It’s fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line, with 38 seconds left in the half. You have a three-point lead against the greatest dynasty in football history. Also, it’s the Super Bowl. What play would you call?
Anybody who’s watched the Eagles under head coach Doug Pederson this season knows they were going to forgo the field goal with an analytically inclined aggressiveness, but nobody, not even Belichick Tha God himself, could have possibly expected this.
Foles, from the shotgun, walks up to the line to communicate protections with his offensive linemen—like we’ve seen a thousand times. And then, brilliance: Foles simply slides to his right and joins the formation. Before anyone knows what’s going on, the snap goes directly to Corey Clement, who runs left. He tosses the ball to Trey Burton, a tight end who played quarterback his freshman year at the University of Florida, who rolls right for the reverse, and then tosses the ball to a wide-open Foles in the end zone. In case you’ve forgotten, this was FOURTH-AND-GOAL IN THE SUPER BOWL.
As amazing as that play was, it wasn’t even the first pass to a quarterback in the game. Earlier in the quarter, Tom Brady handed off to running back James White, who tossed the ball to Danny Amendola, who lofted a perfect pass to Brady … who dropped it.
Hopefully a daring reporter asks Brady after the game whether his thumb affected the catch.
Believe it or not, that’s not the first time the Pats have tried that play against the Eagles. The Pats ran a nearly identical play in 2015; that time, Brady managed to hang on to the ball.
Amendola to Brady vs. Eagles.— NFL (@NFL) February 5, 2018
Look familiar? pic.twitter.com/dt4FGM9Mhx
Based on his running on that play, if Brady had reeled in tonight’s pass, he wouldn’t have gone very far.
Gisele Bundchen famously once said that her husband can’t throw the passes and catch them too. Unfortunately for the Patriots, Nick Foles can.