After five long months of 32 teams competing for the chance to play in the Super Bowl, there were only four teams left.
That was until Sunday when the Super Bowl 52 matchup was set. The final two teams remaining are the reigning champions New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Patriots faced a young, tough Jacksonville Jaguar team who were hungry for their first AFC Title win and their opportunity to play on the biggest stage in the NFL.
Patriots took their first drive all the way own the field for the field goal and an early 3-0 lead.
The Jaguars answered back with a pair of touchdowns in the first half which found the Patriots playing from behind for the rest of the game.
Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady were able to drive the field and score a touchdown just before the half when running back and Super Bowl hero, James White rushed it in for a one-yard touchdown. That touchdown drive was set up by costly plenties on Jacksonville that New England capitalized on. It would cost them the loss of Brady’s favorite target, Rob Gronkowski who missed the rest of the game due to concussion-like symptoms.
Up 14-10 at the half, the Jaguars would receive the ball and add a 54-yard field goal to bring the score to 17-10 in the third quarter.
The Jaguars would add another field goal early in the fourth to go up 20-10 and look to make their way to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, Brady and the Patriots weren’t going down quietly as they made another comeback. Without Gronk, Brady had to find another one of his favorites Danny Amendola.
Brady connected with Amendola several times in the fourth, but the only two times that matter are the ones that meet the end zone. Patriots cut the lead down to three with their first touchdown and then took a 24-20 lead with their second score. The Jaguars defense was able to force a fumble and another punt from the Patriots but didn’t do anything with it.
Jaguar had one last chance to answer back until they failed on a 4th & 14 with 1:47 left.
Congrats to the New England Patriots for making their 3rd Super Bowl Appearances in four years and the 8th appearance of the Brady-Belichick Era.
Now on to their opponents, the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles came up with big play after big play and back up quarterback Nick Foles has silenced the critics. Eagles starting quarterback, Carson Wentz, was hurt in a game against the Los Angeles Rams, and since then Foles has filled in for the Eagles on their way to clinching the top spot in the NFC and to Super Bowl 52.
After their “upset” win over the favored Atlanta Falcons in the divisional round, the Eagles were all about proving why they aren’t the underdogs and they came out flying all over Lincoln Finacial Field against the Minnesota Vikings.
The Vikings and their quarterback Case Keenum had a strong first drive as they scored their only touchdown of the game when Keenum hit tight end Kyle Rudolph for a 25-yard touchdown.
That score put the Vikings up 7-0, but that was the only time the Vikings lead in this game. Eagles would go on to score 38 unanswered points and five touchdowns of their own.
The first touchdown came off a Keenum interception returned 50-yards by Eagles cornerback Patrick Robinson.
The Eagles would add another on the ground by running back LeGarrette Blount who pounded it in from 11 yards out to give the Eagles the lead.
Eagles managed to force another turnover and cash it in for another touchdown. This time the touchdown was thrown 53 yards to Eagles receiver Alshon Jeffery after he was found WIDE OPEN!
And just before the half, Eagles continued to add up the yardage and convert a field goal to go up 24-7.
It wasn’t getting any easier from there, as the Vikings would have to find a way back into the game. That didn’t happen as the Eagles took the opening drive of the second half all the way to another touchdown. That was a 41-yard touchdown to Torrey Smith off a flea flicker that buried the Vikings.
Foles continued to add to the damage as he hits Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz for huge gains. The Agholor catch was 33 yards that brought them down to the 9 and added another touchdown for Alshon Jeffrey.
Foles finished the game 26/33 with 352 yards and three touchdowns, if that isn’t stepping in as a starter, I don’t know what is.
The Eagles win against the Vikings gives them the chance to win their first-ever Super Bowl. Foles and the Eagles will have their hands full, and they will indeed be an underdog for Super Bowl 52 against the New England Patriots.
Ironically, the last time the Eagles were in the Super Bowl was against the Patriots on the losing side. Will the Eagles win this time? Or will the Eagles be the third team in four years to lose to Brady again?