If you watched Super Bowl 52 to see a demonstration of EXCELLENCE IN PUNTING . . . well, you were left sorely disappointed.
There was only ONE punt in the game. In fact, the Patriots are the first team in Super Bowl history to go the entire game without punting once . . . and they LOST.
That’s right, Philadelphia’s backup quarterback NICK FOLES outgunned TOM BRADY to lead the ‘underdog’ Eagles to a 41-to-33 upset victory. It’s Philadelphia’s first championship.
They’d been to the Super Bowl two times before . . . but they lost to the Oakland Raiders in 1981, and then to the Patriots in 2005.
As you can tell from the score . . . and the lack of punting . . . the game was all about OFFENSE.
The two teams totaled 1,151 yards. That crushed the previous Super Bowl record of 929 yards, which was set in Super Bowl 22 back in 1988, when the Redskins beat the Broncos 42-to-10.
1,151 yards is the most of ANY game in NFL history, regular season or playoffs.
Brady finished with 505 passing yards, and that surpassed his own Super Bowl record of 478, which he set last year in his come-from-behind win over Atlanta.
Foles added 373 passing yards of his own. He and the Eagles offense were sharp from the beginning. Philadelphia went up 15-to-3 in the second quarter.
Then the Patriots started chipping away. With just nine minutes left to go in the game, Brady threw a touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski to give New England its first lead of the game, 33-to-32.
But Foles was able to strike back with a touchdown pass to Zach Ertz, who lost control of the ball when he hit the ground. It was ruled a touchdown . . . but it was one of the more controversial calls of the game.
When the Patriots got the ball back, the Philadelphia defense stepped up and STRIP-SACKED Brady, which basically shut down New England’s best opportunity to come back and win the game. Ultimately, the Patriots weren’t able to get a defensive play like that to stop the Eagles, and that’s why they lost.
Before the thwarted comeback, the most-talked about moment was a couple of TRICK PLAYS where the quarterbacks were turned into receivers. Brady failed to catch his pass . . . but when the Eagles tried something similar, Foles caught his pass for a TOUCHDOWN.
Foles was named the Super Bowl MVP . . . not bad for a guy who was riding the bench all season until Carson Wentz was injured in December. (USAToday.com has a few more highlights. And here’s video.)