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Top 10 most memorable plays from Eagles' Super Bowl win

Top 10 most memorable plays from Eagles' Super Bowl win

Let’s relive the Eagles’ 41-33 win over the Patriots in Super Bowl with a collection of photos and videos from the most memorable moments of the game. You may want to bookmark this.

Honorable mention: Patriots’ failed Hail Mary attempt

You could make a case that Tom Brady’s desperation heave as time expired was the most memorable moment of all. Eagles fans will always remember exactly where they were when that pass finally touched the artificial turf and sealed the first Super Bowl championship in franchise history. In a way, the finish was emblematic of the entire season. It took a team effort, with nearly all 11 players on the field playing pivotal roles — Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox pressuring Brady and six Eagles defensive backs engulfing Rob Gronkowski. The play was not without drama, either, as the pass pinballed off bodies in the end zone, staying alive for what felt like an eternity, before eventually falling incomplete. It was a special moment, probably worthy of a place on this list.

At the same time, it was highly improbable the Patriots were going to convert on a Hail Mary from 51 yards out, and even then, they still needed a two-point conversion to tie. In terms of Super Bowl lore, this game won’t be remembered for coming down to the last second. It were these 10 plays the Eagles made earlier that made the sweetest of endings possible.

10. Torrey Smith’s helmet catch

In the grand scheme, Smith’s grab wasn’t the most pivotal. Not that it was unimportant — the 15-yard conversion on 3rd-and-12 extended the Eagles’ opening drive, which ultimately ended in three points. It was the manner in which Smith caught the ball, pressing it against the crown of his helmet to secure possession. The play was reminiscent of New York Giants legend David Tyree’s catch 10 years earlier in Super Bowl XLII, which led to the end of the Patriots’ bid for a perfect season.

Smith’s catch wasn’t as significant or difficult as Tyree’s, but you could tell there was magic in the air when he pulled it off. Video doesn’t do it justice.

9. Jake Elliott’s 46-yard field goal

Let’s set the scene: Elliott’s kick put the Eagles ahead by eight points with 65 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and the Patriots were out of timeouts. Obviously, it was huge, but missing it would have been enormous. Instead of trailing by a touchdown and a two-point conversion and needing to go the length of the field to score, New England would’ve got the ball back at its own 33-yard line, only down by five. Nine times out of 10, Brady will find a way to beat you in that scenario.

Elliott made two extra points and three field goals in the contest, but none more important than this. When it came time to drive a nail into the Patriots’ coffin, the 23-year-old rookie kicker had ice water running through his veins.

8. Corey Clement’s 22-yard touchdown reception

Unfortunately, a long official review in addition to Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels’ insistence this play wouldn’t stand hurts its memorability. It’s a shame, because it may have been the most impressive throw and catch of the entire game. I mean, the window Nick Foles fit this pass into was small and Marquis Flowers was draped all over Clement as the ball arrived. It was a huge play that responded to a Patriots touchdown out of the halftime break and put the Eagles up 29-19 in the third quarter.

Sure, there is a little bobble. It was replay-worthy. There is also no way to definitively say Clement didn’t have control with two feet inbounds. Be sure to thank the announce team for killing the mood on this one.

By the way, Clement finished with four receptions for 100 yards, including a 55-yard catch and run to set up play No. 7 on our list.

7. LeGarrette Blount rumbles 21 yards for a touchdown

Arguably, this wasn't even Blount’s most impressive carry of the night as he ripped off a 36-yard gain earlier. Only this time, the former Patriot took it to the house, running through a Duron Harmon tackle attempt on his way across the goal line. The run gave the Eagles a 15-3 second-quarter lead, and, the irony of Blount's coming back to haunt his old team is not lost. He finished with 90 yards on 14 attempts.

Another great aspect of this play was longtime Eagles tight end Brent Celek, the most tenured player on the roster, making one of the key blocks to spring Blount. Celek didn’t have a catch, nor was he targeted, but his presence was felt in the Super Bowl.

6. Rodney McLeod powerbombs Brandin Cooks

One of the game’s unsung heroes, McLeod twice prevented early Patriots touchdowns. The veteran safety made a shoestring tackle on Gronkowski to stop a walk-in touchdown, after which the Eagles were able to force New England to settle for three. Then, on the very next possession, McLeod sniffed out the jet sweep to Brandin Cooks on 3rd-and-2 and beat the wide receiver to the sticks. What happened next was something out of WWE.

Cooks attempted a hurdle, but McLeod caught him in mid-air and planted him back to the turf for no gain. The Patriots botched the ensuing field goal, allowing the Eagles to maintain their 9-3 lead in the second quarter.

It was one of six tackles for McLeod. Amazingly, it wasn’t the worst thing that happened to Cooks.

5. Malcolm Jenkins absolutely demolishes Cooks

No decent human being is rooting for injuries, but we all know football is a violent sport, and while you hope Cooks is okay, this was a legal play by Jenkins.

Cooks was looking to add to a wide-open 23-yeard reception, but failed to account for Jenkins. The wideout cut in search of open space, but ran right into the Pro Bowl safety coming at full speed and their helmets collided. It would be the end of Cooks’ night. Four players later, the Patriots turned the ball over on downs and the Eagles still led 9-3 in the second.

Unfortunate as the result was, injuries are a part of the game. There’s no question this one altered the contest, as Cooks is New England’s best deep threat.

4. Alshon Jeffery hauls in a 34-yard touchdown

There was some debate as to whether Jeffery is a “true No. 1 wide receiver.” Pretty sure we can close the book on that conversation.

Whatever Jeffery is, he was unreal on this grab. The 6-foot-3, 218-pound wideout was physically dominant, boxing out Eric Rowe before skying over him for the TD reception. The concentration was impeccable, too, as Jeffery got both feet in bounds and without even the slightest bit of ball movement in his hands. It was the first touchdown of the game and gave the Eagles their 9-3 lead in the first quarter. It set the tone for the rest of the contest.

Jeffery made his three catches count as they accounted for 73 yards and that TD.

3. Zach Ertz scores game-winning touchdown

Try as they might have, Michaels and Collinsworth couldn’t ruin this one. Ertz collected his seventh reception of the night, an 11-yard slant. Then he took three steps and dove into the end zone, temporarily losing possession of the football. The play went for an official review, and because of all the controversy over the NFL’s catch rule, the announcers weren’t confident the play would stand. Sanity prevailed, and the Eagles retook the lead with 2:21 to play in the fourth quarter.

They would never look back.

2. Graham’s strip sack

When Graham finally got to Brady for the Eagles’ first sack of the game and Derek Barnett subsequently recovered the loose football with 2:09 left to play, it started to feel real. Perhaps the most important play in franchise history — but not quite the most memorable.

1. 'The Philly Special'

This one requires no introduction.

Nick Foles’ final Super Bowl LII line: 28 for 43, 373 yards, three touchdown passes, one Super Bowl MVP... and a one-yard touchdown reception from Trey Burton to complete the most incredible play in Eagles history.

Joel Embiid belongs among the very best

Joel Embiid belongs among the very best

You can't really fake it at an All-Star Game, especially one where people are actually trying. There's no lucking your way into a couple open shots and a couple generous foul calls and all of a sudden rolling your way to a 30-plus-point game; there's no isolating one defensive mismatch and exploiting it to make yourself look like '01 Shaq. Generally speaking, an All-Star Game shakes out as it should: The best shine the brightest, and those who aren't ready yet fade into the periphery with extra motivation to step things up for next year. 

And that's why it's so awesome that Joel Embiid, a mere 75 games into his NBA career, unquestionably belonged on the biggest stage with the biggest names last night. Playing for Stephen Curry's squad, JoJo posted 19 points on 8-13 shooting, with eight rebounds and two blocks, and a +5 rating for the night — the only positive plus/minus for the Steph starters. 

Out of context, those numbers may not sound particularly impressive for an All-Star outing, considering the final score of 2017's game was 192-182. But thanks to increased financial and personal motivation in this year's game, the competition was ratcheted up, and though the final score was still a robust 148-145 — Team LeBron emerging victorious — no one player really went off in this one, with Team Stephen being led in scoring by DeMar DeRozan and Damian Lillard (21 each). Consider that JoJo's 19 outpaced both teammates James Harden (12 points on 5-19 FG) and Curry himself (13 on 4-14 FG) — only two of the greatest scorers in NBA history. 

And what's more, down the stretch it was Embiid who seemed most ready to rise to the moment. With minutes remaining and his team up one, Embiid posted up LeBron James — LeBron James!! — for an easy bucket, and with the score tied and under a minute left, he got stuck isolated on the perimeter against Paul George, and still ended up blocking George's shot to win the possession back for his team. Had his squad been able to hang on in this one, he would've been able to mount a fairly compelling case for MVP, which would've made him the first player since at least the 20th century to win top honors in his first All-Star appearance. 

Of course, it didn't happen that way, and Team Stephen coach Mike D'Antoni might get most of the blame as to why. With his squad up one and Team LeBron inbounding out of a timeout, D'Antoni opted for some incomprehensible reason to bench Embiid, his best defensive player — which, somewhat unsurprisingly, resulted in LeBron scoring quickly and easily at the basket to go up one, and then DeMar DeRozan throwing the ball away at the other end. Embiid entered for the final possession, with his team needing a three to tie, and he had a chance to hoist one, but understandably passed to Curry, who drove his way into traffic and ended up not even getting a shot off. Team LeBron won, and James took home his third MVP. 

Frustrating finish, but it can't ruin what came before: Joel Embiid squaring off against the best the NBA has to offer, and proving himself a factor. (Also nailed a three and then blocked a Russell Westbrook drive at the other end, btw, so that beautiful random feud lives on.) He got as good as he gave — LeBron drilled a triple in his face immediately after JoJo took him down low — but he was in the mix, and a crucial part of his team's successes and failures. It should be the first of many such All-Star starring roles for Embiid, and hopefully the last for some time that doesn't also include him being flanked by Process Truster in Arms Ben Simmons. 

But even if it isn't — even if nothing good ever happens again with Joel, and we look back at this All-Star Game 25 years from now as the high point of this career — it still would have all been worth it. It was worth it when the team went 10-5 two Januarys ago. It was maybe worth it when Embiid gave his first-ever post-game interview following a Sixers win. 

That's what people will never understand about The Process, and that's what makes nights like this so gratifying. Franchises go decades, entire generations, without getting a moment to feel this way about one of their players, and even getting the chance to feel it about one of ours is worth seasons of sacrifice. JoJo lives, and somewhere in the bowels of the Staples Center last night, Our Once and Always Dark Lord Sam Hinkie had to be there and be smiling. Hope he enjoyed the Fergie national anthem as much as I did, as well. 

JJ Redick responds to video in which he allegedly used racial slur

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SB Nation/Twitter

JJ Redick responds to video in which he allegedly used racial slur

Updated at 12:50 a.m.

Early Sunday, a video surfaced on social media that appeared to put Sixers’ guard JJ Redick in an extremely poor light. Redick has since responded to clear up the situation.

Here’s what happened:

At about 8 a.m., a post appeared on Reddit showing a screenshot and caption alleging that Redick said a racial slur during a video from NBA players wishing Chinese fans a Happy New Year. The video caused a huge uproar on social media. If you wish to see the video, it is located here, at the top.

On the surface, without a response, it looked odd from the start. Redick, who we have come to know as a well-spoken individual who is typically very appreciative of basketball fans, isn’t someone you’d expect this from, let alone with a camera pointing directly at his face with an NBA microphone in front of his lips.

He offered this response on his official Twitter account, saying he was tongue-tied and had no intentions of saying what he did on the video.

Fans reacted on both sides of the issue, some still asking for an apology and others taking Redick for his word. 

On Sunday night, Redick followed up with a longer statement on his Twitter and Instagram, where he further explained himself and indeed issued an apology.

Please read. Thank you.

A post shared by JJ Redick (@jjredick) on

Early Monday, Brooklyn Nets guard Jeremy Lin tweeted a statement saying that he spoke with Redick and believes the Sixers' guard didn't say a racial slur.

With the All-Star Break going on, Redick won’t be available for a few more days for the media to ask him about this. There’s a chance this story will continue into next week.