The Philadelphia Eagles were the undisputed underdogs going into Sunday night's Super Bowl, but ultimately did what underdogs do, pulling off a major upset victory over the favored New England Patriots, 41–33.
The Eagles' 2018 Super Bowl win was perhaps foreseen only by their fans as they faced off against the Patriots, who had previously clinched five Super Bowl rings.
But the Eagles, led by quarterback Nick Foles, struck early and often, taking a first-quarter lead that the team refused to give up.
During their first drive, the Eagles were stopped short of the end zone but were able to grab a field goal to open the scoring. The Patriots responded with a field goal of their own.
It was on their next drive that the Eagles became the first to reach the end zone with a 34-yard pass, putting them in the lead and leaving the Patriots to chase behind them on the scoreboard for three full quarters. By the time the two teams entered the locker rooms at halftime, the Eagles were ahead 22–12.
Still, the Patriots were always close behind, as their quarterback, Tom Brady — who had been presumed to be a lock to win the game MVP title — was quelled but never fully shut down by the Philadelphia team. The five-time Super Bowl winner did not throw his first touchdown pass till the third quarter, but continued to drive his team down the field, allowing the Patriots to stay ominously close to their opponents.
It wasn't until well into the fourth quarter that the Patriots managed to pull ahead of the Eagles — briefly, with a single point — leaving the score at 33–32 with less than nine minutes left in the game. But the advantage was short-lived as the Eagles responded with force.
Back with possession, the Philadelphia team responded with a touchdown of their own. Brady looked to fight back, but a fumble instead gave the Eagles possession once more, and sealed their victory with a field goal.
In the final seconds of the game, Brady tried give the Patriots the victory the team was always presumed to win. But the Hail Mary pass into the end zone fell flat as time ran out.
While most Super Bowl games are seen as defensive matchups, Sunday's event ended up being more of a brawl between the offensive teams, with each driving deep toward the end zone and rarely failing to score on their drives.
And in the end, the honor of game MVP instead fell to Foles, a backup quarterback at the start of the season who threw for three touchdowns and caught another Sunday night. Foles, who replaced the Eagles' starting quarterback Carson Wentz following a torn ACL, had considered retirement in 2016 after his release from the Rams. He becomes the first backup quarterback to win the Super Bowl since Brady did the same thing in 2001.
"This was a hard-fought game," Foles said as he accepted the MVP trophy Sunday. "New England is a tremendous team."
"We dreamed about this moment when we were kids," he added. "Just to be in this moment: unbelievable."