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MINNEAPOLIS (AP/WPRI) — Nick Foles threw the go-ahead 5-yard touchdown pass to Zach Ertz with 2:21 to go and the Philadelphia Eagles won their first Super Bowl by outscoring Tom Brady and the New England Patriots 41-33 on Sunday night.
The most prolific playoff game in terms of combined yardage in NFL history was then decided on a defensive play when Brandon Graham stripped Tom Brady and rookie Derek Barnett recovered with 2:09 to play to set up a field goal by Jake Elliott and prevent another late Super Bowl comeback by the Patriots.
The Eagles blew a 12-point lead in the high-scoring matchup before rallying behind their backup quarterback who will go down in Philadelphia lore after throwing for 373 yards and three touchdowns and catching another on a fourth-down trick play to give the Eagles their first championship since 1960.
The Patriots and Eagles set the record for combined yardage in a Super Bowl, before the start of the fourth quarter. The previous record was 929 yards, set when Washington had 602 yards to 327 for Denver in the Redskins’ 42-10 win in 1988.
Brady threw a 26-yard scoring pass to Chris Hogan, pushing him to 404 yards passing and getting the Patriots within 29-26 late in the third quarter.
Brady set the Super Bowl record with 466 yards when the Patriots rallied from 25 points down to beat Atlanta 34-28 in overtime in Houston last year. The other 400-yard game was by Kurt Warner of the St. Louis Rams in a 23-16 win over Tennessee in 2000.
Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles went into the locker room with a 22-12 halftime lead over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 52 at Minneapolis.
The Eagles padded their lead in the final minute of the second quarter. Coach Doug Pederson elected to go for a touchdown on fourth and goal and the New England 1 rather than kick a field goal. The gamble worked as Trey Burton threw a touchdown pass to quarterback Nick Foles with 38 seconds left in the half.
The trick play came less than two minutes after James White ran for a three-yard score to get the Patriots within 15-12.
Foles was 13 of 22 for 215 yards in the first half, including a 34-yard TD pass to Alshon Jeffrey in the opening quarter. LaGarrette Blount had a 21-yard rushing touchdown for Philadelphia, which missed an extra point and failed on a two-point conversion.
The Eagles had 107 yards rushing, with Blount providing 58 and Jay Ajayi added 41.
New England’s points have come from White’s rushing TD and a pair of Stephen Gostkowski field goals. Gostkowski has missed an extra point and failed to hit a field goal following a bad snap.
Tom Brady was 12 of 23 passing for 276 yards, with Chris Hogan making three receptions for 83 yards.
The two teams combined for 673 total yards and 25 first downs in the opening half.
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Experience in this contest heavily favored New England. Thirty-two members of the 53-man roster have before played on football’s biggest stage, with the majority returning from last year’s historic comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons.
The Eagles, on the other hand, had only six players with a combined seven games worth of Super Bowl experience, meaning that going into Sunday’s game, Tom Brady had played in as many Super Bowls as Philadelphia’s entire roster.
On paper, the two teams were remarkably similar offensively this season. They were tied for second in the NFL in points per game, with both averaging 28.6. The Patriots had the edge with total points scored, putting up 458 to the Eagles’ 457.
New England was the top team in the league in terms of yards per game, averaging 394.2 yards from scrimmage, while Philadelphia was 7th at 365.8 yards per game.
However, much of Philadelphia’s offensive stats were compiled with Carson Wentz under center. Wentz tore his ACL in Week 14, thrusting backup QB Nick Foles into the starting role, but the team was successful in rallying around Foles and completing their journey to Minneapolis.
Both teams lost key players to injury this season but according to the latest injury report, there were no unexpected absences Sunday night.