The Philadelphia Eagles came from behind to upset the New England Patriots and win their first Super Bowl in controversial circumstances on Monday.
The Eagles led at every change, but found themselves behind in the last quarter against the five-time champions, until the Eagles’ back-up quarterback, Nick Foles, produced some magic.
Foles led a play that stretched 75 yards (65.5 metres) in 14 plays and ended in a touchdown to Zach Ertz with just two minutes and 21 seconds to play.
Ertz’s score was reviewed on video because he juggled his catch, but officials deemed it to be good, ruling it as a catch and upholding the decision.
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“If they had have overturned that, I don’t know what would have happened to the city of Philadelphia,” Ertz said afterwards.
“I’m glad they didn’t overturn it. Wow. We’re world champions!”
New England were still in the contest, even if Jake Elliot later added a field goal, and star quarterback Tom Brady was determined to do something special.
But Brady, who starred and set up three touchdowns and passed for 505 yards (462 metres), could not produce any magic on this occasion, his last-ditch, long pass bouncing off hands in the end-zone.
That sparked celebrations inside Minneapolis’s U.S. Bank Stadium, as Eagles fans began to celebrate their first ever Super Bowl triumph.
“This team is amazing,” Ertz added.
“Each and every day we go out there, we love to practice. That’s the foundation of this team.”
Foles, who dubbed the win “unbelievable”, said his side never wavered in their belief.
“We have such a great group of guys, such a great coaching staff,” he said.
“We felt confident coming in. We just went out there and played football. We have played this game since we were little kids and dreamed about this moment.”
Foles, who took on the responsibility of being Philadelphia’s main man when first-choice Carson Wentz got injured earlier in the season – was named MVP for throwing for three touchdowns, 373 yards (341 metres) and one interception.
The thrilling finish ensured the Super Bowl would still make global headlines, despite a ho-hum half-time show devoid of highlights.
The Eagles raced to a 22-12 lead at half time and even though Brady passed for a Rob Gronkowski touchdown shortly after play resumed, Philadelphia restored their 10-point lead through Corey Clement.
It set the Patriots, who came from 25 points down to win last year’s Super Bowl in one of the all-time great comebacks, a massive task, but a pair of touchdowns nudged them in front 33-32.
Foles then stood up, though, as Philadelphia hung on to win a classic.
“Just wasn’t quite enough against a team like the Eagles,” New England coach Bill Belichick said afterwards.