The Most Surprising Moments From Super Bowl 52
The Super Bowl just wrapped up and everybody outside of Boston is pretty happy with the outcome (and everybody inside of Boston are somewhat surprised with the outcome). With the Philadelphia Eagles topping the New England Patriots 41-33, there were plenty of unexpected events and plays throughout the game–and we aren’t just talking about how the refs finally called the Pats for their first offensive penalty of the postseason after swallowing their whistles for most of 2017.
Here are the most surprising happenings from Super Bowl LII.
Defense Wins Championships? Not This Time
We’ve all heard the old adage “Defense wins championships,” borne out time and again in the past by teams like the vaunted 1985 Bears, the Trent Dilfer-led 2000 Ravens, and the 2015 sunset game with Peyton Manning sliding off of the wrong end of the hill. Not this year, however, with both teams marching up and down the field at will. The Patriots’ 33 points were the most ever scored by a losing team in the Big Game, who also managed the most passing yards (505) and most total yards (613) in a postseason game–all of this without punting once. Combined, the two teams combined for the most total yards (1,151), the most passing yards (874), the most passing first downs (42), and the Eagles did punt once–the fewest in a Super Bowl ever.
The Iffy Catch Rule Rears Its Ugly Head
In a season marred by questions of what the heck constitutes a catch, it seems fitting that a couple of scores would be called into question. The first was a Corey Clement catch in which he totally didn’t have control of the ball (shut up, we know what we saw), but it was ruled a catch anyway. The second was when Zach Ertz caught a ball and got it across the goal line after taking three steps and a toe-drag — a move considered an incomplete pass when done by a Pittsburgh Steeler — which was an easy call. Either way, what can be ruled a catch or not will need to be addressed by the league this offseason.
Four Missed Extra Points
Extra points used to be gimme shots, line up and pop it through for a quick and easy. Not this time, however, as the two teams combined for a mindblowing four missed extra points — another Super Bowl record. Okay, so technically only two were actually missed kicks — one by each squad — but the missed two-point conversions count as missed extra points officially. The saddest thing about it is that they were playing indoors, so wind was probably not a factor.
Quarterbacks Getting Their Receiver On
Nick Foles’ touchdown catch was a thing of beauty on 4th and goal. Corey Clement took a direct snap and go the defense to commit hard to the run before dishing it off to tight end Trey Burton, who lobbed it to Foles in eh endzone, making him the second QB to both catch and throw a touchdown in postseason play since 1950, when it didn’t matter. The bests part is that the play took place right after Tom Brady attempted to be a receiver himself, failing miserably in the most meme-able moment of the game.