Eagles defeat Patriots for Super Bowl LII victory

After losing their franchise quarterback Carson Wentz, all odds were against the Eagles as they defeated arguably the best quarterback-head coach duo in the NFL: Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Coming into the game, the Eagles had never hoisted the Lombardi Trophy, while Brady and Belichick have won championships in their tenures. Many Atlanta Falcons fans felt differently about the Super Bowl. While some thought it was great that the Patriots were dethroned, others found the game a lose-lose situation, for the Eagles had eliminated the hometown Atlanta Falcons in the second round of the NFL playoffs.

“I hate both teams,” said sophomore Cole Bergman. “It was the worst Super Bowl I’ve watched because it was a lose-lose situation.”

The Atlanta Falcons have had their seasons ended by both the Eagles and the Patriots the last two seasons. This year, the Falcons fell to the Eagles 10-15 after the Falcons threw four incomplete passes from the 8-yard line to lose. Last year, the Falcons blew a 28-3 lead to the Patriots, who completed the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history.

“Although it was hard to cheer for the Eagles, it wasn’t very difficult to see the Patriots lose,” said sophomore Will Benton. A big storyline entering the game was how Nick Foles was going to perform in a game of such substantial magnitude. Foles took over the Eagles quarterback job after star quarterback Carson Wentz tore his ACL against the LA Rams on Dec. 10. Foles finished the regular season with an abysmal performance against the Dallas Cowboys, as he got benched in the first quarter in favor of Nate Sudfeld. While many doubted the Eagles for the lack of an elite quarterback, Nick Foles stepped up to the plate in the playoffs, throwing for 971 yards and 6 touchdowns in just three postseason games.

“I did not think Nick Foles could pull off that performance in the Super Bowl,” said Bergman. “That was a performance we will be talking about for a while.”

Perhaps a reason that the victory was so special was that it spoiled the Patriots’ quest for a sixth Super Bowl, which would have tied the Pittsburgh Steelers for most Super Bowls of all-time.

“Out of all the teams that the Patriots have beaten over the past few years, I was really surprised they lost to the Eagles,” said junior Isaac Flores. This season was abnormal for the Pats, who dealt with adversity off of the football field. Tom Brady’s personal trainer, Alex Guerrero, was removed from the sidelines and from all Patriots’ flights, resulting in controversy between Belichick and Brady. The Patriots also traded potential star QB Jimmy Garappolo to the 49ers for just a second-round pick. Many believed that Garappolo was going to be the Patriots’ QB for the future, but rumors have surfaced that Bob Kraft, owner of the Patriots, forced Bill Belichick to trade Garapollo and 3rd string quarterback Jacoby Brissett in order for Tom Brady to have job security. Some believe that this has created a broken relationship beyond repair with Belichick and Brady and that the Super Bowl magnified their struggles.

“I don’t believe the media when they say that Brady and Belichick are done,” said Bergman. “I think they will be together for a few more years and win one more Super Bowl.”

Although Tom Brady is 40 years old, he is not slowing down one bit. The five-time Super Bowl champ added another MVP this season, making himself the oldest athlete of all four major sports to win the Most Valuable Player award.

After being a sixth-round pick in 2000, Brady has strung together an amazing career that makes a great case for the best quarterback of all time. Over his 18 seasons in the NFL, he’s won five Super Bowls, been three times MVP/All Pro, and was the Comeback Player of the Year in 2009. With a Super Bowl appearance this season, Brady has broken an NFL record with his sixth appearance in a Super Bowl.

“A lot of the Patriots’ success gets credited to Tom Brady, but I think Bill Belichick has a ton to do with their success as well,” said Benton.

Not only does Belichick coach the team, but he’s in charge of football operations, which include trading, signing, cutting, and drafting players. Belichick returned to New England in 2000 to be their head coach after being their defensive backs coach in 1996. Over his career, he’s won 278 games and seven Super Bowls (five as a head coach, two as a defensive coordinator).

“Belichick puts his team in a very good position week in and week out to go out and win,” said Bergman. “But, he also prepares his staff very well for taking future jobs.”

Belichick has had seven assistant coaches who became NFL head coaches (most recently Matt Patricia). Belichick has also had seven assistant coaches become college football coaches, including Nick Saban, who is considered by many to be the best college coach of all time.

Although Belichick has been widely praised for his work with the Patriots, benching star cornerback Malcolm Butler in Super Bowl LII has the head coach facing scrutiny from fans and media.

“I thought it was strange that they didn’t play one of their best players,” said Flores. “Especially in the biggest game of their season, I have no clue why he wouldn’t have played.”

For the Eagles, they look to try to win the Super Bowl again next season. The Eagles defense was a major reason why they made it to the Super Bowl, and they will look to re-sign key members of that defense, including linebacker Nigel Bradham. With Carson Wentz expected to make a return to the field sometime next season, Nick Foles’s tenure with the Eagles could be coming to an end soon. But Philadelphia is flying high after winning their first Super Bowl in their city’s history.