MINNEAPOLIS, MN—It’s the one day of year where it seems all Americans get along and party till the wee hours of the night to celebrate the event that happens only ONCE a year: the Super Bowl. We have a repeat team back in the big dance yet again with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, going against Nick Foles and the underdog Philadelphia Eagles.
Going into the game the biggest question was rather we’d see a good game? I ask myself this each year, because we always have these Super Bowls where the game is so lopsided it becomes too boring to even watch. As much as I’m not the biggest fan of the New England Patriots, I do respect stellar athleticism and the Patriots have that covered on multiple fronts, not just with Brady, but with Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola.
After performances for America the Beautiful by Leslie Odom Jr., and the National Anthem by P!nk, it was time for the big game to get underway. I have to say, for a woman who was battling the flu, P!nk certainly belted out what many consider to be one of the most difficult songs ever. The Patriots won the coin toss deciding to defer to Philadelphia to showcase their defense. The first quarter was quite interesting because the Eagles offense was on fire, while I was slightly surprised with New England’s defense because the Eagles drove right into a field goal that should have been a touchdown.
With the ball in their possession, the Patriots easily made their way down the field playing at a much faster pace than what the Eagles are used to. However, New England also settled for a field goal. Gotta say this first quarter is leaving me thrilled that we might have a competitive game after all. With just under 2 minutes in the first quarter, Nick Foles threw a Hail Mary to Alshon Jeffery for a touchdown giving the team a 9-3 lead, after missing that extra point with the kick.
The second quarter got underway with Brady and company just mere yards from scoring a touchdown, but it was that tackle that was a moment, where the Eagles defense literally tackled the opponent. Wow, that field goal attempt by the Patriots that was an utter disaster proves the Eagles might be rattling the Patriots people. Malcolm Jenkins (Eagles) delivered a devastating blow to Patriots receiver Brandin Cooks, who would not return to the game after a head injury. Alright people, it looks like LeGarrette Blount is the star for the Eagles because this center is an unstoppable force adding to the Eagles momentum with a touchdown.
After losing that extra point last time, the Eagles went for an extra two points, but couldn’t complete the pass. However, the Eagles lead the second quarter 15-3. I’m seriously stunned with the Patriots and Tom Brady; it just seems the team cannot make a pass if their life depended on it. However, a field goal put New England within 9 points of the Eagles. However, Jeffery’s inability to maintain his grip on the football allowed New England to intercept the ball, giving them a shot to get back into the game. Now this is the Brady that I’ve been looking to see, back in top form. James White helped put this game in closer reach to the Patriots with a touchdown to put the score 15-12 with less than 2 minutes in the second quarter. Yeah, those constant field goal kicks by Patriots kicker Stephen Gostowski should raise red flags.
With just mere seconds left in the first half, the Philadelphia Eagles were just mere inches from scoring a touchdown, which was very risky on a fourth down. To be honest, the team should have gone for a field goal to add the extra three points, still giving them a 6-point lead over their opponent. However, the risk absolutely paid off for Nick Foles and the Eagles went into halftime up 10 points over the Patriots, 22-12.
Now we get a breather from football, for the Pepsi Halftime Show courtesy of Justin Timberlake. For those hoping for an N’SYNC reunion, it didn’t happen, nor did an appearance by Janet Jackson. Timberlake took to the stage to sing some of his greatest hits including “Rock Your Body,” “Senorita,” “Sexy Back,” “My Love,” and his inescapable ballad “Cry Me a River.” Timberlake can certainly dance, but I feel the energy from his performance was not as contagious as past acts that have hit the stage.
He also slowed things down for “Suit and Tie,” “Til the End of Time” before transitioning into a tribute to icon Prince. He ended things with a performance of his hit “Mirrors,” full of participants holding mirrors into the air, before the crowd-pleaser “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” Overall Timberlake entertained, but it didn’t knock my socks off.
The third quarter kicked off with the Patriots looking to get themselves back into the game, but getting those passes to go has not been great for Brady. However, it looks like the synergy between Brady and Rob Gronkowski is working as the Patriots was able deliver a touchdown cutting the Eagles lead to only 3, 22-19. The Eagles responded with a touchdown of their own courtesy of an amazing pass by Foles, but an even bigger catch by Corey Clement. However, that touchdown was under review by officials, but it was ruled a victory for the Eagles, who extended a 10-point lead, 29-19. With less than 3 minutes left in the third quarter, Brady was able to convert a pass to Chris Hogan for a touchdown to cut the Eagles lead to only 3 points, 29-26.
So the fourth quarter kicks off with the Eagles a field goal to extend their lead to 32-26. With about 9 minutes left in the game, Brady was able to connect with Gronkowski again to score a touchdown, putting New England in the driver seat, 33-32. Things are really getting interesting America, because New England needs not only a touchdown, put a 2-point conversion to force overtime if the Patriots happen to score another touchdown before regulation ends.
Man this is a nail-bitter; just over 5 minutes, and the Eagles finding a way to inch a first down just when they needed it most. This might be one of the closet Super Bowl games I’ve witnessed in quite some time; the only other game that I found exhilarating was when the New York Giants delivered the comeback of a lifetime against the New England Patriots in 2007. Nick Foles is throwing some stellar passes; when the team is under immense pressure, this quarterback is NOT afraid of taking risk and he’s not caving in to any pressure.
With less than 3 minutes in the game, the Eagles moved down the field in their attempt to score a touchdown putting more pressure on Tom Brady and the Patriots. Man, this game is so riveting, edge of your seat, cause Zack Eatz had an unbelievable catch for the Eagles, but that ball bouncing out of his hands is a very questionable, but the officials gave the Eagles the clearance.
So with a score of 38-33, the Eagles went for a 2-point conversion, but it was a no go. A 5-point game, all the Patriots needs is a TD to seal the deal, and with over 2 minutes still in play, Brady can make it happen. The Eagles needed to halt the Patriots or force a turnover