FMQB: Philly Special
I’m really not too sure what to say about this year’s game. It for sure was an exciting game, I think I’m a bit still in shock at the outcome. Nick Foles was tasked with outdueling the best QB of all time, and even despite a couple strong comeback attempts, he was able to do so.
Both teams opened with opening drive field goals. The Patriots scored points for the 1st time in the 1st quarter under Belichick, which should have been an ominous sign of what was to come. It only got more bizarre from there. Philly scored a TD but missed the extra point to give it a strange 9-3 score at the end of 1.
New England opened the second with a rare missed FG by Gostkowski. So rare, that yours truly used that play to run to the bathroom (in order to not miss commercials), and was surprised to see the score when it came back on. The first and only punt of the game came next, and then the Patriots turned the ball over on downs. Then came NE field goal, PHI interception, NE touchdown. Then PHI drove 70 yards in under 2 minutes and set up “The Philly Special.” Earlier in the game the Patriots tried a pass to Brady but he failed to catch it. The Eagles ran the play to perfection and TE Burton threw it to Foles in the endzone. 2 things I loved about this: First, watching Foles stand like a statue while the play developed before running took an insane amount of patience. Second, NFL films caught Foles and Coach Pederson discussing it. It was 4th and 1 (which is gutsy as all get out in the Super Bowl), and Foles asks Pederson “Philly Special?” Doug takes about 5 seconds but says “Yeah let’s do it.” Trick plays in that scenario when you’re guaranteed 3 points is just so high risk high reward that it’s hard to call. But that’s the only way to beat the Patriots, is to keep the foot on the gas. Philly up 22-12 at halftime (guarantee nobody had that in their pools).
The Pats would mount a furious comeback, scoring a TD on the opening drive, only to be down by 10 points again after the Eagles scored. But the Pats matched it again with another TD to pull within 3 going to the 4th.
It almost felt like when the Eagles kicked a FG that it was a bit of a mistake or letdown. And sure enough the Patriots drove down the field and took the lead by 1! All of a sudden, Philly fans were getting nervous. If there’s any QB you want to have the ball down by 1 in the 4th quarter, I can think of 25 I’d choose ahead of Foles, one of which is on the other team. But Foles had an amazing 14 play, 75 yard drive that took off over 7 minutes of clock. The catch by Foles would be controversial, but he 100% was a runner at that point. Had the refs overturned it, it would have been a travesty to the game and almost proof that they wanted the Pats to win.
Almost proof that Brady is TOO dangerous, he got the ball back with 2:12 and would get 2 possessions with it to try to score. HUGE defensive play though to sack fumble Brady and get the ball within FG range to ensure a TD couldn’t win it. Even in the 1:05 the Pats got the ball back with no timeouts, they had a legitimate shot at scoring. All 3 losses for Brady have been because he got the ball back with too little time. All 3 ended on essentially hail mary throws.
Stat of the Week #1:
Super Bowl LII consisted of the most combined yards ever, not just in a Super Bowl, EVER in any game in NFL history!
Stat of the Week #2:
613 yards is the most ever by a losing team, once again EVER!
Stat of the Week #3:
There have been 16,259 NFL games played since its inception in 1920. Re-read stat #1, a Super Bowl ended up having more yards than any other of the 16,258 games!!!
Stat of the Week #4:
It was the first time both QB’s threw for 100+ yards in the first quarter. They had beat the Super Bowl yards record before the 4th quarter even started
Stat of the Week #5:
2nd half possessions ended in TD, TD, TD, FG, TD, TD, Fumble, FG, End of Game.
Stat of the Week #6:
Going into the game, Brady had played in seven Super Bowls. The entire Eagles roster had only played in a combined seven Super Bowls.
Stat of the Week #7:
74 points is the 2nd most in Super Bowl history, just 1 behind the 49ers Chargers shellacking.
Stat of the Week #8:
It took me 4 tries to correctly spell “shellacking” without looking it up
Stat of the Week #9:
Tom Brady is the first QB in NFL history with 500+ passing yards, 3 TD’s, and 0 INT’s to lose a game.
Stat of the Week#10:
The NFC East became the first division to have each of its team win a Super Bowl. Bit hard for me to believe that one, I had to look it up. Fun game, run through the divisions and see how fast you can look at a team and say “yes” or “no” to championships.
The pass to Foles, as I mentioned, was an extremely gutsy play call. TE Burton had never thrown a pass, Foles had never had a catch, and the Eagles had never run the play before. All on 4th down, up by 3, with a chip shot FG.
Things Could have been Different:
Despite the 8 point differential being the largest point spread in Belichick’s Super Bowl career, had 2 plays gone differently the Patriots win. For the Foles catch, if he drops that, that’s -7 points for the Eagles. Had the Patriots not bumbled the snap for the field goal, that’s +3 for the Pats and a 2 point victory for Brady and Belichick. The Eagles also could have gone for the FG there, and then if Gostkowski hits his FG and Extra Pt, it’s a tie game when Brady gets the ball back. A FG wins it at that point. Eagles also missed an extra point and a 2 pt conversion, so there was a chance that it wasn’t even that close at all. Lot of points left off the board though.
Hall of Fame class:
It feels like we’re getting into the classes where there are just huge names on the list every year. Maybe it’s because my memory of football starts about 20ish years ago, but all the big names I grew up watching are now getting in. Incredible class this year with Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Brian Urlacher, and Ray Lewis.
I know there is parity in the NFL, but if you stop to think about it, there are 256 different combinations of teams that could matchup in the Super Bowl. However 13 of the 52 Super Bowls (or exactly 25%) have pitted the same teams against each other. Statistically that seems like it shouldn’t happen.
My Super Bowl Experience
As many of you know, attending a Super Bowl is probably my #1 bucket list item. With ticket prices plummeting this past week and it being in my city, it was damn tempting to pull the trigger on it. But I can take solace in the fact that attending the festivities around the game was almost as exciting. This was my second time being in a city for the Super Bowl, and I would highly recommend going to the Super Bowl Experience or the outdoor venues if you ever have a chance.
My company was lucky enough to be one of the few staffing agencies getting workers for the events. As a result, I had a foot in the door to work a couple of cool shifts. The Experience is essentially a combine for fans (a lot of kids). But I got full on Super Bowl credentials! The amount of player sightings had me giddy! My second day I did the vertical jump. Osi Umenyiora came through with some rapper I had never heard of, but I stood 5 feet away from him for a good 10 minutes. Roger Goodell’s son was also my first “customer” although I didn’t know who he was until after. NFL Network was shooting probably 50 feet away from me, but the “Exit” point for anchors walked right by my station. As a result I saw Terrell Davis and Steve Smith. Also while I was eating lunch, LaDainian Tomlinson randomly walked by me. Finally, after walking around I also saw Jared Allen and Stefon Diggs.
Apart from the athletes, just the memorabilia, football gear, and history of it all was amazing. After the convention center, we went downtown to the outdoor Super Bowl mile. Even being from MN, it was pretty cold, but it was jam packed with people! Best part was the traditional Roman Numerals were made out of ice. They also had an ice Lombardi Trophy.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring this up, but what a crappy move by Josh McDaniels. Had a verbal agreement with the Colts, Colts even had an official announcement, and then he backs out at the last second. I love the conspiracy theories saying that Robert Kraft is still so upset about deflategate that he wanted to jilt the Colts one last time. But at work we always preach against counter-offers and the lasting effects. McDaniels has basically tied himself to the Patriots for the long haul (although one can’t really blame him for that), but new owner and new QB could have that franchise flailing in just a few years. GM’s are coming out and saying that they would not consider McDaniels any time in the near future for head coaching roles. I’ll go with Tony Dungy’s sentiment, just inexcusable.
For the Record:
- Nick Foles is your Super Bowl MVP, and Jimmy Garrapolo is the highest paid player in the NFL. I give up folks…
- I used to have a surprising accuracy of wherever I went on a trip, that team would win a championship (happened with St. Louis, San Francisco). Well apparently the new thing is whenever I’m in the city where the Super Bowl is held, some part of the halftime show goes absolutely viral. Left Shark happened during Katy Perry’s performance in Arizona, and now the Selfie Kid is ripping up the internet.
- Josh McDaniels was the Colts head coach for 45 minutes, and still only had 1 less win than Hue Jackson does in 2 years!
Minnesota’s On the Map:
Granted I’m biased, but despite the freezing temperatures it was great to hear how many people were floored away by the environment in Minnesota. Take a look at the link below, to what people are saying about the city and people. Peter King of Sports Illustrated also said he would come back purely for the beer and a pizza at Pizzeria Lola. We’re #16 in the US for largest Metro areas, yet you barely hear anything about the cities. Granted the cold weather nearly solidifies the fact we’ll never get another one, but still good to hear.
Memes of the Week: