Nick Foles is a backup, isn’t very well known and isn’t an elite NFL quarterback.
But after leading the Philadelphia Eagles past the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII last Sunday night at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis before 67,612, this may change.
Foles was tabbed the game’s Most Valuable Player after throwing for 373 yards and completing 28 of 43 with three touchdown passes while catching a one-yarder on fourth and one tossed by tight end Trey Burton with 34 seconds left in the opening half that made it 22-12.
‘I just wanted to be aggressive with Nick Foles,’ said Philadelphia Coach Doug Pederson
“I just wanted to be aggressive with Nick Foles,’’ said second-year Philadelphia Head Coach Doug Pederson, who guided the Eagles to their first-ever Super Bowl title and first NFL championship since 1960.
When Foles unloaded an 11-yard offering to tight end Zach Ertz (67 yards on seven catches), the Eagles bolted in front 38-33 with 2:21 left.
New England (15-4), the defending Super Bowl champion and the AFC’s No. 1 seed trailed throughout, but led 33-32 when Tom Brady found tight end Rob Gronkowski (116 yards on nine receptions) with a four-yard pass and 9:22 left in the fourth quarter.
“We battled. We just came up short in the end,’’ said Brady, a five-time Super Bowl champ, who passed for a Super Bowl record 505 yards and hit 28 of 48. “We moved the ball. I wish we could have scored more points.’’
In New England’s next to last possession, Brady was sacked by defensive end Brandon Graham, who knocked the ball loose which defensive end Derek Barnett recovered at the Patriots 28-yard line.
Jake Elliott then hit a 46-yard field goal with 1:05 remaining for a 41-33 cushion.
The Eagles (538 total net yards) moved in front 9-3 with 2:34 left in the opening frame when Foles unfurled a 34-yard toss to Alshon Jeffery (73 yards on three catches).
Elliott’s 25-yarder with 7:55 showing in the opening period gave the NFC’s No. 1 seeded Eagles (16-3) a 3-0 lead, but Stephen Gostkowski’s 26-yarder evened it at 3-3 with 4:17 left.
When Le Garrette Blount (90 yards on 14 carries) scored on a 21-yard scamper and 8:48 on the clock before the intermission, Philadelphia eased ahead 15-3.
A 22-yard strike from Foles to Corey Clement (eight yards on three rushes and 100 yards on four receptions) made it 29-19 with 7:18 left in the third quarter.
Brady’s five-yard laser to Gronkowski and 12:15 left in the third period shaved Philadelphia’s advantage to 22-19.
After Chris Hogan (128 yards on six catches) snared a 26-yard pass from Brady and 3:23 left in the third frame, New England (613 total yards) was within 29-26.
When Foles was picked off, James White (45 yards on seven carries) had a 26-yard run and 2:04 showing before the break that cut it to 15-12.
Rick Assad has written about sports for the Pasadena Star-News and Los Angeles Times. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.