Slaying The Beast: Unsung Heroes of The Eagles’ Super Bowl Victory
We know about Foles and Ertz, now let’s take a look at some of the other players that helped the Eagles to a Super Bowl win
The Philadelphia Eagles won their first Lombardi Trophy last night, defeating the New England Patriots 41-33 and finally getting the monkey off their back. Super Bowl LII was one for the ages, with endless amounts of yards and points. It was definitely not a Super Bowl for the faint of heart, nor for those who love a good, defensive battle.
We here at Double G Sports have already discussed the key highlights of the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory, but this is more of an appreciation post for some unsung heroes. Nick Foles, Zach Ertz and Brandon Graham have been discussed a hundred times over, but these other guys are also a main reason why the Eagles are Super Bowl champions.
Doug Pederson’s Aggressive Playcalling
The talk coming into this game was that coach Doug Pederson wouldn’t stray from his usual aggressive playcalling come Super Bowl time. Most coaches would freeze up in the Super Bowl, especially against the grizzled veterans on the Patriots, but Pederson is a riverboat gambler and calculated just the right play to change the tide of the game. There is nothing scarier than a man with nothing to lose, and Doug Pederson coached the most important game of his life like he had nothing to lose.
The fruit of Pederson’s labor came with time running out in the first half. He could have elected for a field goal attempt on a 4th and 5, but wanted to put the Patriots away early. A wildcat formation and a reverse to backup tight end Trey Burton led to a wide open Nick Foles touchdown catch in the endzone. According to Pederson, this play had been on his mind since the Bears used it back in 2014. It was a gamble that paid off ten fold because it not only caught the Patriots completely off guard but it also put them on their heels. The Patriots now knew that the Eagles would not cower like the Jaguars had done two weeks before.
The biggest play of the game may have been the strip sack by Brandon Graham, but the most important play of the game IMO was the absolute dime that Nick Foles dropped to Corey Clement for a touchdown. It was a controversial call as Clement looked to have bobbled the ball on his way down. The ruling was upheld and gave the Eagles a 29-19 lead.
You can judge for yourself whether it’s a catch (because God knows what a catch is nowadays) but what you can’t deny Clement’s impact on this game. Clement had 100 receiving yards in the game, which almost matched his season total. He took over late in the season as the Darren Sproles’ complimentary back role and never looked back.
Clutch Special Teams (I Guess)
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but special teams were definitely not the high point of this Super Bowl. The Patriots and Eagles combined to miss two extra points and a field goal. Hell, even the made field goals didn’t look all that convincing.
However, rookie kicker Jake Elliott was able to do just enough to give the Eagles the best chance to win. He may have missed an extra point early in the game, but he hit all his field goals and was especially clutch with time winding down in the game. Elliott was able to hit a 47-yard field goal to put the Eagles up eight with two and a half minutes to go.
It may not seem like a big deal, but missing that field goal would have completely swung the momentum back to the Patriots. A five point lead makes doubt creep into your head. You can’t give up a touchdown or you lose the Super Bowl. You can’t just go out and play your game, you need to avoid a touchdown at all costs.
At the end of the day it was a well-deserved victory for the Eagles. It took 57 years for the Eagles to taste another championship, but from watching the footage down in Philadelphia, it looked like Eagles fans had quite the night celebrating. Philadelphia is an underdog city, and what better way to celebrate a Super Bowl victory than by celebrating the underdogs that made this victory possible.