Super Bowl Recap

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Matthew Shrake Just last week was the biggest sporting event in the United States- the Super Bowl. Super Bowl LII, arguably one of the most exciting Super Bowls in recent memory with its high-scoring and fast-paced play, was played between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles in Minneapolis’ US Bank Stadium. The matchup was thrilling with two teams so close (only 270 miles apart), and it only got better and better as the game went on. Although television ratings were the worst since 2009, this year’s version of the end of football was a fun one to watch. It was expected that Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots would make an appearance in the Super Bowl once again. With future Hall of Famer and league MVP Tom Brady under center for his eighth Super Bowl and a strong core of players surrounding him, the city of Boston was a clear favorite to add another piece of hardware to the five Super Bowls they had already won. The team featured tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receivers Danny Amendola and Brandin Cooks on offense while sporting two talented cornerbacks in Malcolm Butler and Stephon Gilmore on defense. In the regular season, the Patriots displayed a stellar 13-3 performance to put them on top of the AFC East. The Patriots then only needed to win two games to reach the Super Bowl. On January 13, they rolled past the Tennessee Titans 35-14, then took the AFC championship when they defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-20. Now in a position to take home the Vince Lombardi Trophy, the Patriots only had one more team to defeat. That one team in the way was the Philadelphia Eagles. With their team slogan “Fly, Eagles, fly,” the Eagles fan base was very anxious to cheer on their team with the hope that they could take their first Super Bowl victory. Philadelphia also had a great regular season, as Doug Pederson’s team posted a 13-3 record as well to capture the NFC East. Through the majority of the season, the team was led by quarterback MVP candidate Carson Wentz until Week 14, when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the Eagles’ 43-35 win over the Rams. For the remaining six games, Nick Foles took the reins and did a great job of helping the Eagles through the rest of the season. The Eagles were stacked with talent as well, with running backs LeGarrette Blount, Jay Ajayi and wide receivers Nelson Agholor, Alshon Jeffery on offense and cornerback Jalen Mills, linebacker Nigel Bradham, and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox on defense. The game got off to a quick start scoring-wise and never stopped for a second. Both Jake Elliott and Stephen Gostkowski nailed field goals on the opening drives of the game to start the game at a 3-3 tie. Near the end of the first quarter, Nick Foles launched a pass to Alshon Jeffery for a 34-yard touchdown, but Elliott missed the extra point, so the first quarter ended with the Eagles leading 9-3. However, the second quarter was even more high scoring than the first quarter. The Eagles scored two touchdowns, one of the touchdowns being a trick play with Nick Foles on the receiving end of the pass. The Patriots held their ground by scoring a touchdown and a field goal. At the end of the half, the score was 22-12, in favor of the Eagles. This year’s halftime show featured Justin Timberlake. Most remember the last time he took the stage, a controversial show in 2004 that included Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction. This time around, the show was more conservative, and featured songs such as “Suit and Tie” and “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” But even with this show and the game, there was still one more source of entertainment in the Super Bowl- the commercials. Amazon Alexa’s “Alexa Loses Her Voice” was the frontrunner for USA Today’s Super Bowl “Ad Meter,” with NFL’s “Touchdown Celebrations To Come” right behind. Other ads that stood out to me were M&M’s “Human” and Jeep’s “Jeep Jurassic.” The second half was eventful as well. In the third quarter, the Patriots scored two passing touchdowns, one to Rob Gronkowski, and the Eagles scored one rushing touchdown. Entering the fourth quarter, the score was still in favor of the Eagles, but at a smaller margin of three points. Jake Elliott kicked a field goal to start the scoring in the final quarter, but the Patriots then took their first lead at 33-32 with a second touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski. With 2:21 to go on the clock, the Eagles completed an 11-yard touchdown pass to Zach Ertz (but failed the two-point conversion) to take the lead at 38-33. Everyone watching had seen this before, Tom Brady taking the field to attempt a come-from-behind victory with little time on the clock. Then, the unexpected happened. Tom Brady was stripped as he tried to make a pass, and the ball came loose. The Eagles fell on it, chewed out the clock, and kicked a field goal to make it 41-33. The Patriots still had some time, but less than half the time of what they had before. Brady completed passes to bring the Patriots around midfield, then on the last play, tried a desperation Hail Mary pass to Rob Gronkowski. The ball hit Gronkowski’s helmet, then fell harmlessly to the ground. The referees ruled the pass incomplete, and the Philadelphia Eagles were Super Bowl champions for the first time. ]]>