In what will go down as a Super Bowl for the ages, the Philadelphia Eagles claimed their first Lombardi Trophy on Sunday night with a 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Here’s a look at whose stock is rising and whose is falling after an instant classic:
• Philadelphia DE Brandon Graham: The Eagles had not sacked Patriots quarterback Tom Brady all game, but Graham changed that in the fourth quarter. After the Eagles went ahead, 38-33, on a touchdown catch by Zach Ertz, the Patriots got the ball back with 2:21 remaining. Facing a second and 2 from the New England 33-yard line, Brady dropped back to pass, but Graham got to Brady, knocking the ball out of his hand. The fumble was recovered by rookie Derek Barnett, putting the Eagles in position to add a field goal – and bleed more of the clock. On a night when the defenses didn’t do much, Graham’s play was huge.
• Philadelphia QB Nick Foles: Just as we all expected, the Eagles’ backup quarterback went 28 of 43 for 373 yards and three touchdowns. Foles went toe to toe with the best quarterback of all time and never once blinked, capping a fourth-quarter comeback with his 5-yard touchdown throw to Ertz. Foles also became the first player in Super Bowl history to catch and throw a touchdown in the same game. He was a deserving MVP — maybe the unlikeliest in Super Bowl history.
• New England QB Tom Brady: Yes, he lost the fumble at the end, but Brady went 28 of 48 for 505(!) yards and three touchdowns. His performance Sunday, at 40 years old, only solidified his standing as the best quarterback of all time.
• New England CB Malcolm Butler: To be fair, this isn't totally on him. Butler was reportedly sick leading up to the game, although he was not listed on the final injury report. Patriots coach Bill Belichick told NBC during the game that he "made the decisions that give us the best chance to win," when asked about Butler's playing status. Sick or not, the Patriots clearly could have used Butler as their secondary got shredded by Foles and Co.
• New England S Devin McCourty: He had coverage against Ertz on the Eagles' go-ahead touchdown, but lost his balance and wasn't able to prevent the Philadelphia tight end from crossing the goal line. McCourty otherwise had seven tackles and two passes defensed, but those will be forgotten because of how the game ended.
• New England G Shaq Mason: Similar to McCourty, someone has to take the blame for the Brady sack, and it falls on Mason, who was beaten at the line of scrimmage by Graham.