Just can’t decipher which one with Super Bowl 52 was more enjoyable for me.
Was it Nick Foles and the Eagles’ offense carrying Philadelphia’s NFL franchise and its long-suffering fan base to a Lombardi Trophy-earning victory after being inundated with insight from all the experts and their millions of minions stating how that would never happen, that it just … was … not … possible – and that the only way for the Birds to prevail was for their defense to play lights out?
Or, was it watching dynastic New England, a five-time champ in the previous 16 years, get a taste of its own medicine in so many ways, from the underdog NFC titlist rallying for the win to its unheralded coach calling a Belichick-type play on fourth-and-goal from the 1 to burn Belichick and Co. late in the second quarter to – gasp and gulp – it actually getting the benefit of the calls at the Patriots’ expense?
My first progression would be to go with the initial choice, but, after careful consideration through the extent of typing two paragraphs, gotta go with the latter. More enjoyable.
Yeah, great, Foles confirmed what yours truly already knew – that he comes up big in big games. As noted here previously, in his nine most important, pressure-packed starts heading into Sunday night, he showed up and shined all nine times. That 28-for-43, 373-yard, 3-TD running, 1-TD receiving effort made him 10-for-10. So, the shock value for me is a little light anyway.
Everything with option No. 2, though … wow, no way.
Never thought the day would come where a team would stand toe to toe with a Brady-led, Belichick-coached Patriots squad, refuse to back down, actually blow a lead and then rebound to win. Same thing with Belichick basically getting “pantsed” by his counterpart in the biggest game of the season as the Eagles’ Doug Pederson returned the favor on an option-pass to his quarterback, only Foles caught his for six while Brady dropped a long-gainer earlier.
Most of all, the two biggest calls of the game – both placed under, uh-oh, “replay review” surveillance – going against the Patriots … are you kidding me? When the hell does that ever happen? Especially when things really matter?
Not for nothing, Midnight Green Nation, but both Corey Clement’s TD and Zach Ertz’s game-winning dive into the end zone were worthy of such scrutiny, if only because of the inane rulebook and the often equally inane interpretation of it. To me, yeah, they were scores.
But they weren’t clean, per se.
Put it this way, in pre-Eagles Are Champions World, those overturns would’ve been automatic “gimmes” to the Patriots’ cause. Not even debatable. Just, hey, if it helps Tom and Bill, it gets done.
But not this time … and, frankly, the fact Malcolm Jenkins didn’t get flagged for a hard hit on Brandin Cooks that sidelined the New England receiver from the second quarter on was amazing as well.
Ahhh, the irony. How wonderful.