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American Football

The Philly Special: What is it? The story behind the incredible ‘Philly Philly’ Super Bowl trick play

The Philly Special: What is it? The story behind the incredible ‘Philly Philly’ Super Bowl trick playGetty

Sometimes you need to be creative to win games.

The Philadelphia Eagles certainly were on February 4, 2018, against the New England Patriots. The Eagles were facing Tom Brady and the Patriots at Super Bowl LII, and while Philadelphia definitely earned their way into the big game it's fair to say they came into that contest as decided underdogs.

After all, the Pats were defending Super Bowl champs, and they were led by arguably the greatest quarterback of all time who was still at the height of his powers. New England had the experience, the talent and the narrative behind them for another championship victory, but the Eagles were out to prove that they were just as deserving as their fancied opposition.

The Eagles showed right out of the gates that they were no pushovers — a 9-3 Philly lead at the end of the first quarter put New England on notice. But the Pats were always going to push back, and they did just that in the second quarter.

But the Eagles were ready, and with the clock ticking down towards halftime they pulled off one of the most memorable plays in Super Bowl history.

The Philly Special

Leading 15-12 with 38 seconds remaining in the half, the Eagles went for it on 4th & goal. The traditional approach would've been to attempt a relatively easy field goal and bank the three points ahead of the break, but Philadephia head coach Doug Pederson elected to try for the touchdown.

Instead of a regular play, Pederson had quarterback Nick Fole line up behind the Eagles' offensive line, with center Jason Kelce snapping the ball to running back Corey Clement. Instead of looking to make his own way into the end zone, Clement immediately pitched the ball to his left, where tight end Trey Burton was already in motion. Ball in hand, Burton crossed behind Clement and took a few steps back towards the 10-yard line. While everyone was looking at Clement and Burton, Foles had made himself wide open on the right, and an easy lob to the quarterback completed the touchdown.

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With his earlier touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery already in the books, Foles' reception meant that he became the first player in history to both throw and receive a touchdown in a Super Bowl.

But bigger than that, the Eagles headed into the locker room with a 10-point lead. That's significant, because after the Patriots' second-half comeback attempt the Eagles were able to hang on to win the game 41-33 — an eight-point margin of victory.

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