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Eagles win first Super Bowl by dethroning Brady and the Patriots

Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Football

MINNEAPOLIS -- About 30 minutes before kickoff of Super Bowl LII, former Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook appeared on the U.S. Bank Stadium big screen and led the team's boisterous faithful in a thunderous version of "Fly, Eagles, Fly."

Before the New England Patriots got the ball for the first time, "Gonna Fly Now," the theme from the movie "Rocky," blared over the speakers.

And when the game ended Sunday, the Eagles, their fans and the city of Philadelphia were soaring.

Nick Foles, a backup at the start of the season, passed for 373 yards and three touchdowns -- and also caught a touchdown pass -- as the Eagles won the Super Bowl for the first time by defeating the defending champion Patriots, 41-33, before a crowd of 67,612.

Foles, who stepped in for injured Carson Wentz in a Week 14 win, was named Super Bowl most valuable player after outscoring Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, the NFL MVP and future Hall of Famer.

"I felt calm," said Foles, who considered retirement after he was released by the Los Angeles Rams before the 2016 season. "We felt confident coming in and we just went out there and played football.

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"We've played this game since we were little kids. We dreamed about this."

On a day when the temperature was below zero outside the stadium, the Eagles warmed the hearts of NFL fans who had grown tired of the Patriots' domination.

Second-year Eagles coach Doug Pederson put the finishing touch on a 13-3 season that was followed by playoff victories over Atlanta and Minnesota. The Eagles won their first NFL championship since 1960, when they defeated the Green Bay Packers in the pre-Super Bowl era.

They had lost to Brady and the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX to cap the 2004 season, and to the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XV at the end of the 1980 season. But now they are finally champions.

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