Former Gamecock Alshon Jeffery on the ‘Clemson’ play in Super Bowl

Former Gamecock, now Philadelphia Eagle Alshon Jeffery explains the ‘Clemson’ play they ran in Super Bowl to beat the New England Patriots
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Former Gamecock, now Philadelphia Eagle Alshon Jeffery explains the ‘Clemson’ play they ran in Super Bowl to beat the New England Patriots
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Carolina Panthers

In high-flying game, Eagles win Super Bowl with one defensive play

February 04, 2018 10:33 PM

MINNEAPOLIS

One of the wildest, offensive-dominated games in Super Bowl history was won on defense.

Naturally.

Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham’s strip-sack of Tom Brady – the only sack of the game – stuffed the New England Patriots’ comeback hopes and gave the Eagles a 41-33 victory and the first Super Bowl title in their history.

Brady’s fumble was recovered by Eagles rookie defensive end Derek Barnett at the Patriots’ 31 with 2:09 remaining. Rookie kicker Jake Elliott kicked a game-sealing, 46-yard field goal a minute later.

The teams combined for more than 1,150 yards – destroying the previous combined yardage record before the end of the third quarter.

The game featured passes to both quarterbacks, including a touchdown catch by the Eagles’ Nick Foles in the first half. Foles was equally impressive passing, and showed no nerves in surgically shredding the Patriots’ defense.

Three who mattered

Nick Foles: Carson Wentz’s backup completed the best underdog story in Philly since Rocky Balboa. Making his first Super Bowl start, Foles completed 28 of 43 passes for 373 yards and three touchdowns, with one interception. He also was named MVP.

Tom Brady: The 40-year-old broke his own Super Bowl record (set last year vs. Atlanta) with 505 yards, tossed three TDs and finished with a 115.4 passer rating. But his Super Bowl comeback magic ran out when he allowed Graham to poke the ball loose.

Alshon Jeffery/Stephon Gilmore: The Eagles wide receiver and ex-South Carolina standout, caught three passes for 73 yards in the first half. But when Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore started covering his former Gamecocks teammates full time after halftime, Jeffery didn’t have another reception.

Philadelphia defensive end Brandon Graham’s strip-sack of New England quarterback Tom Brady – the only sack of the game – stuffed the Patriots’ comeback hopes and gave the Eagles a 41-33 victory and the first Super Bowl title in their history.
Matt York AP

Observations

▪  Chasing points cost John Fox in the Panthers’ first Super Bowl appearance. And it nearly bit Eagles coach Doug Pederson on Sunday. The Eagles’ failed two-point conversion in the first half looked like it might loom large when the Patriots took a one-point lead in the fourth quarter.

▪  This felt like progress: When Patriots WR Brandin Cooks was decked by safety Malcolm Jenkins in the second quarter, he was taken immediately to the locker room with a head injury. Within 10 minutes, New England ruled Cooks out for the game.

▪  Pretty shoddy execution of the kicking games by both teams. Jake Elliott and Stephen Gostkowski both missed first-half PATs, and Gostkowski doinked a 26-yard field goal off the upright when a bad snap by Joe Cardona throw off Gostkowski’s timing.

▪  We found one thing Brady can’t do. On a reverse pass in the first half, Danny Amendola hit a wide-open Brady right in the hands. He dropped it.

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz (86) bobbles the ball as he dives into the end zone for a touchdown during the second half of Sunday’s Super Bowl.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Worth mentioning

▪  During a TV timeout in the second quarter, Jersey native and Eagles guy Mike Trout received a big ovation when he was shown on the video boards. The cameras went to Stephen Curry next, and, oddly, Charlotte’s favorite son was booed. Blame the Philly fans.

▪  Sunday marked the first Super Bowl in which both quarterbacks threw for more than 100 yards in the first quarter. The 289 combined yards also was a record.

▪  The NFL is doing more to make the in-game Super Bowl experience raucous. The theme from “Rocky,” a Philly anthem, blared during big moments for the Eagles’ defense. But Patriots’ fans got fired up when the theme from Boston cop flick, “The Departed,” was featured.

Joseph Person: 704-358-5123, @josephperson

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery helps defeat the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII, on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018.

By

Philadelphia

9

13

7

12

41

New England

3

9

14

7

33

First Quarter

Phi—FG Elliott 25, 7:55. Drive: 14 plays, 67 yards, 7:05. Key Plays: Foles 17 pass to Jeffery on 3rd-and-4; Foles 15 pass to Smith; Foles 16 pass to Clement. Philadelphia 3, New England 0.

NE—FG Gostkowski 26, 4:17. Drive: 9 plays, 67 yards, 3:38. Key Plays: Brady 15 pass to White; Brady 28 pass to Hogan. Philadelphia 3, New England 3.

Phi—Jeffery 34 pass from Foles (kick failed), 2:34. Drive: 3 plays, 77 yards, 1:43. Key Play: Blount 36 run. Philadelphia 9, New England 3.

Second Quarter

Phi—Blount 21 run (pass failed), 8:48. Drive: 6 plays, 65 yards, 3:05. Key Plays: Foles 19 pass to Ertz on 3rd-and-7; Foles 22 pass to Jeffery. Philadelphia 15, New England 3.

NE—FG Gostkowski 45, 7:24. Drive: 5 plays, 48 yards, 1:24. Key Play: Brady 46 pass to Burkhead. Philadelphia 15, New England 6.

NE—White 26 run (kick failed), 2:04. Drive: 7 plays, 90 yards, 2:57. Key Plays: J.Mills 5-yard defensive holding penalty on 3rd-and-6; Brady 43 pass to Hogan. Philadelphia 15, New England 12.

Phi—Foles 1 pass from Burton (Elliott kick), :34. Drive: 7 plays, 70 yards, 1:30. Key Play: Foles 55 pass to Clement on 3rd-and-3. Philadelphia 22, New England 12.

Third Quarter

NE—Gronkowski 5 pass from Brady (Gostkowski kick), 12:15. Drive: 8 plays, 75 yards, 2:45. Key Plays: Brady 25 pass to Gronkowski; Brady 24 pass to Gronkowski; Brady 14 pass to Gronkowski on 3rd-and-6. Philadelphia 22, New England 19.

Phi—Clement 22 pass from Foles (Elliott kick), 7:18. Drive: 11 plays, 85 yards, 4:57. Key Plays: K.Grugier-Hill 10-yard illegal block above the waist penalty; Foles 17 pass to Agholor on 3rd-and-6; Blount 10 run; Foles 14 pass to Ertz on 3rd-and-1. Philadelphia 29, New England 19.

NE—Hogan 26 pass from Brady (Gostkowski kick), 3:23. Drive: 7 plays, 75 yards, 3:55. Key Plays: Brady 16 pass to Hogan; Brady 18 pass to Amendola on 3rd-and-2. Philadelphia 29, New England 26.

Fourth Quarter

Phi—FG Elliott 42, 14:09. Drive: 8 plays, 51 yards, 4:14. Key Plays: Foles 24 pass to Agholor; Foles 17 pass to Smith. Philadelphia 32, New England 26.

NE—Gronkowski 4 pass from Brady (Gostkowski kick), 9:22. Drive: 10 plays, 75 yards, 4:47. Key Plays: Brady 7 pass to Amendola on 3rd-and-3; Brady 30 pass to Amendola. New England 33, Philadelphia 32.

Phi—Ertz 11 pass from Foles (pass failed), 2:21. Drive: 14 plays, 75 yards, 7:01. Key Plays: Foles 7 pass to Ertz on 3rd-and-6; Foles 2 pass to Ertz on 4th-and-1; Foles 10 pass to Agholor; Foles 18 pass to Agholor; Foles 10 pass to Agholor. Philadelphia 38, New England 33.

Phi—FG Elliott 46, 1:05. Drive: 4 plays, 4 yards, 1:04. Philadelphia 41, New England 33.

A—67,612.

Phi

NE

FIRST DOWNS

25

29

Rushing

6

4

Passing

19

23

Penalty

0

2

THIRD DOWN EFF

10-16

5-10

FOURTH DOWN EFF

2-2

1-2

TOTAL NET YARDS

538

613

Total Plays

71

72

Avg Gain

7.6

8.5

NET YARDS RUSHING

164

113

Rushes

27

22

Avg per rush

6.1

5.1

NET YARDS PASSING

374

500

Sacked-Yds lost

0-0

1-5

Gross-Yds passing

374

505

Completed-Att.

29-44

28-49

Had Intercepted

1

0

Yards-Pass Play

8.5

10.0

KICKOFFS-EndZone-TB

9-7-6

7-4-3

PUNTS-Avg.

1-41.0

0-0.0

Punts blocked.

0

0

FGs-PATs blocked

0-0

0-0

TOTAL RETURN YARDAGE

98

52

Punt Returns

0-0

0-0

Kickoff Returns

4-98

3-44

Interceptions

0-0

1-8

PENALTIES-Yds

6-35

1-5

FUMBLES-Lost

0-0

1-1

TIME OF POSSESSION

34:04

25:56

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING—Philadelphia, Blount 14-90, Ajayi 9-57, Agholor 1-9, Clement 3-8. New England, White 7-45, Lewis 9-39, Burkhead 3-18, Brady 1-6, Hogan 1-4, Cooks 1-1.

PASSING—Philadelphia, Foles 28-43-1-373, Burton 1-1-0-1. New England, Brady 28-48-0-505, Amendola 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING—Philadelphia, Agholor 9-84, Ertz 7-67, Smith 5-49, Clement 4-100, Jeffery 3-73, Foles 1-1. New England, Gronkowski 9-116, Amendola 8-152, Hogan 6-128, White 2-21, Burkhead 1-46, Cooks 1-23, Dorsett 1-19.

PUNT RETURNS—Philadelphia, None. New England, None.

KICKOFF RETURNS—Philadelphia, Barner 3-73, Clement 1-25. New England, Lewis 3-45.

TACKLES-ASSISTS-SACKS—Philadelphia, Mills 6-3-0, Graham 5-3-0, Bradham 4-3-0, McLeod 4-2-0, Jenkins 4-0-0, Darby 4-0-0, Robinson 3-0-0, Kendricks 2-2-0, Curry 2-2-0, Graham 2-0-1, Allen 1-1-0, Cox 1-0-0, Jernigan 0-1-0, Long 0-1-0. New England, Chung 6-3-0, McCourty 6-1-0, Van Noy 4-1-0, Rowe 4-0-0, Gilmore 4-0-0, Guy 3-3-0, Harmon 3-2-0, Richards 3-1-0, Roberts 2-4-0, Brown 2-4-0, Flowers 2-3-0, Harrison 1-1-0, Butler 1-0-0, Flowers 1-0-0.

INTERCEPTIONS—Philadelphia, None. New England, Harmon 1-8.

MISSED FIELD GOALS—New England, Gostkowski 26.

OFFICIALS—Referee Gene Steratore, Ump Roy Ellison, HL Jerry Bergman, LJ Byron Boston, FJ Tom Hill, SJ Scott Edwards, BJ Perry Paganelli, Replay Paul Weidner.