Their last 57 years had passed without a championship. It was never Ron Jaworski’s turn or Randall Cunningham’s or Donovan McNabb’s. It was always something — always.
The paradigm shifted Sunday, when a backup quarterback who nearly retired two years ago and who had not taken a snap with the first-team offense until two months ago delivered Philadelphia a Super Bowl title at the expense of the NFL’s enduring dynasty. In a 41-33 victory, the Eagles outlasted the New England Patriots, and the most formidable quarterback-coach tandem in NFL history, to secure their first championship since 1960.
Back then the Eagles also defeated an iconic coach and Hall of Fame quarterback, but that victory, against Green Bay, came at the beginning of the careers of Bart Starr and Vince Lombardi. The Eagles throttled Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in full bloom, with five Super Bowl victories between them in New England.
Nick Foles, who has started for Philadelphia since its star quarterback, Carson Wentz, tore up his knee in Week 14, caught one touchdown and threw three more, including an 11-yarder to Zach Ertz with 2 minutes,[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]21 seconds remaining that put the Eagles ahead,[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]38-33.
The Patriots, after scoring on their first three second-half possessions, needed to go 75 yards in 2:21 for a dynasty-extending touchdown. On second and 2 from the New England 33, Brady stepped up in the pocket and either never felt defensive end Brandon Graham or thought he could evade him. Graham slapped the ball out, and it bounced into the arms of Derek Barnett, who recovered at the Patriots’[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]31. Brady sat on the ground, his head down, stunned.
Long after the Patriots cleared the field, the theme song to “Rocky” blared over the U.S. Bank Stadium loudspeakers as fans hailed another cherished underdog from Philadelphia.
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