By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
Final, 41-33 Eagles: It’s all over. No Brady magic this time. The Eagles are Super Bowl champions. The Patriots ran out of time. Brady threw deep into the end zone where Gronkowski and several Eagles were, but it fell to the turf. Eagles win.
That was another Super Bowl for the ages, but it won’t be remembered fondly in New England. In pHiladelphia, it’s an all-time moment.
Fourth quarter, 1:05, 41-33 Eagles: Jake Elliott kicked a 46-yarder, and the Eagles now lead by eight.
So the Patriots need to go the length of the field (without Cooks) and then convert the two-point conversion just to tie the game. It’s going to be dicey.
Fourth quarter, 2:09, 38-33 Eagles: Wow. Brady was stripped. Eagles recover. The Eagles are probably going to win the Super Bowl.
Brandon Graham bumped Brady and knocked it loose as he set to throw. Derek Barnett recovered. First-and-10 at the 31-yard line.
Technically the Patriots are alive. A field goal, and they’re down by eight. But boy that will be tough.
Fourth quarter, 2:21, 38-33 Eagles: That was all guts by the Eagles. All guts. And it ended with a touchdown pass to Zach Ertz, who beat McCourty to the inside, made the catch, and extended the ball over the goal line for the touchdown. And the Eagles are back on top.
However, they left 2:21 on the clock. Agholor ran out of bounds after picking up a first down with 2:37 left. After a run and a New England timeout, the Eagles passed. Incomplete. Stopped the clock. On third-and-7 from the 11-yard line, they threw the touchdown. An impressive clock-draining drive, but there should be much less time left for Brady.
The Eagles went for two. Kyle Van Noy got beat but made up ground and broke up a pass for Clement.
Patriots have one timeout plus the two-minute warning. It’ll be a photo finish. A touchdown wins the game.
Fourth quarter, 9:22, 37-36 Patriots: For the first time all night, the Patriots have a lead. And once again, Tom Brady was brilliant.
Rex Burkhead provided some good running to get the drive started, but on a gotta-have-it third-and-3, Brady hit Amendola on an out for a gain of seven yards. He hit Amendola on a deep crosser on the next play for 30 yards. White ran to make it first-and-goal at the 4-yard line, and on second down from the 4, Brady threw a jump ball to Gronkowski in man coverage against Darby. He made an unbelievably athletic catch while falling out of the end zone.
Gostkowski hit the PAT, and the Patriots have their first lead of the football game.
Nine minutes and 22 seconds left to play.
The Patriots only play insane Super Bowls.
Fourth quarter, 14:09, 32-26 Eagles: The Eagles tried a misdirection pass in the backfield, but Marquis Flowers had it all figured out and smothered Agholor for a loss of eight yards. That was big too, because the Patriots were offside on the field goal try. It was successful, so the Eagles declined. But had that come on fourth-and-1? Would’ve been a doozy.
A six-point lead doesn’t feel safe, with the way Brady’s been throwing the ball. But he’ll have to remain perfect for the Patriots to win this game. Long way to go.
End of third quarter, 29-26 Eagles: It’ll be third-and-1 from the Patriots’ 16-yard line for the Eagles when the fourth quarter begins. Foles and the Eagles once again sliced through the Patriots’ defense with ease for a long drive. This third down will be huge.
The drive began with a perfect back-shoulder throw from Foles to Agholor for 24 yards. Smith was then wide open in the middle of the field for 17 yards.
Third quarter, 3:23, 29-26 Eagles: This game is unbelievable. And Tom Brady made it look easy on that drive.
It ended with a 26-yard dime to Chris Hogan running a skinny post up the left seam. Too easy. That came after a an 18-yard completion to Amendola up the right seam on a third-and-1. Brady went 3-for-3 for 60 yards and a touchdown on that drive. He’s now 19-for-32, which isn’t great. But he’s thrown for 404 yards, two touchdowns, and no picks. In three quarters.
Patriots’ defense needs a stop. They might need Malcolm Butler.
Third quarter, 7:18, 29-19 Eagles: The call stood on replay, and the Eagles are up by 10 again.
In addition to the Bademosi missed tackle, the Patriots allowed Ertz to make an easy catch to pick up a first down on a third down. The Eagles connected for the touchdown on third down.
The growing story through this game is why Malcolm Butler is not on the field. He’s on the sideline with his helmet on, looking ready to play. Yet Jordan Richards, Johnson Bademosi and Eric Rowe are getting significant playing time over him. It’s bizarre, if he’s healthy.
The Eagles are now 8-for-11 on third down.
Third quarter, 7:18: The Eagles have answered with a long touchdown drive of their own, and this is officially a heavyweight slugfest.
On third down from the 22-yard line, Clement ran up the left seam with Marquis Flowers in coverage and McCourty helping. The ball was dropped perfectly over the defenders and into Clement’s arms. He made a magnificent catch while falling out the back of the end zone.
But the play is under review. We’ll see.
Third quarter, 9:05, 22-19 Eagles: Patrick Chung just suffered an injury. We’ll monitor.
The drive is still going because Johnson Bademosi missed a tackle of Agholor on third down.
Third quarter, 12:15, 22-19 Eagles: What a drive by Rob Gronkowski. What a freaking drive.
It was all No. 87 on that drive.
A 25-yarder on a crossing route. A 24-yarder to follow. A 14-yard comeback on third-and-8. And then a 5-yard touchdown on an in-cut.
It was, literally, all Gronkowski. White ran for seven yards. Gronkowksi caught four passes for 68 yards and a touchdown. Wow.
And just like that, folks. It’s a field-goal game.
Third quarter, 15:00, 22-12 Eagles: The second half is underway.
First-and-10 for the Patriots at their own 25-yard line. They could really use a score to start this half and make the game close. Though that’s more for fans’ nerves than their own. There’s a lot of football left to play.
Halftime, 22-12 Eagles: That was a truly insane half of football. Utterly wild. Not a lot of great defense, a missed field goal and two missed PATs, a deflected interception, a fourth-string safety playing over Malcolm Butler, a concussion for Cooks, and probably a whole lot more. That was bananas.
The Patriots will start with the ball in the second half. They trail by 10. They’ve overcome larger deficits. But they absolutely need to make some plays on defense, and they need to overcome the loss of their downfield playmaker in Cooks.
Brady went 11-for-22 for 253 yards. Foles was 13-for-22 for 215 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. He also caught a touchdown.
Second quarter, :34, 22-12 Eagles: Jordan Richards got absolutely smoked by Corey Clement on a third-and-3 at the Philadelphia 7-yard line. It was horrific coverage, and Clement got 55 yards out of it.
A few plays later, the Eagles decided to go for it on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line. Graham took a direct snap, then flipped it to tight end Trey Burton, who threw to a wide open Foles in the end zone.
The Eagles have out-trickeried the Patriots, and they now have a 10-point lead to show for it.
The story of that drive was Richards getting roasted on a third down, and Butler still being on the sideline. Belichick’s going to have to explain this one, because there’s really no reason for Jordan Richards to get his most playing time of the season in the Super Bowl.
Second quarter, 1:59, 15-12 Eagles: The Patriots have found the end zone. With a little bit of beauty, and a little bit of brute force.
Gifted a free set of downs after Jalen Mills got called for holding. The Patriots made it count. Brady had a clean pocket and threw a deep ball up the right side to Chris Hogan, who was streaking with decent coverage. But Brady’s throw was perfect, and Hogan hauled in the over-the-shoulder 42-yarder. It was beautiful.
Then James White hit a hole, then bullied his way through three would-be tackles, and burst for the goal line. It was a 26-yarder and possible White’s best run of the season.
Gostkowski, however, weirdly shanked the PAT. So the score is 15-12. Weird score.
Gostkowksi, likely mad about the miss, delivered a big tackle on the kick return. The Patriots probably don’t want him to hurt himself, but, you know, emotions.
Second quarter, 5:01, 15-6 Eagles: Hey, right on cue, we got that turnover.
Foles threw deep to Jeffery up the right sideline. Gilmore helped break it up, and Jeffery ended up tipping it to Duron Harmon right at the goal line.
Patirots take over at their own 10-yard line.
Second quarter, 7:24, 15-6 Eagles: Rex Burkhead received a little screen pass on the right side, followed his blockers, and he was OFF. He ran right up the right side of the field with ease for a gain of 46. Corey Graham eventually ran him down. The Patriots were in business.
But then Brady threw incomplete deep to nobody, then got just two yards on a screen to Amendola. On third-and-8, they tried a misdirection play, with a floater to White. But the running back got chipped en route to where he was going, and the ball ended up being thrown to nobody.
Gostkowski drilled a 45-yarder, and it’s now 15-6.
Very weird game thus far. Many big plays being broken. Defense hasn’t been excellent on either side. You get the feeling a turnover will be huge. (A missed FG is almost like a turnover. We’ll call it 40 percent of a turnover. New rule.)
Second quarter, 8:48, 15-3 Eagles: The Philadelphia Eagles are up big.
Ertz picked up 19 yards (with a little pushoff on Jordan Richards), and then Foles floated a ball to Jeffery up the right sideline. Surrounded by three white jerseys, he made a Manningham-esque catch while falling out of bounds.
Blount then got a carry to the left side and had a massive hole to run through. He burst through and had himself a 21-yard touchdown run.
Foles’ two-point pass to Jeffery was no good, broken up by Rowe. But the deficit is big now.
Second quarter, 11:53, 9-3 Eagles: The Patriots tried some trickery. It did not work. Amendola threw to Brady on a reverse. Brady was wide open but couldn’t make the catch above his head.
The Patriots decided to go for it on fourth-and-5 from the Philadelphia 35-yard line. Brady threw to a well-covered Gronkowski up the right sideline, but it fell incomplete. Gronkowski has failed to really separate thus far.
So that was a big decision. But with the ball on the 35, you’re kind of in that no man’s land. A punt doesn’t necessarily do a ton for you unless it’s perfect. And considering what Cardona and Allen did on that botched field goal, perhaps it was best to give it a go. Corey Graham was in coverage.
Cooks is officially done for the night with a concussion by the way.
Second quarter, 12:59, 9-3 Eagles: Oh no. Brandin Cooks is out.
Cooks was left wide open running a deep crossing pattern. He made the catch and tried to make something happen in the open field. But he lost track of his surroundings, and he ran right into Malcolm Jenkins, who delivered a shot to Cooks’ head. Cooks went down in a heap and lay motionless for a bit. He eventually walked off the field under his own power, but I’d be stunned if he returned.
It was a 23-yard gain.
Second quarter, 13:11, 9-3 Eagles: The Patriots’ defense responded well after the missed field goal, forcing the first three-and-out — and the first punt — of the game.
Flowers nearly sacked Foles on second down, forcing a throwaway. And Foles escaped a collapsing pocket on third down and threw to Ertz, but McCourty broke up the pass.
Amendola made a fair catch at the New England 37-yard line.
Second quarter, 14:13, 9-3 Eagles: On the third-and-2, the Patriots went with a jet sweep to Cooks. He found himself 1-on-1 in the open field against Rodney McLeod, and decided to try to leap over him. McCleod stood tall — literally — and made the tackle a yard shy of the sticks.
Gostkowski came on for a chip shot, but Allen mishandled the snap. Gostkowski ended up getting off a kick, but he clanked it off the left upright. Madness.
End of first quarter, 9-3 Eagles: Thanks to a false start on Gronkowski, the Patriots faced a third-and-7 from their own 21. Brady nearly got sacked, but he escaped pressure and then hurled a deep ball up the left side to a completely uncovered Danny Amendola. Nobody was in his zip code. Brady didn’t hit him in stride, but that pass was about ensuring the long completion. It worked for 50 yards.
It’ll be third-and-2 from the Philadelphia 9-yard line when the second quarter begins.
First quarter, 2:34, 9-3 Eagles: Holy moly. The Philadelphia Eagles brought with them an explosive offense.
On the second play of the drive, LeGarrette Blount saw a huge hole open up for him. He busted through and broke up the right sideline for 36 yards.
On the next snap, Foles chucked it DEEP up the left side to Jeffery, who was in man coverage with Rowe. It was a true jump ball, and Jefferey made a better play on the ball. Rowe got caught looking up over his head a bit, and Jeffery came down with it. Spectacular play by Jeffery.
Elliott missed the PAT, though, so it’s 9-3.
First quarter, 4:17, 3-3: The Patriots put together a very impressive drive of their own, but they too were stopped deep in the red zone. Brady threw to Gronkowski, but he was well-covered on a slant in the end zone by Jalen Mills. Brady threw behind him, but that was never getting completed.
They moved down the field primarily through the air. Brady was 4-for-6 for 48 yards. Hogan had a 28-yard gain, White caught two for 21, and Gronkowski had a 9-yard catch over the middle to pick up a first down deep in Eagles territory.
Hogan ran for four yards on an end-around, and White had one run for no yards.
Patriots’ offensive line held up well after the first play, which was a failed play-action screen to Cooks. The Patriots also went to a hurry-up and caught the Eagles with 12 men on the field after the first completion.
And, hey, wow, the Patriots have scored in the first quarter of a Super Bowl. That never happens.
First quarter, 7:55, 3-0 Eagles: The Eagles looked great marching down the field, and they made it all the way down to the 2-yard line. But a false start by Ertz pushed them back to the 7-yard line. Foles threw out of the end zone on second down and threw a jump ball for Jeffery on third down. Eric Rowe broke it up, and the Eagles settled for a field goal.
That’s about what we expected, right? The Eagles will get their yards but the Patriots’ defense will stiffen in the red zone. Granted, they left themselves NO room for error, but Lawrence Guy tackled Blount at the line on first-and-goal, a huge play.
Foles was 6-for-9 on the drive for 61 yards, converting a third-and-4 with a pass to Jeffery and converting a third-and-11 to Smith deep down the middle.
Ajayi and Blount combined for 11 yards on four carries. Corey Clement picked up 16 yards on a well-timed screen pass.
Of note: Malcolm Butler did not play at all on that drive. Eric Rowe got the start, and was a little shaky, but made the pass breakup in the end zone. Jordan Richards was also in on the goal line.
First quarter, 14:54, 0-0: Ladies and gentlemen, Super Bowl LII is underway.
Stephen Gostkowski dropped his kick at the goal line, and it was returned out to the 26-yard line.
5:28 p.m. CT: Kickoff team is on the field. Ready for kickoff.
5:26 p.m. CT: Surrounded by war heroes, the captains met at midfield with referee Gene Steratore.
The Patriots won the toss and elected to defer. The Eagles will start with the ball.
5:24 p.m. CT: Pink sang an absolutely dynamite national anthem, and this place is getting ready for football.
The captains just came out for the coin toss at midfield.
5:00 p.m. CT: Brian Westbrook just did an on-field interview and ended by inspiring all the Eagles fans in attendance to sing their “Fly Eagles Fly” song, and at this point, it feels like the Eagles fans are outnumbering Patriots fans by a wide margin. That was to be expected. They haven’t had this opportunity for 13 years, so there was more of a hunger for tickets.
Chris Hanson down on the field just asked Patriots fans to make some noise, and then asked Eagles fans do to the same. This isn’t scientific or anything, but the Eagles fans sounded twice as loud.
4:35 p.m. CT: The Patriots and Eagles are out on the field for warmups, and let me tell you this, folks. Eagles fans are LOUD. Very loud.
Tom Brady came out, not wearing any tape or bandaging on his throwing hand. Foles is throwing bullets to his receivers. So is Brady. It looks spectacular. The Super Bowl is the best.
3:30 p.m. CT: The Patriots’ inactive list is out, and there are no surprises:
Mike Gillislee, RB
Alan Branch, DT
David Harris, LB
Cole Croston, OL
Kenny Britt, WR
Jacob Hollister, TE
Bernard Reedy, WR
We’ve got the Eagles’ inactives, and there’s nothing surprising on it.
3:12 p.m. CT: In fairness to the NFL, how could anyone expect them to have painted the field correctly for the Super Bowl?
Honest mistake. Could’ve happened to anyone.
2:36 p.m. CT: Greetings from inside U.S. Bank Stadium. Fans are filtering in, and we’re just three hours or so from kickoff. It’s getting close.
The big video board here showed Tom Brady arriving, and boos bellowed around this cavernous building. So it’s a heavy Eagles/anti-Patriots contingent in the stadium thus far. But Patriots fans are experienced, and likely are just showing up a little closer to kickoff.
Here’s a view of the field. It’s magnificent.
7 a.m. CT: Super. Sunday.
The long wait to get to this day, the two-week stretch that tests the patience of the football world, it’s finally over. We’re finally going to see some football. And it ought to be pretty good.
I caught some clips on NFL Network last night of Super Bowl XLIX between the Seahwaks and Patriots, as well as Super Bowl LI between the Falcons and Patriots. I also caught a few segments of “The Timeline” special on David Tyree’s helmet catch from Super Bowl XLII.
And as I digested all of these historic moments from the historic games, I just wondered … what in the world is going to happen this time?
We just can’t know, and that’s what makes this day so exciting. Maybe this will finally be the day that Patriots fans get to put their feet up and properly celebrate a win without taking years off their life due to stress. Maybe it’ll be the day that Nick Foles shocks the world. Maybe Tom Brady will will have the worst game of his life. Or his best. Maybe a new unknown player will etch his name in history, the way Tyree did.
We just can’t know. We’ve all consumed so many stories and predictions, we think we might have an idea of what will happen. But let’s be honest. We have no idea. That’s part of what makes this day so great.
The game will kick off at 5:30 p.m. CT, 6:30 p.m. back home. We’ll have every update throughout the day right here in the live blog, and we’ll have live updates and analysis from U.S. Bank Stadium all game long. We won’t stop until we have a winner.