It was 4th and goal from the one yard line with under :40 remaining in the first half of Super Bowl 52. And with the Eagles leading 15-12, they could have gone conservative, kicked a field goal and headed to the locker room.
Instead, coach Doug Pederson, heeded the advice of many, including his former Hall of Fame teammate in Green Bay, Brett Favre who told his team Saturday night to “stay on the gas.” Pederson elected to keep throwing “hay makers” at the Patriots.
So, instead of kicking, the Eagles rolled out a trick play.
A Serious trick play.
A “reverse pass” that was thrown after a hand off by former Florida Gators QB turned NFL receiver/tight end Trey Burton back to quarterback Nick Foles for a touchdown and at 22-12 halftime lead.
YUP. Nick Foles is catching TD passes.
In the @superbowl.
— NFL (@NFL) February 5, 2018
“Philly Special,” is what Burton told the media after the game was the name of Pederson’s designed play to create misdirection and havoc on the Patriots defense and leave Foles wide open in the right flat. The call worked to perfection, and all Burton had to do was lob it to him.
“I haven’t thrown a pass since college,” Burton continued after the game. “I still can’t believe it. Coach has some guts.”
Pederson did, and one of the gutsiest moments in recent Super Bowl history, a non QB throwing to a QB in on 4th down, paid off for a TD.
Later in the post game media mayhem, Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich provided more details on where they saw and copied the play:
#Eagles OC Frank Reich said they got the 4th and 1 trick play thrown to Nick Foles from #Bears and Dowell Loggains. Cam Meredith threw a 2-yard TD to Matt Barkley vs #Vikings last year here. Same end zone at US Bank Stadium too.
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) February 5, 2018
And while he was a prominent QB at Venice High School, he turned into a receiver at the end of career in Gainesville, and it’s how ended up in the lineup and on the field for the Eagles Sunday night in Minneapolis.
Yes, there were a ton of plays in the second half, and yes, Tom Brady led the Patriots to three TD drives to take a 33-32 lead. And yes, Foles hit another tight end, Zach Ertz with a spectacular TD on what turned out to be the game winner late in the fourth.
Still, one of the most talked about plays of an historic Eagles win (their first championship in 58 years), was thrown by….Trey Burton.
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