There were a lot of people surprised when the Eagles were able to score 38 points on the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game. But on Sunday night in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium, the Eagles showed that performance was no fluke, as they defeated the Patriots 41-33 in a record setting offensive performance.
There is no doubt that the Eagles’ victory over this New England franchise proves that the Vikings lost to a truly great team two weeks ago.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was impressed by the Eagles performance.
“Philly played really good, I thought. You know I watched parts of it, obviously, so I didn’t see it all,” Zimmer said by phone after the game. “I thought offensively they played great. I’ve seen it before, two weeks ago.”
People criticized the Vikings defense after it gave up 456 yards at Philadelphia, including 352 passing yards and three touchdowns to quarterback Nick Foles.
But Sunday, the Eagles carved up the Patriots in much the same way, with 538 yards of offense, 373 of it passing and three scoring tosses by Foles.
“It was a good finish here,” Zimmer said about the game. “The Eagles played great, two weeks ago they played great against us and they played great tonight.”
When asked if this proved how tough of an opponent the Eagles were, Zimmer said: “It did. Yeah, it was good to see that they played really good.”
Here’s a bit of forward thinking: A Vikings team that had its problems against the Eagles will really be tested in 2018 when it has to go on the road to play both Philadelphia and New England in regular-season games.
Quarterbacks put on a show
The game was perhaps the most exciting Super Bowl ever. The result was uncertain until the last Hail Mary from Tom Brady just missed Rob Gronkowski as time expired.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick said: “It was a highly competitive game, but in the end we just couldn’t make enough plays. It’s disappointing, but I’m proud of the way our team competed. … We just came up a little bit short tonight.”
Just a little bit short was right.
Who would have thought Foles would go toe-to-toe with Brady and be named Super Bowl MVP?
“I want to tell you something, I have the best players in the world,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. “They’re a resilient group.”
And now the Eagles, like the Vikings, have a QB controversy.
Sure, Carson Wentz is an established young star, but Foles, after his postseason performance, is not going to be a backup for anybody, even if he is under contract for one more season.
Meanwhile, Brady played absolutely unbelievable Sunday. His 505 passing yards were the most ever in a Super Bowl. And there’s no doubt that this loss, after winning five Super Bowls, doesn’t change his legacy.
His performance proved that he remains the greatest quarterback ever. And the fact that he is 40 shows he somehow gets better with age.
There is almost no defense for this guy. He is simply amazing.
The Eagles were ranked fourth in the NFL in scoring defense at 18.4 points per game, and the Patriots were right behind them at 18.5, but Sunday showed that offense rules the NFL.
The two teams had broken the record for most combined yards in a game in NFL history with 1,151.
The teams combined for 14 scoring drives that averaged just over 66 yards.
The Patriots and their offensive line were able to protect Brady — for the most part. The only time the Eagles were able to sack him was on the biggest play of the game.
It sure looked like Brady, trailing by five points with just over two minutes to go, was going to put on one of his classic comeback drives.
But instead, Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham was able to force a fumble, which they recovered and turned into three points.
Sid Hartman can be heard on WCCO AM-830 at 8:40 a.m. Monday and Friday, 2 p.m. Friday and 10:30 a.m. Sunday. • firstname.lastname@example.org