The Philadelphia Eagles are your Super Bowl champions. Let me repeat that because it’s never been said on this show before: The Philadelphia Eagles are your Super Bowl champions. 41-33. I said it. I saw it. And I’m having trouble believing it. Fly freaking Eagles fly, on the road to victory.
And I don’t want to hear anything about luck or questionable calls, they won that straight up, no if’s, and’s or but’s. That was a “Philly special.”
They walked into the Super Bowl, punched the Patriots in the mouth, took a couple haymakers, and never blinked. And that was a “Philly special” because that was the name of the play that changed the game. There’s no denying that Brandon Graham came up huge with his fourth-quarter strip-sack or that Nick Foles picking up a fourth down in the fourth quarter was massive, or all the third downs he picked up along the way were big, but Philadelphia won the game back in the first half.
You don’t see a lot of teams win games in the first half. You do see a lot of teams lose games in the first half. But last night, Doug Pederson and Nick Foles won it in the first half with “Philly special” the play they called on 4th and goal from the Patriots 1-yard line with 38 seconds left. Just think about that. 99 percent of the coaches on the planet kick a field goal and take the points. Do that and you’re most likely you’re going into the locker room up 18-12. But if you do that, you aren’t Doug Pederson. Because Doug Pederson don’t play. He wasn’t going to kick a field goal from the 1-yard line in the first half of a Super Bowl where he was the underdog.
So he’s going to go for it. That’s brass. But going for it is one thing. But going for it the way that he did was the brassest thing ever. Any other coach with the guts to go for it on fourth down in that spot is handing it off to one of their big, punishing backs and letting the line do the work.
Not Doug Pederson. He did this:
He called for Nick Foles to wander up to the line as a decoy, a direct snap to Corey Clement, a pitch to tight end Trey Burton, and then a pass to Nick Foles. Find me a gutsier call in Super Bowl history. I’ll wait. And I’ll be waiting a long time. Because there isn’t one.
You think that call didn’t fire up his team?!. It did. As Jason Kelce said: “He told us before the game he was going to stay aggressive, and when that call came in, I can’t tell you how excited everybody in the huddle was.”
But Trey Burton said it best: “Our coach has got some guts, huh? Got some big ones.” Absolutely huge ones. Brassest call in Super Bowl history.
And that wasn’t desperate either. That was pure confidence. And it paid off. That says everything you need to know about the coach, about his quarterback, and about his confidence in his entire team.
You don’t do that if you’re coaching scared. You kick the field goal. You take the points and you go into the locker room happy to be in the Super Bowl and happy to have a lead against the Champs. But Doug Pederson wasn’t going to be happy to be there or to just have a lead. He wanted a win. And that play is the kind of play you have to have to beat the Patriots. That’s the kind of play you have to make to take down a pair of GOATs.
They got out in front and kept the pedal down. They didn’t play safe. They didn’t play like they were leading, they kept attacking. They didn’t play like they were playing with a backup quarterback going up against the greatest quarterback and coach to ever do their jobs. Pederson coached his ass off in the playoffs. At every step of the way, it was something different: RPOs against the Falcons, deep balls against the Vikings, and outscheming the Hoodie in the Super Bowl. I tweeted it in the first half: Pederson is turning the Hood inside out. And he did.
And he did it with the Philly Special. That’s the kind of play that wins you a Super Bowl and makes you a legend.