Not this time.
Everything seemed set up for another miracle Patriots finish. They trailed, 38-33, but they had the ball on their own 25-yard line with 2:25 to play. Their offense had rolled to three touchdowns in three possessions in the second half. It looked like, one year after they set the standard for Super Bowl comebacks, they were going to do it yet again and win their third championship in four years with a fourth-quarter rally.
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And then . . .
On a second-and-two from their own 33, Brady went back to throw. But he was strip-sacked by Brandon Graham, the ball came loose, the Eagles recovered, and the Patriots' reign atop the National Football League was over. The Eagles added a field goal from Jake Elliott and Brady was faced with a rabbit -- 91 yards from the end zone with less than a minute to play and no time outs -- that he couldn't pull out of his hat. (Though, like in Super Bowl 46 against the Giants, they came within a barely-missed Hail Mary as time expired from having a chance to tie the score.) The result was a 41-33 Philadelphia victory that gave the Eagles their first-ever Super Bowl title and prevented the five-time-champ Pats from tying the Steelers for most Super Bowl crowns.
The strip-sack of Brady tarnished a brilliant performance by the 40-year-old quarterback. He threw for a Super Bowl-record 505 yards and three touchdowns and guided the Pats back from deficits of 15-3, 22-12 and 29-22.
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The Pats defense, however, was not nearly as brilliant. The 41 points New England allowed were more than the Pats allowed in any Super Bowl in the Bill Belichick era. They also surrendered 613 total yards, including 373 through the air to MVP Nick Foles. LeGarrette Blount, a former Patriots running back, rushed 14 times for 90 yards and touchdown.
The Patriots offense did its part. It didn't punt and had no turnovers through three quarters. After playing from behind most of the night, Brady gave New England its first lead of the game, 33-32 on a four-yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski with 9:22 to play.
But on the ensuing drive -- during which the Eagles converted a fourth-and-one near midfield that, had the Pats made a stop, would have all but clinched the victory for New England -- Devin McCourty couldn't keep Zach Ertz from stretching the ball across the goal line for an 11-yard touchdown reception from Foles that wound up being the game winner.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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