
Drape: Foles to Jeffery for the first 3rd down conversion showed a couple of things: Coach Doug Pederson trusts him, and Foles can extend plays with his legs. Then, he gets 3rd-and-11 and throws an even better pass to Torrey Smith. The Eagles did everything but get 7 on that drive. Elliott draws first blood, 3-0 Eagles. Nice start, but mistakes add up, and they can’t make many of them. All in all, Foles looks sharp.
Tom Brady looks to hand the ball off in the first quarter

Patriots put together their own field-goal drive.

Just like the Eagles, the Patriots marched easily down the field before stalling out in the red zone. A huge defensive play by Jalen Mills knocked down a pass on a 3rd-and-4 play, which resulted in Stephen Gostkowski coming out for a 26-yard field goal that tied the score at 3-3.
The pressure of the Eagles’ defense was felt on the first play, with Tom Brady being rushed into a quick incomplete, but on second down he threw short to his left and James White raced 15 yards down the field for a first down.
Philadelphia got a 5-yard penalty for having 12 men on the field, setting up a 1st-and-5, and Brady found Chris Hogan streaking across the field for a 28-yard gain. Hogan then picked up another 5 yards on an end-around. Brady easily picked up the first down with a 9-yard throw to Rob Gronkowski.
From the Philadelphia 14-yard line, Brady picked up 6 yards with a low throw to White, and then White was knocked down after no discernible gain on a run up the middle. In a huge defensive play, Brady’s pass on third down, which was intended for Gronkowski, was knocked to the ground by Mills, which sent out Gostkowski for the kick.
Drape: Eagles give up a big play to James White, then they get a 12 man on the field penalty all of a sudden it’s at midfield. Give Tom Brady a 50-yard head start and he can start throwing crossing routes. The Eagles defense didn’t get close to Brady this drive. They absolutely need to. They do get bailed out by Jalen Hill batting down a pass. So now it’s 3-3. If this was a boxing match (and they are playing the Rocky theme all the time) this is a nice split 2 rounds start that has everyone on the edge of their seat.

Patriots botch a field-goal attempt.

A promising drive for the Patriots resulted in a field-goal attempt, but a bad snap and hold caused Stephen Gostkowski to miss a 26-yard attempt, giving the Eagles the ball back deep in their own territory. Gostkowski’s low kick simply ricocheted off the crossbar and back onto the field.
Dion Lewis took a short kickoff and returned it to the New England 18-yard line. After a brief injury delay, Lewis got a run up the middle and took it 8 yards. New England gave 5 yards of that back with a false start by Rob Gronkowski and then Tom Brady’s wobbly pass to Chris Hogan fell incomplete. On 3rd-and-7, Brady was forced out of the pocket but he stayed cool and found Danny Amendola wide open on the left side of the field for a huge 50-yard reception.
A quick pass to Hogan picked up another first down and then James White ran twice for a combined 8 yards. With the first quarter coming to a close, the teams switched sides of the field, but on 3rd-and-2 from the Philadelphia 9-yard line, Brady handed off to Brandin Cooks who was knocked down after a 1-yard gain, which sent out Gostkowsi for the kick.
Both of these teams were playing great defense toward the end of the season, but so far they have combined for four drives, and the shortest one went 67 yards.
Drape: That’s a really big miss for Gostowksi. Yes, the Patriots held. But the Patriots have not looked good. Yes, they have one of the greatest coaches and quarterbacks that have played. But they don’t look like a dynasty.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery makes a catch for a touchdown under pressure from New England Patriots cornerback Eric Rowe in the first quarter.

Foles finds Jeffery and the Eagles take back the lead.

The Nick Foles of the N.F.C. championship game is here so far. A 34-yard pass from Foles to Alshon Jeffery, which after a missed extra-point, has the Eagles up 9-3.
The drive started on Philadelphia’s 23-yard line. Foles threw short to Nelson Agholor, who showed a good second-effort with the ball for a 7-yard gain. The Patriots were then caught on their heels by LeGarrette Blount, who shot up the middle and then streaked down the right side of the field for a 36-yard gain.
From that point it was all Foles who released the ball as he was getting hit and found a leaping Jeffery in the end zone for the huge touchdown.
Drape: Blount broke a big one just like he had done in the past for the Pats. Then Foles goes 40-plus to Jeffery. No doubt that this is an Eagles-heavy crowd. No fear. But then Jake Elliott goes and dampens the momentum by missing the extra point. Philadelphia CANNOT LEAVE POINTS ON THE BOARD.

Patriots defense puts some pressure on Foles.

Trying to capitalize on New England’s missed field goal, the Eagles started their drive with a pitch to Jay Ajayi that went for 2 yards. On second down, Foles was chased out of the pocket by Trey Flowers, but he got the ball away for an incomplete pass. On 3rd-and 8, Foles again stepped out of a potential sack, but his pass to Zach Ertz fell incomplete resulting in the first punt of the game. Foles could potentially have run for a first down on the play, but he chose to try for it with his arm instead.
Patriots wide receiver Brandin Cooks is is hit by Eagles strong safety Malcolm Jenkins in the second quarter.

Eagles knock Brandin Cooks out of the game.

A big catch, a devastating injury, a trick play, and a turnover on downs. The Eagles have the ball back with no damage done.
The Patriots got a get-out-of-jail-free card when the Eagles could not capitalize on a missed field goal, and following a punt they started at their own 37-yard line. Tom Brady immediately found Brandin Cooks for a huge 23-yard reception, but after Cooks looked for some space to run, he was absolutely laid out on a huge helmet-to-helmet hit by Malcolm Jenkins that left Cooks briefly motionless on the field. Cooks has been ruled out for the rest of the game.
Cooks sat up a few moments after the training staff got to him on the field, and then walked off the field under his own power. He headed straight to New England’s locker room for evaluation.
When play resumed, Brady threw an incomplete pass that was intended for James White that appeared to catch the running back off-guard as he was just turning around when the ball hit him in the shoulder pads. On 2nd-and-10, Dion Lewis ran the ball up the middle for a 5-yard gain. That set up a trick play with a double-reverse and then a throw from Danny Amendola to Brady, but the quarterback could not quick hold onto the ball.
The Patriots went for it on 4th-and-5, but Brady’s pass to Rob Gronkowski fell incomplete.
Drape: Malcolm Jenkins just laid out Brandin Cooks. This is not what anyone wants to see when 100 million people are watching. The game has a deserved reputation for violence. The C.T.E. cases have taken the lives of Hall of Famers like Junior Seau and many more. The public talks about concussion protocol, but no one really knows what it is. To be clear: it was not a cheap hit, just one that has increasingly become part of the game.
Eagles running back LeGarrette Blount celebrates after rushing for a touchdown in the second quarter.

Blount rumbles in for a 21-yard touchdown.

A few big throws by Nick Foles and a huge 21-yard touchdown run by LeGarrette Blount has the Eagles up 15-3.
The Eagles started conservatively with a run to Jay Ajayi, which resulted in a 1-yard loss. A second attempt to Ajayi saw the quick running back fight his way to the sideline but only resulted in a 4-yard gain, setting up a 3rd-and-7. As has been the case for the last two games, Foles stayed cool on third down and found Zach Ertz for a 19-yard gain and a first down.
Foles overthrew a short attempt to Alshon Jeffery but his second down pass was a thing of beauty as it sailed over the coverage and found a diving Jeffery for a 22-yard gain.
With a short field in front of him, Blount took the ball up the middle and was gone, with no one on New England’s defense having a chance of bringing him down.
The Eagles failed on a 2-point conversion attempt, which could indicate a lack of confidence in Jake Elliott’s ability to make an extra-point, but could also just be them wanting a 14-point lead rather than a 13-point lead.
Drape: Oh Man, LaGarette Blount! He’s a poor man Jerome Bettis. No Hall of Fame for him, but he does have a chance to win his second straight championship. Nick Foles? What can you say? He’s creeping into Earl Morril, Terry Hanratty, and Don Strock territory. Let’s get us in to modern times: Frank Reich of the Buffalo Bills.

This time, Patriots convert on field goal attempt.

The Patriots only got one decent play on their drive, but that was enough to set up Stephen Gostkowski for a 45-yard field goal that narrowed New England’s deficit to 15-6.
New England had started on its own 25-yard line, and Tom Brady immediately found Rex Burkhead for an incredible 46-yard catch-and-run in which the running back briefly looked like he might go for much more.
A second down pass intended for Danny Amendola was rushed thanks to pressure from the Eagles’ defense and it fell incomplete nowhere near the receiver. A second attempt to Amendola resulted in a 2-yard gain, and on 3rd-and-8, Brady again threw a ball that came nowhere close to anyone who could catch the ball.
Gostkowski, who had missed a short attempt, had no problem from distance.
Drape: If you are an Eagles fan, you like how your team has played, but know it should be 24-6. They blew a touchdown and two extra points. If you are a Pats fan, all’s good. It’s 15-6 and you haven’t played well, but Coach Bill is about ready to make the adjustments.
Patriots strong safety Duron Harmon intercepts a throw meant for Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery in the second quarter

A big interception gives Patriots the ball.

Nick Foles’s aggressiveness nearly set up another score, but Alshon Jeffery bobbled the ball on a deep pass and Duron Harmon was in position to take it away for a huge interception.
Starting at their own 25-yard line, the Eagles backed up thanks to Zach Ertz’s second false start penalty of the day. Corey Clement got 1 yard on a run to the left side, but Foles picked up 10 yards with a pass to Torrey Smith. On 3rd-and-4, Foles handed off to Jay Ajayi who fought through the right side of the line and then streaked up the field for a 26-yard gain and a first down.
Foles took the deep shot to Jeffery, and the throw was on the money, but Harmon’s head’s up play could be huge for New England.
Drape: Jeffery is having an M.V.P. game. It looked like he sealed that award with an acrobatic catch. It would have been the dagger of the first half. Instead, he bobbles it slightly and Harmon comes up with the interception. Again, again, again (I’m sorry) the Eagles need to put the Patriots away. What’s that? It wasn’t 28-3 (ask the Falcons).
Patriots wide receiver Chris Hogan with a reception in the second quarter.

Patriots cut into Eagles’ lead on White’s 26-yard touchdown run.

Nick Foles’s interception came back to haunt the Patriots when James White fought through a few tacklers for an impressive 26-yard touchdown run that made it a 15-12 game.
After the interception, the Patriots started form their own 5-yard line and Dion Lewis started things off with a 4-yard run. On second down the Eagles nearly got an interception of their own on a short attempt to Rob Gronkowski, which almost ended up in Nigel Bradham’s hands. Then, on 3rd-and-6, Brady threw long to Chris Hogan but was bailed out by a defensive holding call against Jalen Mills.
Given a fresh set of downs, the Patriots picked up 12 yards and a first down on two runs by Lewis. Brady threw an incomplete pass on first down, but a deep attempt on second down found Chris Hogan for a sliding 42-yard reception.
After Hogan’s big play White busted through the middle of the line and broke several tackles on his way into the end zone. Stephen Gostkowski missed his extra-point attempt, continuing the trend of a bad day for both teams’ kickers.
Drape: Just like that. Brady makes a throw that 27 other N.F.L. quarterbacks don’t. White bangs it in. Eagles fans are nervous. Gostowski makes his own case for the post season waiver wires. It’s 15-12, and the only people happy right now are the folks who have the Eagles 5, Pats 2 on their Super Bowl Squares.
Eagles quarterback Nick Foles scores a touchdown on a trick play toward the end of the first half.

Eagles pull out their bag of tricks.

The Eagles had a 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line, and Coach Doug Pederson, who is a huge fan of football analytics, went for it. Corey Clement took the direct snap, then handed it to Trey Burton, who lobbed it to Nick Foles, who unlike Tom Brady, caught the ball for a touchdown that along with the extra-point gave Philadelphia a 22-12 lead.
A nice kick return by Kenjon Barner set the Eagles up with the ball at their own 30-yard line, with the two-minute warning being called at the end of the 27-yard run.
On first down, Nick Foles found Zach Ertz for a 7-yard gain, which Ertz took out of bounds to stop the clock. On 2nd-and-3, he was throwing again and Torrey Smith was juggling the ball as he went out of bounds, resulting in an incompletion.
But Foles has thrived on third down, and his gorgeous pass to Corey Clement led the running back perfectly beyond his coverage, and Clement not only snared the pass but raced down the field for a 55-yard gain in which he ran through two tackles and into the red zone.
Clement barreled up the middle for a 7-yard run, setting up a 2nd-and-goal from the New England 2-yard line, which forced the Patriots to call a timeout. Foles again handed off to Clement, who got about a yard, resulting in yet another New England timeout.
A 3rd-and-goal pass to Alshon Jeffery was tightly contested in the end zone, and fell incomplete, which resulted in the 4th-and-short attempt. Clement to Foles, just like they drew it up.
Drape: I spoke too early for the 5 and 2 square holders. Sorry! But how about the 4th and 2 reverse pass. Trey Burton to Nick Foles. Guts and imagination from Pederson, a pinpoint throw from Burton, and Foles pulling it in. This has been a really great first half of a big game. But the Eagles should lead, 31-12. Let’s get ready for the Patriots to come out firing in the second half.

Eagles have the lead, but Patriots have the history.

If anything, the Eagles should be leading by more than 10 points after a first half in which their offense did almost nothing wrong. Nick Foles completed 13 of 22 passes for 215 yards and a touchdown, with his only real mistake coming on a well-thrown ball that was intercepted after his receiver bobbled the ball. The backup quarterback, and incredible Cinderella story, even caught a touchdown pass, showing off his athleticism on a trick play in which Trey Burton, a backup tight end, threw to him in the end zone.
Tom Brady moved the ball with ease against the fearsome Philadelphia defense, generating 350 yards of offense (276 through the air) but could not execute quite as well once he got into Philadelphia’s territory. It did not help the Patriots that Stephen Gostkowski missed a field goal and an extra-point, costing New England 4 points.
The teams will now go into the locker room for an extended halftime, and the Patriots, who are known for incredible halftime adjustments, will receive the ball to start the second half.
Justin Timberlake performing at halftime.
Justin Timberlake performs a tribute to Prince during the halftime show.

Justin Timberlake’s halftime show features Prince tribute.

There was no wardrobe malfunction. There was no Prince hologram. Instead, the halftime show was all Justin Timberlake, who came out with a new album this week, running through a medley of his hits, like “SexyBack” and “My Love.”
But after a three year run of immensely entertaining halftime shows that included Lady Gaga entering the stadium from the sky, an ensemble performance from Beyoncé, Coldplay and Bruno Mars, and Katy Perry and Left Shark, Timberlake’s solo performance felt uninspired.
He spent a lot of time clapping and not singing, and the most exciting moment was when a video of Minneapolis native Prince performing “I Would Die 4U” was projected onto a sheet — echoing his iconic Super Bowl performance 11 years ago. — Kevin Draper
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski makes a third quarter reception.

Patriots start the 2nd half with a touchdown.

All Tom Brady needed to get the Patriots off to a great start in the second half was some help from Rob Gronkowski. The big tight end had four receptions on the drive, including a 5-yard touchdown reception, and the Eagles’ lead has been reduced to 22-19.
The second half began with the Patriots their own 25-yard line after a touchback. Brady only had eyes for Gronkowski, throwing to him on the first three plays of the drive, generating 49 yards on two receptions. The streak of passes was broken up by a 3-yard run by James White and then Brady floated a pass out of bounds for an incompletion. On 3rd-and-7 from Philadelphia’s 23-yard line, Brady stayed calm under pressure and once again found Gronkowski for a 14-yard reception and another first down.
New England had 1st-and-goal from the 8-yard line, and started with a run up the middle by James White for 3 yards. Brady then threw to Gronkowski for the score.
Eagles players celebrate with running back Corey Clement after he scored a long touchdown in the third quarter

Eagles’ offense still rolling in 2nd half.

The Eagles continue to thrive on third down, and that continues to make New England play on its heels. It was on a third down that Nick Foles, who seems absolutely fearless tonight, threw deep into the end zone to Corey Clement for a 22-yard diving touchdown that along with the extra-point made it 29-19.
The Patriots had started the second half with a score, and the Eagles, looking to respond, had Kenjon Barner return the kickoff to the Philadelphia 25-yard line before a penalty for a block in the back sent them back to the 15.
LeGarrette Blount got things started with a 4-yard run up the middle, but Foles, after rolling out on second down, had his pass to Nelson Agholor fall incomplete. On 3rd-and-6, Foles found Agholor more cleanly, and the wide receiver raced to the sideline for a 17-yard catch and a first down.
Blount rumbled to the right side of the field for a 5-yard gain, and then went up the middle for another 10 yards.
Foles had a pass intended for Torrey Smith fall incomplete, with the crowd loudly booing the lack of an interference call, and on second down he handed to Jay Ajayi who despite stumbling managed to pick up 9 yards. On 3rd-and-1 from New England’s 40-yard line, Foles faked a handoff to Blount before finding Zach Ertz for a 14-yard completion.
After a short run by Ajayi, Foles dropped back and threw deep into the end zone for Trey Burton, but the pass sailed out of bounds. That brought up 3rd-and-6, and Foles dropped back for what was presumably going to be a short pass to try to convert but was instead a deep pass into the end zone for Clement whose catch held up to a challenge.
The Eagles have completed 8 of 11 third down attempts, and that is a huge part of the difference in this game.
Drape: The Eagles got a lot out of Blount, Clements and Ajaye on this drive. It was only right that Foles found Clement on that touchdown pass. It was a pins-and-needle review with Eagles and Pats fans, oohing and ahhing on every angle of the replay. But the ruling on the field stood. Neither one of those guys have made a mistake tonight, so maybe it was some justice.
Patriots wide receiver Chris Hogan scores a touchdown in the third quarter.

Brady finds Hogan to cut into the Eagles lead yet again.

A combination of runs by Dion Lewis and throws from Tom Brady to his wide receivers got the Patriots 75 yards on just 7 plays, with Brady finding Chris Hogan in front of the end zone for a 26-yard score. With the extra point, the Eagles’ lead is down to 29-26.
After a Lewis kick return, the Patriots began at their own 25-yard line. The first play was a run by Lewis, who picked up a yard, and the second was a long attempt to Hogan that was very nearly intercepted by Corey Graham Unfortunately for the Eagles, Graham ended up with a holding penalty on the play, giving New England a first down.
Lewis again ran for a yard, and then Brady completed a 15-yard pass to Hogan. Lewis ran two more times, for a combined 9 yards, and on 3rd-and-1 Brady threw deep to Danny Amendola for an 18-yard gain and a first down. With 26 yards to go, Brady took care of all of it with yet another pass to Hogan.
The defensive lines for both teams are getting absolutely worn out by all of this passing.
Drape: No news flash: Tom Brady is really good at what he does. He marches the Pats back down the field with one surgical strike after another, finishing it with a touchdown pass to Chris Hogan. It’s 29-26 and you get the feeling that whoever has the ball last wins.
Eagles kicker Jake Elliott watches after kicking a field goal in the fourth quarte
Eagles move the ball, but settle for a field goal.
Philadelphia moved the ball with ease, but after stalling out in the red zone on a rare failure to convert on third down, the team sent out Jake Elliott for a 42-yard field goal that extended the Eagles’ lead to 32-26.
The Eagles had started at their own 25-yard line after a touchback. Foles started off with a strike to Nelson Agholor on the right sideline for a 24-yard gain. Foles pulled back a fake handoff and then threw to Torrey Smith for 17 yards.
LeGarrette Blount ran for 2 yards, and on second down Philadelphia ran a jet sweep to Agholor who went down the left side of the field for 9 yards and a first down.
Foles threw deep into the end zone but had his pass fall incomplete, with the crowd once again calling for an interference call. On 2nd-and-10, he threw to Smith on the sideline and he went 7 yards on the catch-and-run. That brought up a 3rd-and-3, and the teams had to change sides of the field with the end of the third quarter.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, completed a pass to Agholor but the receiver was knocked for an 8-yard loss which brought Elliott out for the kick.
Drape: I’m going to be a nag about this: the Eagles blew a 1st-and-goal and a couple of extra points. It should be 38-26.
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski catches a touchdown in the fourth quarter
Patriots take the lead in the 4th quarter.
The Patriots have their first lead of the game after Tom Brady lofted a 4-yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski in the back of the end zone. After the extra-point, New England has a 33-32 lead with less than 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Another touchback had resulted in the Patriots starting from their own 25-yard line. Rex Burkhead carried the ball on three consecutive plays for a combined 18 yards, and on a 2nd-and-6 play, Tom Brady threw to Chris Hogan on the sideline for a 3-yard gain. On the crucial third down, Brady dropped back and then found Danny Amendola on the right sideline for a 7-yard gain and a first down.
A fake to Burkhead set up another completion to Amendola, this one for 17 yards. A pass to Amendola and a run by James White generated yet another first down, and on 1st-and-goal from Philadelphia’s 4-yard line, Brady’s pass bounced in front of White at the goal line. On second down, Brady lofted the ball up high enough that only Gronkowski could reach it and once Gostkowski’s extra-point sailed through the uprights, the Patriots had taken the lead.
Brady is up to 457 passing yards and 3 touchdowns against one of the best secondaries in football.
Drape: Tom Brady and Gronk are really good at what they do. No lead is safe. No mistake is not taken advantage of. The Pats have trailed every minute of this game. Until it counted. Lot of time left, but Philly needs to use it well.
The winning touchdown for the Eagles: tight end Zach Ertz dived into the end zone with 2:21 left in the fourth quarter.

Eagles continue to gamble, and it pays off.

Doug Pederson, thanks to his adherence to advanced analytics, is one of the most aggressive coaches in football in terms of going for it on fourth down, and a pass from Nick Foles to Zach Ertz on 4th-and-1 extended a drive that ended with Foles completing a shocking 11-yard touchdown pass to Ertz that gave Philadelphia a 38-33 lead.
Asked to play with a scoring deficit for the first time today, the Eagles started at their own 25-yard line. Foles made some adjustments at the line before handing off to Jay Ajayi who rushed to the right for a 4-yard gain. On second down Foles took his time before throwing deep to Torrey Smith. The veteran wide receiver battled with Eric Rowe in coverage, but the ball ultimately fell incomplete.
On 3rd-and-6, the Patriots burned a timeout but Foles, as he has all night, stayed cool and completed a 7-yard pass to Ertz to pick up the first down.
A handoff to LeGarrette Blount generated 2 yards and then Foles faked a handoff to Corey Clement before throwing to the running back for a 7-yard gain. On 3rd-and-1, Foles completed a pass to Smith but a quick tackle led to the Eagles being short of a first down, which led to Pederson’s aggressive decision to once again go for it on fourth down. The analytics once again paid off when Foles completed a 2-yard pass to Ertz for the first down.
With a new set of downs at Philadelphia’s 47-yard line, the Eagles burned a timeout and when they came back Blount ran for a yard. Foles then threw three consecutive passes to Nelson Agholor, each of which generated first downs and set up the Eagles on New England’s 14-yard line. A handoff to Ajayi got 3 yards, forcing New England to burn its second time out, and then Foles threw an incomplete pass well out of Alshon Jeffery’s reach in the end zone. On 3rd-and-7, Foles completed a pass to Ertz in which the athletic tight end leapt over Devin McCourty into the end zone before having the ball shoot out of his hands as he hit the ground. The play was reviewed, and it was determined that he had possession of the ball before he touched the ground, and therefore the touchdown was upheld.
No one knew what to expect of Foles coming into the game, but he has 373 passing yards and 3 touchdowns in the game. Agholor, who battled flu-like symptoms this week, has 9 catches for 84 yards.
But Tom Brady is about to get the ball back and just needs a touchdown to take the lead.
Drape: Wow. The Eagles slowed it down. Nick Foles made the plays he had to. Nice strike to Zach Ertz for a touchdown. But was it? Another agonizing review and yes it was. For those of you who don’t read us Zach is the husband of United States National Women’s soccer team, Julie. The Eagles had to go for a 2-point conversion. It didn’t happen. Now they have to sweat Brady. This is about as good a game as you can order.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady fumbled under pressure late in the fourth quarter.

Brandon Graham’s strip-sack has Eagles on the verge.

The Patriots had 2:21 on the clock and one timeout left to burn when they got the ball at their own 25-yard line. It seemed like everything was lining up for a Patriots victory but in a shocking reversal, Brady was sacked by Brandon Graham, and after a fumble the ball was recovered by Derek Barnett for a turnover that could easily decide the game.
Brady had started things off with an 8-yard completion to Rob Gronkowski. But on second down the fearsome Philadelphia pass rush finally showed up to the game.
Graham said the strip-sack came from his knowing Brady’s tendencies.
”I knew he liked to be aggressive, so I tried to act like I was pulling,” he said. “I snapped it right off and Tom Brady’s arm was right there and I went for the ball.”
Drape: The Great Tom Brady knew it was over. He pulled himself off the turf after the Eagles pass rush finally got to him and he fumbled.

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