It was a chilly, rainy day in Philadelphia on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018. It didn’t feel how the weather looked. The city was alive as their football team, the Eagles, would play that night at 6:30 in Super Bowl LII in a rematch with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
The weather out in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the game was being played, was below zero. Thankfully, the game was inside Vikings stadium U.S. Bank Stadium.
It had been a fun season for the Birds. They finished with a record of 10-2 in week 14 when MVP front-running quarterback Carson Wentz tore his ACL and miss the remainder of the season including the postseason. The Eagles were forced to put in 30 year old backup quarterback Nick Foles.
The Eagles were projected to win it all until Foles came into play. The media, the fans, and pretty much everyone was in full doubt of Nick Foles and the Eagles.
Foles’ first three starts weren’t impressive. They beat the New York Giants and Oklahoma Raiders in weeks 14 and 15, but lost to Dallas Cowboys in week 16. Foles had a disappointing performance in each game. The Eagles went into the playoffs 13-3 and the number one seed in the NFC. But the Eagles were set as an underdog against the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Divisional. It was the first first place team to be ruled as an underdog in the playoffs.
And the Eagles took that role perfectly.
Nick Foles had a shaky start to the Divisional game but he then came alive to get the Eagles to a 15-10 win over the Falcons to go to the NFC Championship game. The defense had a huge stop at the goal line at the end of the game to get the win.
After the game Chris Long and Lane Johnson brought German Shepard masks onto the field and they walked around the field as underdogs. The masks would eventually become huge and every Eagles fan needed to get one.
A week later the Eagles would stay at Lincoln Financial Field to play the Vikings in the NFC Championship game. Once again, the Eagles were underdogs.
After a Vikings touchdown in the first drive, the Eagles would never look back as they scored 38 unanswered points to win the game, including a Patrick Robinson pick six which clocked in as the loudest crowd noise in Lincoln Financial Field history.
As everyone put on their dog masks, the Eagles were heading to their first Super Bowl since 2004, and they played the Patriots in 2004, and the played them again.
Nick Foles was the number one name in sports. He had a career game in the NFC Championship game, and he wasn’t done. He would go to Minneapolis in two weeks to Super Bowl LII.
Fast forward to Feb. 4, 2018. It was gameday. Nick Foles versus Tom Brady, no experience versus a lot of experience. It was a very unfair matchup, to some people. Eagles fans were surprisingly positive, as they predicted an Eagles Super Bowl.
When the gates opened, it was below zero degrees. It was a frigid night in Minneapolis. That didn’t hold back any Eagles fans as they flooded U.S. Bank Stadium as it seemed like a home game for the Birds in midnight green.
The game would start off with the Pats winning the coin toss, of course.
Eagles would start the game on offense with a three yard pass to Nelson Agholor. Foles would then have a huge pass to Alshon Jefferey for the first down. Foles would pass the ball to a jumping Torey Smith for a big first down on a third and 12. The Eagles would continue their march down the field with a Jay Ajayi run for the first down. Foles would then pass the ball to Cory Clement who had a huge run to get to the three yard line. The Eagles would then be unable to get in the endzone on the drive as they settled for a Jake Elliot 25 yard field goal. Eagles were up 3-0 after the first drive.
Brady would come on for his first drive of Super Bowl LII. He passed it to James White for the first. Brady would pass to Chris Holgen who would give New England a huge gain. Brady would pass to Rob Gronkowski to get the Pats in the red zone. The Eagles defense was able to stop Brady and the Pats offense from getting the big score. The Pats would settle for a 26 yard field goal. 3-3 after one drive by each team.
LeGarret Blount would have a huge first down run getting all the way to Pats’ 33. Foles would look, then fire down the field and into the hands of diving, double covered Jeffrey in the endzone for a 34-yard touchdown. Foles said that he wanted to take his shot early in the game, and he did exactly that. Elliot would miss the extra-point and the score was 9-3 at 13:26.
Brady would then have a huge pass to Danny Amendola to get far dow the field.
The first quarter would end with the Pats in the red zone. 9-3 Eagles lead after one quarter.
The Eagles defense would then have a gigantic third and two stop with the Pats in the red zone as Brandon Cooks tried to hurdle his way to a first down. The Pats would have a bad snap on the field goal, and then they would hit the left upright and miss the field goal. The score remained 9-3.
Eagles would then go three-and-out and have to punt.
Brady would pass the ball down the field to Cooks who made catch, then got knocked down hard by Malcom Jenkins and stayed on the ground for a while. Cooks would come out of the game with an injury.
On the same drive, Brady handed the ball off to White, who flee-flicked it to Gunner Amendola, who passed it to Brady, and the ball would tip off of Brady’s hands.
The Pats would go for it on forth and five. Brady passed down the sideline in the red zone to Gronk who was double-covered and was unable to make the grab.
Foles would give a big pass to Zach Ertz who would make the first down grab to get the Birds into Pats territory. Foles would throw a floater to Jeffery who made the incredible catch in double-coverage and midfall. It would give the Eagles the first down. Foles would hand the ball off to Blount, who would run it 21 yards while breaking tackles and got into the endzone to give the Eagles more insurance. 15-3 Eagles lead.
Brady would give a short-pass to Rex Burkhead who found a hole and would get 71 yards on the play. Pats would be unable to get the first as Brady was throwing to ghosts. Stephen Gostkowski would make the 45 yard field goal to make the score 15-6, Birds still lead.
Foles handed off the ball to Ajayi who gained 17 yards on the run for the first down. Foles would float out the ball to the three yard line, as Jeffery badded the ball around, and then it got intercepted by Duron Harmon who took it out to the nine. First turnover of the game.
Pats couldn’t covert at the nine, but the Eagles held so the Pats got the first. Brady would throw way down the field to Chris Hogan who made a first down catch. White would find a big hole then run the ball 26 yards into the end zone for the first TD of the evening for the Pats. White broke two tackles with assists by blockers. The extra point, again, was no good. 15-12 Eagles lead.
Foles would float a shorter to Clement who stiff-armed his way to a 54 yard run to the eight yard line. The Eagles were now at a fourth and goal. The Birds called a timeout with :38 left. Foles went to head coach Doug Pederson on the sideline. Foles asked Pederson, “You want Philly Philly?” Pederson responded with, “Yeah lets do it.” Foles explained the play in the huddle and called it the Philly special. Foles would move up. It was a direct snap to Clement, who flipped it to Trey Burton, who threw the ball to Foles in the end zone to score a historic touchdown.
The Eagles would extend their lead to 22-12.
The Pats weren’t able to do anything with their :26 of ball time. And we went halftime with a score of 22-12.
After a Justin Timberlake halftime show, the Pats would start the half off with the ball. Brady would get to the 50 quickly on a big pass to Gronk for the first down. Brady would throw to Gronk again to get to the 35. Brady would stay out of trouble with another first down pass to Gronk on a third and sixth. Brady on second and goal would pass to Gronk for the TD. 22-19.
Foles would pass to Agholor who broke a tackle and got the first down. Blount would pull his way through on a second and five run for the first down. On third and one, Foles passed to Ertz down the sideline for the first down. Foles would then throw a long pass to Clement in the back of the end zone for a TD. The TD was reviewed to see if Clement got both of his feet in before stepping out of bounds. The ruling on the field stood and the Eagkles would expand their lead to 29-19.
Brady would pass a laser over the middle to N’Keal Harry for the first. On thrid and one, Amendola would catch a long pass by Brady for the first. Brady would then pass over the middle to Hogan in the end zone for the touchdown. Pats make it close as now it 29-26.
Foles would fake the handoff then throw the ball down the sideline to Agholor for the first down. Foles would throw over the middle to Smith for the first down. Foles would then hand the ball off to Agholor who ran around the line and passed the first down line.
The third quarter would then end 29-26 Eagles lead. Bring on the fourth quarter!
The Eagles would be unable to convert, and they had to kick the field goal. Elliot would make a 42 yard field goal which broke the record for longest field goal by a rookie in Super Bowl history. 32-26.
Brady would hand off to Burkhead who got the first. Brady would float one out to Amendola down the sideline for the first down. White would pickup one yard on a second and one to make it first and goal for Brady and the Pats’ offense. Brady would float it out to gronk in the top left of the end zone, who caught it for the touchdown. Pats would take the lead 33-32.
Foles would fire over the middle to Ertz for the first down. Eagles wouldn’t be able to convert on three downs, so they went for it on fourth and one. Foles who throw to a leaping Ertz who just got enough for the first. Foles would throw to a diving Agholor for the first. Eagles are marching down the field. Foles would then fire over the middle to Agholor for yet another first down. Foles on third and seven from the 11 would fire up th middle to Ertz, who dove over a defender. Ertz landed into the end zone, the ball popped out, and Ertz was able to catch it for the touchdown. The play was reviewed but the play stood as a touchdown. The Eagles couldn’t convert on the two point conversion. Eagles take the lead 38-33!
On second and two, Brandon Graham would get up to Brady, and strip sacked the ball. Derick Barnett would recover the fumble and the Eagles had the ball.
Brady would then sit on the ground and look up, in the look of defeat.
With 1:05 left in the fourth, Elliot nailed a 46 yard field goal to put the game away.
The punt was received at six. The ball was lateraled to Burkhead who only got to the seven yard as he got wrapped up by several Eagles.
This is something NFL fans call Tommy magic. This is where Brady shines, a little over a minute left, down by eight, and there’s a chance.
Pats had to go for it on fourth and 10, Brady fired up the middle to Amendola who made the first down catch. Brady passed it to Gronk who ran out of bounds for the first. Brady threw to Gronk for the first as Gronk got to the 49.
Now, nine seconds left, Brady takes the snap. Graham gets to Brady and hits him, Brady stays up. Brady launches the ball all the way to the end zone. Jump ball, and the pass was incomplete.
With no time left on the clock, the game is over. The Eagles are Super Bowl LII champions!
“Eagles by 8. Brady, lines ’em up, he’s back again, he steps up, he’s hit, he stumbles, he’s throwing it deep for the end zone, and it’s… batted around… and… incomplete! And the game is over! The game is over! The Philadelphia Eagles are Super Bowl champions! Eagles fans everywhere, this is for you! Let the celebration begin!” Long time Eagles radio broadcaster Merril Reese’s call.
U.S. Bank Stadium went nuts. But what was more nuts was Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Thousands, maybe even millions of fans mobbed Broad St. to celebrate the historic win. Fireworks, cheering, and more loud noises woke the city of Philly that night.
Out in Minneapolis there was a ceremony being held for the Eagles.
You can watch the full video of the trophy ceremony right here:
Here are records that were tied and broken in Super Bowl LII:
What a night to be a fan. The parade would be four days later with an estimated attendance at 750,000, but it was for sure a lot more than that.
As this was only three years ago, this feels like a century with the current state of the Eagles. The Eagles don’t have Pederson, who was the Eagles’ skipper that season, Nick Foles, who won Super Bowl MVP, and many more pieces that got hem there.
It’s sad that this team is so bad now when they just did that.
But the night of Feb. 4, 2018 is a night no Eagles fan will ever forget.
Neither will my mother, who broke her ankle the very next morning.