Final, Eagles 41-33: For the first time in the Super Bowl era, the Philadelphia Eagles are champions of the NFL.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw for 505 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions, but his late fumble helped doom the Patriots in their third Super Bowl loss of the Bill Belichick era.
On defense, New England simply could not stop Eagles backup quarterback Nick Foles, who finished with 373 yards and three scores and also caught a touchdown pass en route to earning Super Bowl MVP honors. The Patriots played the entire game without starting cornerback Malcolm Butler, who dressed but did not play in what Belichick deemed a coach’s decision.
Fourth quarter, 1:05, Eagles 41-33: The Patriots’ defense held the Eagles to three plays and a field goal. Tom Brady will have one final chance.
Fourth quarter, 2:09, Eagles 38-33: After a relatively quiet night by its standards, the Eagles’ defensive line finally got to Tom Brady at the worst possible time for the Patriots.
Brandon Graham jarred the ball loose from the Patriots quarterback, and Derek Barnett recovered.
Fourth quarter, 2:21, Eagles 38-33: How did the Eagles respond to their first deficit of the game? By staging a 14-play touchdown drive that took 6:52 off the clock.
Philadelphia converted one third down and one fourth down on the drive, and Nick Foles was surgical, completing passes of 10, 18 and 10 yards before connecting with Zach Erz on a go-ahead touchdown strike.
Kyle Van Noy broke up the ensuing two-point conversion attempt. Tom Brady and the Patriots need a touchdown.
Fourth quarter, 9:22, Patriots 33-32: For the first time tonight, the Patriots have the lead.
After beginning the drive with a few strong runs by Rex Burkhead — who’s been on the sideline for most of the game — the Patriots got a 7-yard completion to Danny Amendola on third-and-3 to move the chains and a 30-yarder to Amendola one play later.
Tom Brady capped things off with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski — Gronk’s second of the night.
Now, the Patriots’ defense needs to hold.
Fourth quarter, 14:09, Eagles 32-26: The Patriots’ defense surrendered another 51 yards on eight Eagles plays, but a huge stop by Marquis Flowers on a third-down screen pass forced Philadelphia to settle for a field goal.
This has been a shootout of historic proportions tonight, with the all-time Super Bowl yardage record already falling with 14 minutes still to play.
Third quarter, 3:23, Eagles 29-26: Tom Brady now is over 400 passing yards, and there still are more than three minutes left in the third quarter.
After converting a third-and-2 with an 18-yard strike to Danny Amendola, Brady fired a 26-yard touchdown pass to Chris Hogan to bring the Patriots back within three.
Brady is up to 404 passing yards on just 19 completions. It’s the second 400-yard playoff game of his career.
Third quarter, 7:18, Eagles 29-19: The Eagles’ lead is back to 10 after a beautiful touchdown pass from Nick Foles to Corey Clement.
Officials reviewed the play — the ball appeared to shift while Clement was bringing it down — but ultimately, the touchdown stood.
Patriots safety Patrick Chung left the field with an injury during the drive. He would be a massive loss for a Patriots defense that already is playing without cornerback Malcolm Butler, who hasn’t seen the field yet tonight.
Chung was treated in the medical tent and remained on the sideline afterward.
Third quarter, 12:15, Eagles 22-19: With Brandin Cooks out, the Patriots are going to need Rob Gronkowski to have a big second half. He’s off to a good start.
After catching just one pass on six targets for 9 yards over the first two quarters, the tight end had four catches on five targets for 68 yards and a touchdown on New England’s opening drive of the third.
Third quarter, 15:00, Eagles 22-12: The second half is underway.
Halftime, Eagles 22-12: Take a bow, Doug Pederson. That was one heck of a play call.
The Eagles called a reverse pass on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line, and they executed it perfectly, with tight end Trey Burton connecting with a wide-open Nick Foles for an easy touchdown.
The touchdown came one play after Stephon Gilmore broke up a pass intended for Alshon Jeffery in the end zone.
Philadelphia picked up 55 yards on third-and-3 earlier in the drive when Corey Clement caught a short pass from Foles and raced down the middle of the field.
New England came up empty on the final drive of the half, taking a 10-point deficit into the locker room.
Second quarter, 2:04, Eagles 15-12: A defensive holding call on third down extended the Patriots’ drive. Chris Hogan and James White took care of things from there.
Tom Brady and Hogan connected on a 43-yard bomb to bring New England into Philadelphia territory, and White took a handoff 26 yards for a touchdown on the very next play. It was a LeGarrette Blount-esque romp by a back who isn’t known for his power.
Stephen Gostkowski proceeded to miss the ensuing extra point, however, his second missed kick of the evening.
Second quarter, 5:00, Eagles 15-6: There’s a break the Patriots most certainly needed.
After allowing a 26-yard run to Jay Ajayi, New England’s defense created its first turnover of the postseason, with Duron Harmon intercepting a pass intended for Alshon Jeffery near the goal line.
Stephon Gilmore applied solid coverage on the play, and Jeffery’s attempt to haul in the pass resulted in him tipping it straight to Harmon.
New England really could use another score before halftime.
Second quarter, 7:24, Eagles 15-6: A 46-yard catch-and-run by Rex Burkhead on the running back’s first touch of the game set up a Stephen Gostkowski field goal, cutting the Eagles’ lead to nine.
Second quarter, 8:48, Eagles 15-3: The Patriots will have to come back from another large deficit if they want to leave Minnesota with the Lombardi Trophy.
Nick Foles completed passes of 19 yards to Zach Ertz and 22 yards to Alshon Jeffery before handing off to LeGarrette Blount, who dashed 21 yards to paydirt for Philadelphia’s second touchdown of the game.
The Eagles went for two after the score but were unsuccessful.
Second quarter, 11:53, Eagles 9-3: The Patriots will be without their No. 1 wide receiver for the rest of the game.
Brandin Cooks was taken straight to the locker room after absorbing a massive hit from Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins. It took the Patriots about five minutes to rule Cooks out for the rest of the game with a concussion.
The Patriots, who now are down to Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola and Phillip Dorsett at receiver, attempted a trick play later in the drive but came up empty, with Tom Brady dropping a reverse pass from Amendola.
A deep pass to Rob Gronkowski on fourth-and-5 fell incomplete, turning the ball over on downs.
Second quarter, 13:11, Eagles 9-3: A Miserable end to a promising drive for the Patriots.
The good: This 50-yard bomb from Tom Brady to Danny Amendola on third-and-7.
The not-so-good: This failed hurdle by Brandin Cooks on third-and-2…
And the missed Stephen Gostkowski field goal that followed it, which featured a bad snap by Joe Cardona.
The Patriots’ defense responded with a big three-and-out, though, after allowing a field goal and a touchdown on each of its first two drives.
First quarter, 2:34, Eagles 9-3: Eric Rowe took Round 2. Alshon Jeffery beat him in the rematch.
Nick Foles and Jeffery connected on a beautiful 34-yard touchdown pass to cap Philadelphia’s second possession, with Rowe, who still is playing over the benched Malcolm Butler, providing coverage on the play.
The score came one play after LeGarrette Blount took an inside handoff and rumbled for 36 yards against his former team.
Jake Elliott, who missed three extra points during the regular season, shanked another to keep the Eagles’ lead at six.
First quarter, 4:17, 3-3: For the first time in the Tom Brady/Bill Belichick era, the Patriots have put points on the board in the first quarter of a Super Bowl.
New England matched Philadelphia’s long field-goal drive with one of its own, with Brady picking up big yardage on short passes to James White (15 yards) and Chris Hogan (28 yards) to set up a 26-yard boot by Stephen Gostkowski.
First quarter, 7:55, Eagles 3-0: That opening possession epitomized bend but don’t break for the Patriots, who surprisingly benched cornerback Malcolm Butler to begin the game.
Nick Foles marched the Eagles all the way down to the Patriots’ 2-yard line on a 14-play, 67-yard drive that included two third-down conversions. Zach Ertz was whistled for a false start on second-and-goal from the 2, however, and Foles threw incomplete into the end zone on the next two plays.
Eric Rowe, who started over Butler and allowed both of Philadelphia’s third-down receptions, broke up a pass intended for Alshon Jeffery on third-and-goal, forcing the Eagles to settle for a Jake Elliott field goal. Linebacker James Harrison applied pressure on each of the Eagles’ final two incompletions.
One stat about the nearly eight-minute drive that will make Patriots fans shudder:
All eyes will be on Butler, who could be playing his final game in a Patriots uniform, the next time New England’s defense takes the field. But first, it’s Tom Brady’s turn.
First quarter, 15:00, 0-0: After a superb rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by P!nk, it’s finally time to play some football.
The Patriots won the opening coin toss and chose to defer. It’ll be Eagles’ ball first as we get underway at U.S. Bank Stadium.
6:13 p.m.: The Patriots were greeted by a hearty chorus of boos from this decidedly pro-Philly crowd as they took the field.
P!nk will sing the national anthem momentarily, and then we’ll get things started from Minneapolis.
5:28 p.m.: Tom Brady has taken the field. Of note: He no longer is wearing tape on his throwing hand, which he injured before the AFC Championship Game.
5:20 p.m.: As expected, Tom Brady confirmed he has no plans to retire after today. The quarterback said in a pregame interview with Westwood One that he will be “playing football next year.”
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport did report, though, that Brady and Bill Belichick have some “issues” to work out after this season.
4:37 p.m.: No surprises on the Patriots’ inactive list, which features just one change from the AFC Championship Game. Offensive tackle LaAdrian Waddle slots back into the lineup, with Cole Croston sitting out.
The Patriots did not report any injuries before this game, so all seven inactives are healthy scratches.
Here are the Eagles’ inactives:
4:07 p.m.: The NFL spends years meticulously preparing for each Super Bowl, but the league apparently forgot to stencil out hash marks over the NFL and Super Bowl LII.
So, two-and-a-half hours before the biggest game of the year, workers are out on the field drawing in the lines by hand.
Some more pregame scenes:
1 p.m.: The Patriots’ inactives won’t be announced for another few hours, but you can expect defensive tackle Alan Branch to be on that list.
Branch was a healthy scratch during the divisional round and AFC Championship Game, and he was spotted ordering Panda Express at the Mall of America this afternoon. Given Ricky Jean Francois’ emergence, there’s no need for the veteran on the Patriots’ defensive line.
12:05 p.m.: Some pregame viewing: Episode 5 of “Tom vs. Time” is out.
10:19 a.m.: Tom Brady’s Super Bowl pump-up video, posted this morning on the quarterback’s social media accounts, features shots of nearly every one of his Patriots teammates during their college days. It also will make you want to run through a brick wall.
Here’s a look at tonight’s Super Bowl venue:
8 a.m. ET: Good morning from spectacular U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, where the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles will square off tonight in Super Bowl LII.
The Patriots are seeking their second consecutive championship, third in four years and sixth since 2001. The Eagles are vying for their first title in the Super Bowl era.
Both teams are fully healthy entering this game, with Rob Gronkowski and Deatrich Wise Jr. clearing concussion protocol for New England and Malcolm Butler and several Eagles players battling through flu-like symptoms earlier in the week.
Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. ET, but be sure to check back here throughout the day for full pregame coverage.
Thumbnail photo via David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports Images