Eagles stun Patriots in a Super Bowl LII thriller

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

By Rachel G. Bowers Globe Staff 

The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots, 41-33, in Super Bowl LII on Sunday in Minneapolis.

It was an offensive battle that set the record for most combined yards in an NFL playoff game — over 1,000 — as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick came up short of winning their sixth Lombardi Trophy.


“It’s disappointing, but proud of the way we competed,” Belichick said.

“We just came up a little bit short tonight. Tough way to end a lot of really good things that have happened this season. But that’s what this game is about.”

Brady completed 28 of 48 passes for 505 yards and three touchdowns in his eighth Super Bowl.

“Today we had our opportunities. Never really got control of the game. Never really played on our terms. Just didn't make enough plays when needed to,” Brady said.

“The Eagles played a better game today, they deserved to win. That's why they’re the champs.”


For the Eagles, it is their first Super Bowl win and first NFL championship since 1906 — and it came with backup quarterback Nick Foles playing the game of his life, earning him MVP honors.

“I have the best players in the world,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. “This is a resilient group.”

Foles, playing in place of the injured Carson Wentz, completed 28 of 43 passes for 373 yards, three touchdons, and an interception.

“I felt calm, we have such a great group of guys, such a great coaching staff, we felt confident going in,” Foles said.

The play of the contest came at a time when Brady seemed poised to put together another game-winning drive. Trailing, 38-33, with just more than 2 minutes remaining, Brady and his offense took the field with 75 yards and the Philadelphia defense standing between them and a come-from-behind victory.

On the second play of the possession, defensive end Brandon Graham recorded the only sack of the game — and it was a strip-sack of Brady recovered by rookie Derek Barnett. The Eagles turned that into a field goal and an eight-point lead.


“Just kept going,” Graham said on the field after. “We said we needed a play. We got one more opportunity, we was going to give it everyhing we got and I just so happened to get there. I’m just thankful because we got a team that's resilient. We going to stick around for a long time. We world champs, baby, and it feels so good.

“I’m just happy because we are world champs and we worked our butt off and everybody that doubted us, we world champs, baby, that’s all I got to say.”

“They made one good play at the right time,” Brady said.

The Eagles’ go-ahead touchdown with 2:21 remaining came on an 11-yard pass from Foles to tight end Zach Ertz that officials reviewed before ultimately upholding the call on the field.

“If they had overturned that [touchdown], I don’t know what would have happened to the city of Philadelphia,” said Ertz, who finished with seven catches for 67 yards and the touchdown.

Below are updates from the game as it unfolded.

Box score | Play-by-play

4th quarter: Eagles 41, Patriots 33

Rookie Jake Elliott made a 46-yard field goal to extend the Philadelphia lead to eight points with just over a minute remaining.

4th quarter: Eagles 38, Patriots 33

The first sack of Super Bowl LII came at an inopportune time for New England.

Defensive end Brandon Graham came up with a strip-sack of Tom Brady with 2:21 left in the game. Rookie Derek Barnett recoverd the fumble.

4th quarter: Eagles 38, Patriots 33

Tight end Zach Ertz scored on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Nick Foles for the Eagles to retake the lead with just more than 2 minutes left in the game. Philadelphia’s two-point attempt failed.

Patriots safety Patrick Chung has been ruled out with a head injury.

4th quarter: Patriots 33, Eagles 32

New England has its first lead in Super Bowl LII. It came on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski, their second touchdown connection of the game.

It was a 10-play, 75-yard drive for the Patriots, who have found the end zone on all three of their second-half possessions.

The Eagles and Patriots have combined for more than 1,000 yards of offense, breaking the record for most yards in a Super Bowl.

For Brady and Gronkowski, it was the 12th time they have connected for a touchdown in the postseason, tying Joe Montana and Jerry Rice for most by a quarterback/receiver.

4th quarter: Eagles 32, Patriots 26

Jake Elliott connected on a 42-yard field goal to extend the Eagles’ lead.

Elliott’s attempt came after Marquis Flowers dropped Nelson Agholor for an 8-yard loss on third and 3.

The field goal capped an eight-play, 51 yard drive.

3rd quarter: Eagles 29, Patriots 26

Quarterback Tom Brady found receiver Chris Hogan for a 26-yard touchdown to again trim Philadelphia’s lead. The touchdown finished off a seven-play, 75-yard drive.

Brady now has 404 yards passing and has connected with seven different receivers. For Hogan, who now has five catches for 125 yards, this is his first 100-yard game in the playoffs.

3rd quarter: Eagles 29, Patriots 19

Quarterback Nick Foles threw a 22-yard pass to running back Corey Clement in double coverage to make it a two-score game. Clement's catch was reviewed by officials, who ruled the call on the field stands.

The touchdown capped an 11-play, 85-yard drive.

Patriots safety Patrick Chung was injured on the possession, but returned on the next defensive series.

3rd quarter: Eagles 22, Patriots 19

When in an offensive rut, go to Rob Gronkowski.

The Patriots opened the second half with an eight-play, 75-yard drive that ended on a 5-yard touchdown throw from Tom Brady to the big All-Pro tight end.

After making just one catch for 9 yards on five targets in the first half, Gronkowski was targeted five times on the drive, reeling in four catches for 68 yards and the touchdown.

Brady now has 344 passing yards, the eighth most in Super Bowl history. The record he set last year — 466 yards — is within reach.

Halftime stats

Yards: NE 350, PHI 323

Plays: NE 36, PHI 36

Yards per play: NE 9.7, PHI 9.0

First downs: NE 13, PHI 12

Third-down efficiency: NE 2 of 6, PHI 5 of 8

Penalties-yards: NE 1-5, PHI 4-20

Time of possession: NE 13:12, PHI 16:48

Tom Brady: 12-of-23 passing, 276 yards, 95.6 rating

Nick Foles: 13-of-22 passing, 215 yards, TD, INT, 88.3 rating.

NE backs and receivers: James White 4 carries, 34 yards, 2 catches, 21 yards; Dion Lewis 5 carries, 29 yards; Chris Hogan 3 catches, 83 yards; Danny Amendola 3 catches, 75 yards; Rex Burkhead 1 catch, 46 yards; Brandin Cooks 1 catch, 23 yards; Phillip Dorsett 1 catch, 19 yards; Rob Gronkowski 1 catch, 9 yards.

PHI backs and receivers: LeGarrette Blount 4 carries, 58 yards; Jay Ajayi 6 carries, 41 yards; Corey Clement 3 carries, 8 yards, 2 catches, 71 yards; Alshon Jeffrey 3 catches, 73 yards, TD; Zach Ertz 3 catches, 33 yards; Torrey Smith 2 catches, 25 yards; Nelson Agholor 3 catches, 13 yards.

A few notes from NFL Research:

■ The Eagles’ 22 first-half points are the most allowed in a Super Bowl by the Patriots in the Brady/Bill Belichick era.

■ Foles is the first player to throw and catch a touchdown in a Super Bowl.

■ The Patriots have trailed by double digits in their last three Super Bowls, including tonight. They won the previous two.

2nd quarter: Eagles 22, Patriots 12

Coach Doug Pederson and the Eagles gambled on fourth and goal from the 1-yard line and won.

On a trick play, running Corey Clement took a direct snap, handed off to tight end Trey Burton, who then tossed a 1-yard touchdown pass to Nick Foles. It came with just 34 seconds left in the second quarter. It was the sixth time in Super Bowl history that a team scored a touchdown when going for it on fourth down, and first since Emmitt Smith in Super Bowl XXVIII.

The touchdown capped a seven-play, 70-yard drive that included a 55-yard catch-and-run by Clement on third down.

2nd quarter: Eagles 15, Patriots 12

Running back James White got loose for a 26-yard touchdown run, capping a seven-play, 90-yard drive and capitalizing on Duron Harmon’s interception.

Stephen Gostkowski’s extra point was wide left, his second miscue of the game.

White’s touchdown was set up by a beautiful 43-yard throw from Tom Brady to Chris Hogan, their second-longest connection of the season.

The game’s first turnover

Patriots safety Duron Harmon came up with a bobbled Nick Foles pass intended for Alson Jeffrey. The Patriots took over at their own 10-yard line.

On first and 10 at the New England 43-yard line, Foles targeted Jeffrey inside the 5-yard line. But Jeffrey, who was covered on the play by his college roommate, Stephon Gilmore, could not come up with it and essentially batted it into Harmon’s hands.

It was Harmon’s third career postseason interception.

2nd quarter: Eagles 15, Patriots 6

Stephen Gostkowski made a 45-yard field goal to cap a five-play, 48-yard drive by the Patriots.

The drive opened with a 46-yard catch-and-run by Rex Burkhead, but the Patriots could not sustain the momentum. Quarterback Tom Brady missed on two of his subsquent three pass attempts.

So far, Brady is 9-of-16 passing for 191 yards, the most of his career in a first half of a Super Bowl and the 10th most in Super Bowl history.

2nd quarter: Eagles 15, Patriots 3

LeGarrette Blount scampered 21 yards for a touchdown to cap a six-play, 65-yard drive and extend the Eagles’ lead. Philadelphia attempted a two-point conversion but Nick Foles and Alshon Jeffrey could not connect.

Three of the Eagles’ six plays on the drive went for 19 or more yards: A 19-yard completion to Zach Ertz, a 22-yard completion to Jeffrey, and Blount’s touchdown run. For the game, Philadelphia has notched eight plays of 15-plus yards, four plays of 20-plus yards, and two of 30-plus yards.

Blount so far has 58 rushing yards, a Super Bowl career-high, and the Eagles have 73 yards on the ground. The Eagles rushed for 100-plus yards 13 times in the regular season and went 12-1 in those games. They went 3-2 when held below 100 yards rushing.

Cooks ruled out

Patriots receiver Brandin Cooks was ruled out with a head injury after absorbing a big hit from Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins early in the second quarter. Cooks, who has one catch for 23 yards, was slow to get up but walked off the field under his own power and went straight to the locker room.

2nd quarter: Eagles 9, Patriots 3

Stephen Gostkowski’s 26-yard field goal attempt hit the left upright and was no good. It would have capped a 74-yard drive and trimmed the Philadelphia lead.

On third and 2 from the 9-yard line, the Patriots ran a jet sweep to Brandin Cooks to the right end. But Cooks tried to hurdle safety Rodney McLeod, who corralled Cooks in the air and brought him to the ground for just a 1 yard gain.

Barry Chin/Globe staff

Barry Chin/Globe staff

Gostkowski, in his 12th season, has missed three other field goals in his postseason career: a 53-yarder against the Titans in this season’s divisional round, a 44-yarder against the Ravens in the 2010 wild card, and a 35-yarder against the Jaguars in the 2007 divisional round. The Patriots went 2-1 in those contests.

1st quarter: Eagles 9, Patriots 3

It did not take long for Philadelphia to regain the lead. In fact, just three plays.

Quarterback Nick Foles found Alshon Jeffery for a 34-yard touchdown, but kicker Jake Elliott missed the extra point wide right.

Cornerback Eric Rowe was in coverage on Jeffery.

The drive opened with Foles and Nelson Agholor connecting for 7 yards. Then LeGarrette Blount’s 36-yard run set up the touchdown.

So far, the Eagles have gained 149 yards, which is the fifth most ever in the Super Bowl. The 1994 49ers (193 yards) hold the record.

1st quarter: Patriots 3, Eagles 3

New England answered Philadelphia’s opening possession with a 67-yard drive of its own, but it ended in much the same fashion: A field goal. Stephen Gostkowski made a 26-yarder to tie it up.

Quarterback Tom Brady and the offense utilized their up-tempo attack and even caught the Eagles with too many men on the field. The Patriots covered the 67 yards in nine plays, two of which went for more than 15 yards. Brady targeted tight end Rob Gronkowski on third and goal from the 8-yard line, but cornerback Jalen Mills broke up the pass.

Running back James White and receiver Chris Hogan were the primary weapons on the possession with White getting three touches for 21 yards and Hogan getting two touches for 32 yards.

1st quarter: Eagles 3, Patriots 0

The Eagles drove the opening kickoff 67 yards to score the game’s first points, but managed only a field goal. Jake Elliott kicked a 25-yarder to cap the 14-play drive.

Philadelphia’s offense operated with relative ease, converting two third downs and notching three gains of 15 or more yards. But it tightened inside the red zone. Tight end Zach Ertz committed false start on second and goal from the 2 and quarterback Nick Foles missed on both of his subsequent pass attempts, one of which was broken up by cornerback Eric Rowe on third down.

Barry Chin/Globe staff

Rowe was in coverage on both of the drive’s third-down conversions. Of note: Rowe started over cornerback Malcolm Butler, who arrived late to Minneapolis as he was dealing with an illness.

The team that scores first in the Super Bowl is 34-17.

Coin toss

The Eagles called tails and the coin came up heads. The Patriots chose to defer to the second half. Philadelphia will receive the opening kickoff.

Here is a look at the coin that was used for the coin toss:

Warm it up

Here are a few photos from pregame warmups:

Quarterback Tom Brady took the field at U.S. Bank Stadium and was not wearing tape on his right hand. He did, however, wear gloves on both hands during warmups.

Brady had cut his throwing hand during practice the week before the AFC Championship game and required stitches. Against the Jaguars, Brady wore black protective tape over the wound and did not look bothered by the cut during the game. He had the stitches removed after the conference championship. Now, two weeks after winning another Lamar Hunt Trophy, Brady is opting to play without tape against the Eagles.

Stan Grossfeld/Globe staff

Patriots coach Bill Belichick greets Eagles coach Doug Pederson at midfield.

Barry Chin/Globe staff

Rob Gronkowski and James Devlin run through a drill during warmups.

Barry Chin/Globe staff

Linebacker James Harrison high-fives teammates as he runs onto the field.

Jim Davis/Globe staff

Steve and Bill Belichick look on during warmups.

The Boston Globe

Patriots receiver Brandin Cooks has nine catches for 132 yards this postseason.

Barry Chin/Globe staff

Patriots offensive lineman LaAdrian Waddle wears a training mask on the field during warmups.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Patriots punter Ryan Allen has pinned five of his 10 punts this postseason inside the 20.

Tony Gutierrez/AP

Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore came up with the game-sealing pass breakup in the AFC Championship.

Tony Gutierrez/AP

Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola has 18 catches for 196 and TDs this postseason.

Tony Gutierrez/AP

Patriots owner Robert Kraft greets defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois, who has recorded one sack this postseason.

Tony Gutierrez/AP

Jean Francois stretches during warmups.

Tony Gutierrez/AP

A handful of Patriots helmets are brought to the field.

Tony Gutierrez/AP

Patriots fullback James Develin played 15 snaps against the Jaguars in the AFC title game.

Frank Franklin II/AP

Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor tallied eight touchdowns in the regular season.

Frank Franklin II/AP

Cornerback Ronald Darby, in his first season with the Eagles after two years in Buffalo, snagged three interceptions and knocked down nine passes in the regular season.


Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox has one sack and eight tackles this postseason.

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Steve Belichick (left) and his brother Brian Belichick (right), the sons of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, smile and point to some friends in the stands who were calling out to them.


For the Patriots, running back Mike Gillislee, defensive lineman Alan Branch, linebacker David Harris, offensive lineman Cole Croston, wide receiver Kenny Britt, tight end Jacob Hollister, and wide receiver Bernard Reedy.

For the Eagles, tackle Will Beatty, wide receiver Marcus Johnson, cornerback Sidney Jones, defensive end Steven Means, defensive tackle Elijah Qualls, running back Wendell Smallwood, defensive tackle Halapoulivaati Vaeao.

Patriots in the house

Here is a look at a few of the Patriots as they arrive at U.S. Bank Stadium:

Matt York/AP

Safety Duron Harmon.

Matt York/AP

Kicker Stephen Gostkowski.

Matt York/AP

Coach Bill Belichick and his girlfriend Linda Holliday.

Matt York/AP

Tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Matt York/AP

Safety Patrick Chung.

The Globe’s Ben Volin and the Philly Inquirer’s Bob Ford preview Super Bowl LII from U.S. Bank Stadium

Setting the scene

Here are some photos from in and around U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis in the hours before kickoff:

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Just as they do before every game, more than three hours before kickoff, Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores (front), wide receivers coach Chad O'Shea (center) and defensive line coach Brendan Daly (rear) were in the stands running the stairs among the fans.

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

An early arriving Patriots fan records the scene, alone in a sea of purple seats.

Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Patriots fans get into the act taking photos before kickoff.

Barry Chin/Globe Staff

A pair of Patriots fans get their picture taken inside the stadium.

Bill Greene/Globe staff

Fans stream into the stadium houts before Super Bowl LII.

Bill Greene/Globe staff

People ice skate outside the stadium.

Bill Greene/Globe staff

Bill Yetman of Attleborough takes a picture of friend Ken Swerdlick from Connecticut before Super Bowl LII.

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Willie McGinest, the NFL Network analyst who was part of the victorious New England team that beat the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX, walks along the field about four and a half hours before kickoff.

Welcome to Gameday

It is Super Bowl LII and the Patriots take on the Philadelphia Eagles at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

This marks New England’s second consecutive Super Bowl appearance, third in four years, and 10th overall with a chance to tie the Pittsburgh Steelers for most Lombardi Trophies in league history. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will make their eighth Super Bowl appearance as a quarterback-coach duo.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia is 0-2 in the Super Bowl with one of those losses coming to Brady and Belichick in Super Bowl XXXIX. This is the sixth Super Bowl rematch and second for the Patriots. The Eagles are 21-21 in the playoffs.

Follow along here as we update this post throughout the day and game. We’ll have a feed of Globe reporter tweets during the game too.

Game details:

Kickoff: 6:30 p.m.

TV/Radio: NBC / 98.5

Pregame reading


■ Jim McBride’s scouting report: A position-by-position look at how the Patriots and Eagles match up.

■ Tale of the Tape: How New England and Philadelphia stack up, stat by stat.

■ Film Study: With the Eagles, expect the unexpected.

■ Ben Volin: Why Super Bowl analysts are predicting a high-scoring game.


■ Nora Princiotti: Make no mistake, you’ll know when Tom Brady is yelling at you.

■ Alex Speier: Why the Patriots thrive in uphill battles.

■ Tara Sullivan: Devin McCourty and his twin brother bring sibling revelry to the NFL.

■ Christopher L. Gasper: Belichick’s playing days at Wesleyan provide a window into some of his coaching tenets and tactics.

■ McBride: Linebacker Kyle Van Noy on what’s it like playing for the Patriots: “It’s hard as hell. Some people don’t like working hard. That’s just being brutally honest. You either like it or you don’t. If you like winning, then you’ll like it here.”

■ Princiotti: Why Danny Amendola is still climbing proverbial fences and making clutch plays for the Patriots.

■ Princiotti: The evolution of NFL headsets.

■ Volin: Anatomy of a game plan: How the Patriots do it.

A day-by-day look at game-planning in the NFL.

■ Speier: Brady at 40: A blueprint for longevity.

■ Downfield accuracy shows that Brady still has life in his arm — and that’s partly thanks to Tom House.

■ Graphic: How does Brady at 40 compare to other Boston greats who played at age 40?


■ Who is more responsible for the Patriots’ success, Brady or Belichick? We asked Globe columnists Shaughnessy, Gasper, and Sullivan to choose.

■ Shaughnessy: Why the Eagles can’t win: 1) Doug Pederson and 2) Nick Foles.

■ Chad Finn: When they finally kick it off in the Super Bowl, expect a thriller.


■ For Nick Foles, it’s all about keeping the faith.

■ Meet John Romero, the player the Eagles drafted instead of Brady.

■ The Eagles are not afraid to go for it on fourth down.

■ Chris Long, the former Patriot and current Eagle, is making a major difference off the field.

■ Doug Pederson will tap a trusted resource before the Super Bowl: Brett Favre.

■ The Eagles took their cue on selflessness from receiver Alshon Jeffery.

■ LeGarrette Blount and Long have a special opportunity.

■ The Eagles are impressed but not intimidated by the Patriots’ success.

Pregame listening

Catch up on the latest episodes of the Season Ticket podcast. We had great guests throughout the week in Minneapolis: NBC Sports analyst and former Patriot Rodney Harrison, NFL Network’s Kim Jones, “The Two Bills” director Ken Rodgers, Chargers running back Melvin Gordon, Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes, and former Steelers player and NFL analyst Merril Hoge. Listen here.

Subscribe to Season Ticket: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | RSS

A few notes on the matchup

■ Here are the game officials: Gene Steratore, referee; Roy Ellison umpire; Jerry Bergman, down judge; Byron Boston, line judge; Tom Hill, field judge; Scott Edwards, side judge; Perry Paganelli, back judge; Paul Weidner, replay official. Of note: This is Steratore’s first Super Bowl assignment. Officials must be rated in the top tier at their position to be eligible for the Super Bowl. They must have at least five years of NFL experience and previous playoff assignments.

■ Belichick famously downplays the importance of experience in the postseason, but experience is definitely on the Patriots’ side. The Patriots have 404 games of combined playoff experience, while the Eagles have 164. That difference of 240 games is the largest since the 1970 merger.

And Brady’s seven Super Bowl appearances matches the entire Eagles roster — Blount had two with the Patriots, while Dannell Ellerbe, Corey Graham, Malcolm Jenkins, Long, and Torrey Smith have each played in one Super Bowl.

■ Speaking of Blount and Long, they are just the third and fourth players in NFL history to appear in a Super Bowl in consecutive years with different teams (Deion Sanders and Ken Norton Jr. are the others). Russ Hochstein, Derrick Martin, and Brandon Browner were on different Super Bowl teams in consecutive years but didn’t play in one of the games because of injury.

■ The Eagles could join rare company if they win Sunday’s game. The Eagles went 7-9 last season, and only three teams in NFL history have won the Super Bowl the year after a losing record — the 1981 49ers, 1999 Rams, and, of course, 2001 Patriots.

■ Brady could set yet another record with a Super Bowl win. Brady led the NFL with 4,577 passing yards this season, and no player who has led the league in passing yards has ever won a Super Bowl in the same season. Those quarterbacks are a combined 0-5 (Peyton Manning, Rich Gannon, Kurt Warner, Dan Marino, and Brady).

— Ben Volin, Globe Staff

The Eagles are the most aggressive team in the league on fourth down, and it’s a combination of trust and risk-taking that’s made them so successful. They went for it on fourth down 26 times in the regular season, the second-most attempts in the NFL, and converted a league-high 17. In the first three quarters of games, the Eagles went for it 19 times. No other team attempted more than 13. They converted on 13 occasions, five more than any team.

— Julian Benbow, Globe Staff

Globe reporter tweets

Matt Pepin, Ben Volin, Jim McBride, Julian Benbow, and Alex Speier of the Globe staff contributed to this report Follow Rachel G Bowers on Twitter @RachelGBowers.