The Philadelphia Eagles have every reason to be proud and coach Doug Pedersen’s locker room speech at the end of the Super Bowl drives it home. After a long and grueling 17 weeks followed by a first-round bye and then a critical matchup with the Minnesota Vikings, the Eagles were poised to take on the Super Bowl champions of the previous year, the New England Patriots. Some serious shade was being thrown by fans of both teams, but both the Patriots and the Eagles, who were the heavy favorites to win, came out and gave everything they had in an attempt to hoist the coveted Lombardi trophy high at the end.
It can easily be said that Doug Pedersen’s game was kicked into high gear during the contest as the Eagles scored first with a field goal but were quickly matched by the Patriots, who weren’t going to allow Philly the chance to run all over them. The back and forth battle was one for the ages with trick plays being called and both sides refusing to give in, but eventually something had to break. With so much riding on this game the Eagles continued to rally back again and again, refusing to be intimidated by the powerhouse from New England that has been so dominant in the last decade. It’s no surprise that this was the biggest game of their lives and, for Philly, the chance to finally snag that ever-elusive victory from the crushing jaws of defeat.
It could easily be said that the momentum of the game changed on a trick play that saw Patriots quarterback Tom Brady making his way downfield to act as a receiver, only to miss the pass as it bobbled out of his fingers. Not too long after this on a fourth and goal, the Eagles pulled out a similar play that saw their quarterback, Nick Foles, go racing into the end zone to make the catch. Doug Pedersen wasn’t playing his guys fast and loose, but he was certainly digging deep into his bag of tricks as he tried to do everything he could to keep the Patriots from running roughshod over his players. One of the most telling plays that finally seemed to seal the deal came during a forced fumble, strip sack, whatever you want to call it, that tore the ball out of Brady’s hands and gave it back to the Eagles. From that point on the realization started to sink in that this could in fact be Philly’s game.
That point was driven home even more when the Patriots, on their next possession, struggled mightily to get downfield, managing to advance to mid-field before Brady attempted one last pass that was easily broken up by Philly’s surging defense. When time ran out Philadelphia fans absolute erupted after only a momentary pause, enough to tell that they’d hoped, dreamed, and wished, but had trouble for just a few seconds believing what had happened.
Doug Pedersen is right, a team makes a miracle. Good job Philly, you earned your moment.
(And this is coming from a Seahawks fan)