Every Super Bowl has to have a winner and a loser, and in a game like this, that’s a shame. This year, it was the Philadelphia Eagles who won their first-ever Super Bowl by defeating the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII by a score of 41-33.
It was a dramatic game that ended in historic fashion. The offense was unheard of and both quarterbacks set records for yards thrown in an NFL postseason game, referees had to play a role in the game and one defensive strip ended up being the reason the Patriots couldn’t mount the comeback fans are so used to seeing.
Despite the score and whomever you chose to cheer for, this game was so unbelievable, it was easy to pick winners and losers. Tom Brady and Nick Foles led the way for the winners and The Hoodie and the kickers led the way for the losers.
Winner: Nick Foles
WHAT. A. PLAY.@Eagles throw up the trick play to Nick Foles for the touchdown… ON FOURTH DOWN!
— NFL UK (@NFLUK) February 5, 2018
He was the story all week and was unbelievable throughout the entire game including making the catch on an incredibly gutsy fourth down play to give the Eagles a 10-point lead heading into the second half. The question was could he hold up against Tom Brady? Apparently, he could.
He was the first player to throw and catch a touchdown in a Super Bowl and he’ll be in the history books forever because of that stat. He wound up winning the game MVP award and this was after almost quitting football. You can’t write a better story than the one Nick Foles delivered.
Loser: Malcolm Butler
— NESN (@NESN) February 4, 2018
It was a coach’s decision but Malcolm Butler was not going to be part of the defensive scheme of the New England Patriots and he was visibly emotional about the decision. You could see him wiping the tears away during the singing of America the Beautiful. When “The Hoodie” was asked why he chose not to play Butler on anything but special teams, Coach Belichick simply said he was making the decisions that gave his team the best opportunity to win.
Al Michaels of NBC explained during the broadcast that the lack of defensive playing time for Butler was why the decision was made. It might not have made a difference, but the fact that the Patriots lost will make the decision a questionable one.
Winner: Tom Brady
— FanSided (@FanSided) February 5, 2018
He might not go down as the winning quarterback from Super Bowl LII but he still had one hell of a game and set all sorts of records throwing for over 500 yards. He led the Patriots to the highest score for a losing team in Super Bowl history and while it might not feel like it for him right away, the loss was not Brady’s fault and he has to be considered a winner just by what he accomplished in this game.
He was throwing passes and touchdowns all game long, he just so happened to throw less of them than Nick Foles. This was a game of pure offense and Brady was as good as he always is. His only mistake was a dropped pass in the first half that could have been a difference-maker.
Did you see that #Eagles field goal? The kicker is Lyons Township’s Jake Elliott. Read @patrickfinley's story on Elliott's journey from tennis to the #SuperBowl: https://t.co/YZFn6oeu9r pic.twitter.com/XXxDWW2EYN
— Chicago Sun-Times (@Suntimes) February 4, 2018
Both kickers missed extra points and neither looked terribly comfortable in the game. Fortunately, it didn’t seem to matter since both teams scored touchdown after touchdown in a back and forth game that was all offense and hundreds of rushing and throwing yards.
In the end, Philadelphia hit more field goals at the right time, but this game was not a display by the kickers. The teams performed well in spite of them.
Winner: Zach Ertz
— Zach Ertz (@ZERTZ_86) February 4, 2018
There may be some question as to how controversial the call was that put the Eagles in the lead but the referees got it right and the five-yard line catch that turned into a run by Zach Ertz counted for a score and put the Eagles ahead for good.
He’ll be considered the player who scored the winning points in Super Bowl LII and that’s a story he’ll be able to tell his kids forever. He had a heck of a game and aside from that, his wife Julie was there to support him all the way. Did we mention she’s extremely attractive?
Loser: Rob Gronkowski
Rob Gronkowski was asked about his playing future following Super Bowl LII and he did not deny retirement rumors. pic.twitter.com/7tl72uCNlq
— NESN (@NESN) February 5, 2018
Rob Gronkowski didn’t end up on the winning side of the game, but he was cleared last minute to play and he had a whale of a game hooking up with Tom Brady on a number of catches and a couple big plays for scores that kept the Patriots close and eventually gave them the lead. Unfortunately, all of that will be overshadowed by his comments following the loss.
He proved to be one of the best players in the game, but after he refused to shoot down retirement rumors, this could be a disastrous way to end his storied career.
Winner: Doug Pederson
Philadelphia @Eagles head coach Doug Pederson celebrates with defensive end Brandon Graham and other players after defeating the @Patriots to win the #SuperBowl by a score of 41-33. pic.twitter.com/b8iNXaHwK9
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 5, 2018
How can you not call the game Eagles’ Head Coach Doug Pederson called one of the gutsiest games ever called by an NFL coach? His decision to go for it on fourth and goal in the first half changed the game and put the Eagles in a position to not only hold off a comeback from the Patriots but eventually win the game.
Pederson outcoached Belichick and the Eagles won the game. He was able to overcome the odds in a game that was not the Eagles’ style.
Loser: Bill Belichick
This was one of the sloppiest performances by a man who’s typically known as being the best coach in the NFL. He wasn’t on his A-game and made questionable calls throughout the contest.
Coverage by the Patriots was not good, Bill Belichick burned timeouts and he allowed routes to get run on his team. Even if he wasn’t directly responsible, someone has to take the blame and in this case, it has to be “The Hoodie”. His team was the clear favorite and he had an opportunity to make the Patriots the winningest team in Super Bowl history. It didn’t happen.
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