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|As their delirious fans sang their theme song and their owner lifted the Lombardi Trophy http://www.chargersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-justin-jones-jersey , the Philadelphia Eagles finally could breathe freely. Yo, Philly, you really did beat Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in a thrilling Super Bowl that rewrote the offensive record book.
Nick Foles guided the drive of a lifetime, Zach Ertz made a bobbling touchdown catch that had to survive replay review, and an exhausted defense came up with two stands in the final moments Sunday for a 41-33 victory. For the first time since 1960, the Eagles are NFL champions.
”Fly Eagles Fly,” indeed.
”We’ve played this game since we were little kids, we dreamed about this moment,” game MVP Foles said. ”There’s plenty of kids watching this game right now dreaming about this moment and someday will be here.”
In a record-setting shootout between backup QB Foles and five-time champ Brady of the favored Patriots, Foles led a pressure-packed 75-yard drive to the winning touchdown, 11 yards to Ertz with 2:21 to go .
Then Brandon Graham strip-sacked Brady and Derek Barnett recovered, setting up rookie Jake Elliot’s 46-yard field goal for an 8-point lead.
Brady got his team to midfield, but his desperation pass fell to the ground in the end zone.
”For us, it was all about one stop we had to make. We went out here and made that one stop,” Graham said.
The underdog Eagles (16-3), even injured starting quarterback Carson Wentz, came bolting off the sideline in ecstasy while Brady sat on the ground, disconsolate.
It was the first Super Bowl title for Philadelphia (16-3), which went from 7-9 last season.
”If there’s a word (it’s) called everything,” Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said. ”That’s what it means to Eagles fans everywhere. And for Eagles fans everywhere, this is for them.”
Super Bowl MVP Foles orchestrated the victory with the kind of drive NFL MVP Brady, a five-time champion, is known for. The drive covered 14 plays, including a fourth-down conversion.
”I felt calm. I mean, we have such a great group of guys, such a great coaching staff,” Foles said. ”We felt confident coming in, and we just went out there and played football.”
The Eagles had to survive a video replay because ball popped into the air as Ertz crossed the goal line.
”If they would have overturned that Rashaan Gaulden Jersey , I don’t know what would have happened to the city of Philadelphia,” Ertz said. ”But I’m so glad they didn’t overturn it.”
The touchdown stood – and so did thousands of green-clad Eagles fans who weren’t going to mind the frigid conditions outside US Bank Stadium once they headed out to celebrate. But not before a rousing rendition of ”Fly Eagles Fly” reverberated throughout the stands once the trophy was presented to Lurie. Later, fans danced along with the ”Gonna Fly Now,” the theme from ”Rocky,” the city’s best-known fictional underdog.
The Patriots (15-4) seemed ready to take their sixth championship with Brady and coach Bill Belichick in eight Super Bowls. Brady threw for a postseason record 505 yards and three TDs, hitting Rob Gronkowski for 4 yards before Stephen Gostkowski’s extra point gave New England its first lead, 33-32.
Then Foles made Eagles fans forget Wentz – at least for now – with the gutsiest drive of his life.
”We couldn’t make a play to give the ball back to the offense,” Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore said.
Foles has been something of a journeyman in his six pro seasons, but he has been spectacular in four career playoff games. He finished 28 of 43 for 373 yards and three TDs.
The combined 1,151 yards were the most in any modern NFL game. The 40-year-old Brady finished 28 of 48 and picked apart the Eagles until the final two series.
Brady indicated he will return for a 19th season even as Gronkowski was hedging on his future.
”I mean it’s 15 minutes after the game ended, so I’d like to process this a little bit,” Brady said. ”I wouldn’t see why I wouldn’t be back.”
Gronkowski, who has played eight superb but injury-riddled years, said ”I am definitely going to look at my future.”
It was such a wild game that Foles caught a touchdown pass , and Brady was on the opposite end of a Danny Amendola throw that went off his fingertips.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson brought home the championship in his second year in charge. Belichick is 5-3 in Super Bowls, most of them decided by less than a touchdown.
So this one was in keeping with that trend: breathtaking and even a bit bizarre.
Brady and the Patriots looked ready for another comeback by opening the second half with a 75-yard touchdown drive. Gronkowski was unstoppable, grabbing four passes for 69 yards, including the 5-yard score.
Philly didn’t flinch, answering with a precise 75-yard march with three more third-down conversions. The Eagles finished 10 for 16 on third. The last was a perfect pass by Foles to Corey Clement over double coverage, and the rookie’s reception was upheld by review, putting the Eagles up 10.
Brady shrugged and, getting steadfast protection, connected with Chris Hogan from the 26 for another touchdown.
When all the Eagles could manage was Jake Elliott’s 42-yarder for a 32-26 lead, it seemed inevitable the Patriots would go in front, then become the first repeat Super Bowl winner since they did it in the 2004 and `05 games.
Foles, Ertz, and – at last – a revitalized defense said otherwise.
The weir The Detroit Lions have desperately tried to improve what has been a weakness, signing and drafting players to improve their running game.
Detroit ranked last in the NFL last season in rushing offense and has been among the league's worst on the ground offensively in recent seasons.
Lions general manager Bob Quinn has made it a priority to fix the problem.
He signed veteran LeGarrette Blount in free agency and moved up in the draft to select Kerryon Johnson in the second round.
The newcomers will compete with or perhaps push out Ameer Abdullah in what has become a crowded backfield with running backs Theo Riddick Authentic Alexander Wennberg Jersey , Zach Zenner and Dwayne Washington also on the roster.
"We got a lot of talent," Johnson said Tuesday after a minicamp practice. "A lot of these guys are good. I'm stepping into a lot of competition. A lot of these guys have played in the past. A lot of these guys want to keep playing in the future.
"At the end of the day, it's going to make us all better."
Detroit selected Frank Ragnow 20th overall in the draft, counting on him to play alongside four returning starters to bolster the offensive line. The former Arkansas center looks as if he's getting a shot to play left guard with the first-string offense.
"He just kind of fits in with the group," coach Matt Patricia said. "You're not really looking at it and saying, 'That's out of place,' like it looks like it's out of place. I haven't noticed that at all."
Anyone watching the Lions, especially under former coach Jim Caldwell , noticed they simply couldn't run the ball well consistently.
That played a part in Caldwell getting fired and Matthew Stafford directing a one-dimensional offense that led to him being sacked 47 times last season.
In short-yardage situations, especially near the goal line, Quinn saw the Lions come up short all too often and frankly acknowledged their toughness was lacking.
"That bothered me," he said after the draft. "So, I took it upon myself to implement some changes in terms of what we want to do."
The first change Quinn made to address the issue in the offseason was adding the 31-year-old Blount in the opening days of free agency. He helped Philadelphia and New England win the past two Super Bowls and reunited with an executive he knew from their time together with the Patriots.
If the season started this week, it appears the 6-foot, 247-pound Blount would be the No. 1 running back.
"He's obviously a big dude," Stafford said last month. "Big, physical guy. Obviously, has played in some big-time games for some successful teams."
If Detroit doesn't block better, though, it may not matter who is running the ball.
The Lions didn't have a true fullback on their roster last season and now they have a pair of them, converting Nick Bellore from linebacker and drafting Nick Bawden in the seventh round. More importantly, they invested a first-round pick in Ragnow to effectively replace Travis Swanson.
"On paper should our run game be better? Yeah, probably," Quinn has said. "The pieces are there. Now it's really up to all of us in the building to kind of make sure these guys produce at a high level."
NOTES: Safety Glover Quin participated in minicamp after missing voluntary workouts earlier in the offseason. When Quin was asked if he was considering retirement, he paused for several seconds before saying, "No."
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