The Philadelphia Eagles and British-born running back Jay Ajayi won their first Super Bowl title as they defeated the defending champions the New England Patriots 41-33 in a high-scoring thriller.
Over 1,000 offensive yards were piled up in Minnesota and it was the Eagles that came out on top and prevented 40-year-old Patriots quarterback Tom Brady winning a record sixth ring.
Ajayi, who lived in London until the age of seven, contributed 57 yards on the ground and became a Super Bowl champion just four months after he was stunningly traded by the Miami Dolphins.
The NFC Champion Eagles had been viewed as underdogs with New England seeking a third title in four years, and a sixth in 17, but back-up Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles threw 373 yards and three scores, and even had a receiving touchdown in one of the craziest Super Bowls ever.
After both teams traded field goals to start, Foles and Alshon Jeffery’s 34-yard hook up, that saw the Philadelphia wide receiver make a grab at the back of the end zone, provided the first touchdown.
Ex-Patriot LeGarrette Blount’s 21-yard dash extended the Eagles’ lead to 15-3 before a Stephen Gostkowski field goal and James White’s rushing score, which came after Foles threw his only interception, reduced the deficit.
Yet Philadelphia would enter the interval 10 points up thanks to a play call in the final 40 seconds. On fourth-and-goal, the Eagles called a gadget play where the ball was snapped to Corey Clement, flipped to Trey Burton and then thrown to Foles, whose first career reception was a Super Bowl touchdown.
New England, down 22-12, had been trailing at half-time of last year’s Super Bowl and would fall 28-3 behind to the Atlanta Falcons then before completing an improbable comeback in overtime.
There was more emphasis on throwing to Rob Gronkowski in the second half and the tight end, who caught just one pass in the opening two quarters, snagged Brady’s first touchdown toss.
The Eagles fired back midway through the third quarter. If the Foles touchdown was creative, this Clement grab was controversial.
Foles dropped another inch-perfect pass into his receiver’s hands but the ball appeared to come loose before his second foot went out of bounds. A touchdown was awarded on the field and, after consulting video replays, the score stood.