By Ovunc Kutlu
NEW YORK (AA) - The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots 41 to 33 to win the 52nd Super Bowl, their first championship title since 1960.
Dubbed as the most-watch televised sporting event in the U.S., the final game of the National Football League (NFL) showcased defending champions Patriots against the Eagles, who were viewed as underdogs, in the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
It was an offensive showdown from the kick-off. As the Eagles took the lead, the Patriots responded shortly after with a field goal kick. Both teams' offenses went up and down the field for the most part of the first half.
The Patriots' wide receiver Brandin Cooks took a helmet-to-helmet hit in the second quarter requiring him to leave the game. Cooks, who was reported to have a head injury, did not return to the game.
The Eagles head coach Doug Pederson made a gutsy decision to call a surprise play on the fourth down towards the end of the second quarter. Philadelphia tight-end Trey Burton made a one-yard pass to quarterback Nick Foles to end the first half 22-12 in favor of the Eagles.
In the third quarter, the Patriots' veteran quarterback Tom Brady, 40, carried his team by completing passes to his favorite target tight-end Rob Gronkowski.
New England took their first lead of the game early in the fourth quarter with the scoreboard showing 33-32.
The Eagles, however, came back as Foles threw the ball to Philadelphia tight-end Zach Ertz who jumped into the end zone for a touchdown.
Brady's hail-mary to Gronkowski in the final seconds of the game was deflected by the Philadelphia defense to end the game 41-33, giving the Eagles their first Super Bowl title in franchise history, and their first NFL championship title after 57 years and 40 days.
"I was hoping it was incomplete," said Pederson referring to Brady's hail-mary after the game.
"This is a resilient group. We have the best fans in the world, now we have the best team in the world," he added, who was coaching high-school football nine years ago, and has only been the head coach of the Eagles for two seasons.
"If there is a word called 'everything', this means it for all the Eagle fans everywhere," said Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie as he lifted up the Vince Lombardi trophy.
Foles, who was chosen the Super Bowl most valuable player, said: "Just another game. Unbelievable. I felt calm, we felt confident coming in. We dreamed about this moment."
The two teams combined for 1,152 yards for offense -- the most in an NFL post-season game.
The 33 points that was scored by the Patriots was the most ever scored by the losing side in a Super Bowl game, while Brady's 505 passing yards was a post-season NFL record.
During the half-time show, singer Justin Timberlake got thumbs up from fans and critics. Hollywood star Bradley Cooper, singer/actress Jennifer Lopez and boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. were among those in the stands.
The pre-game analysis show on the American network NBC was sponsored by Turkish Airlines, which also had a commercial shown during the first quarter starring world-famous Turkish-American surgeon and TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz.