MINNEAPOLIS -- The Philly Special sounds more like a loaded cheesesteak than something you'd see on a football field. Let alone in the Super Bowl.
On Sunday, the Philly Special was the most surprising offensive play in the Eagles' 41-33 upset of the Patriots in Super Bowl LII.
With 38 seconds left in the first half and the Eagles up 15-12, they faced a fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line. Rather than try a field goal, they lined up in shotgun formation. Foles went to the right side of the offensive line, looking like he was giving audible instructions to his linemen.
The ball was snapped directly to running back Corey Clement. While Foles headed right, toward the end zone, Clement ran left, drawing the defense his way. Clement then pitched to tight end Trey Burton, who flipped a pass to Foles, all alone in the end zone. The ensuing extra point gave the Eagles a 22-12 halftime lead.
"That's something we've been working on. Doug and I were talking, and we said, 'Let's just run it.' The end was a little wider than we thought so I really had to sell like I'm not doing anything. It worked," said Foles, who was known for his large hands and wingspan at Westlake High School in Austin, Texas, where he was a football and basketball star. "Trey made an amazing throw, right on the money. I just looked it in. We've repped it for a while so I was excited to get it run in the Super Bowl."
Eagles head coach Doug Pederson was aggressive with his play-calling all game, so the surprise play was perfectly fitting with his approach to his first Super Bowl win as a head coach.
"Part of having a great offensive staff is every week we look at different plays around the league and the collegiate ranks, and things that over the years might fit what we do," Pederson said. "We found this one that fit, and we've been working on it for the last couple weeks and tonight was the night."
The success of the play, which Pederson revealed is called the Philly Special, was doubly painful for the Patriots, who had attempted a similar, unsuccessful, play earlier in the game.
On third-and-five from the Eagles' 35-yard line in the second quarter, the Patriots ran a fake reverse, with Brady getting open to the right for a pass from wide receiver Danny Amendola. Brady was wide open with plenty of room to run in front of him, but Amendola's pass, which may have been thrown slightly high, was just out of Brady's reach.