The Philadelphia Eagles are the 2017 NFL Champs. After completing one of the most improbable seasons ever, the Eagles brought home their first Lombardi Trophy and gave the home fans something to riot about. Back up quarterback Nick Foles played a game for the ages. He threw for 374 yards and 3 touchdown passes and caught a touchdown pass on a flawlessly executed quarterback eligible play that many consider to be one of the Super Bowl’s greatest ever plays. Foles was rightly named the MVP of the game.
Defensively, the Eagles gave up 33 points, the most points ever by a losing team in the big game but they came up with just enough big plays to seal the win. Foles had plenty of help from his offensive line and his two big running backs, LeGarrette Blount and Jay Ajayi, as they found the Patriots’ defensive interior a bit soft. Blount became one of only two players to win back-to-back Super Bowl rings with different teams. He played for New England in 2016-17. Eagles special teams helped by keeping the Pats deep in their own territory when they took the ball and making them work for their yards. Rookie kicker Jake Elliott missed an extra point. Head Coach Doug Peterson and his staff did an outstanding job of managing the game from the sidelines.
Tom Brady , the oldest player ever to start a Super Bowl game, was brilliant in the loss. At age 40, he played like a man half his age and threw for 505 yards, a post season game record, and three touchdowns. He did, however, muff a play that could have changed the outcome of the game. He dropped a pass while in the open that he might have scored on. He also lost his favorite wide receiver Brandon Cooks to a possible concussion in second quarter. After a quiet first half, tight end Rob Gronkowski was a monster in the second half, catching 2 touchdowns and running over the Eagles’ secondary. The Pats defense just was not as effective as it usually is. They did pick off a Foles pass but they were off just enough for the Eagles to take advantage of them. Starting cornerback Malcolm Butler was benched and saw no action at all for violating a minor team rule. It made a difference. Butler is at the end of his contract with the Pats and it might have been Coach Belichick’s way of saying Butler is no longer wanted by the team. The usually reliable Steve Gostowski missed a field goal attempt and an extra point. So it wasn’t a great night for place kickers.
So its in the history books. Eagle fans are joyous. New England haters are ecstatic. And the NFL can be content that it was a championship game worthy of the name.
Hamson, Simms Sign Deals to Return to Fever
INDIANAPOLIS – Head Coach and General Manager Pokey Chatman recently announced that reserve center Jennifer Hamson and backup guard Jennie Simms have signed contracts to return to the Indiana Fever in 2018. Hamson and Simms both joined the Fever in the middle of the 2017 season and saw limited action.
Hamson, a 6-7 center and two-year WNBA veteran, saw action in 12 games after joining the club in mid-July. Simms finished her rookie campaign with the Fever, after playing in 10 games with the Washington Mystics through July.
Though the athletes didn’t play much in the 2017 season, both showed potential to grow with the team. A WNBA playoff participant in a league-record 12 straight seasons (2005-16) and 13 times since 2002, the Fever have reached at least the conference finals eight times in the past 13 years — including WNBA Finals appearances in 2009 and 2015, and a WNBA championship in 2012.