The Eagles won and the Pats lost, but there were plenty of other winners and losers Sunday night. Here are some of the biggest on each end.
The Eagles were the underdog in all three of their playoff games and Foles was a big reason. The quarterback took over for Carson Wentz after the MVP candidate tore his ACL in Week 14. Foles was ready to retire after his stint with the Los Angeles Rams. All he did Sunday night was put up 373 yards passing, with three passing TDs and one receiving. He was rightfully named the 2018 Super Bowl MVP.
Foles is the third QB to start and win the Super Bowl after starting three or fewer games in the regular season, joining Doug Williams (Washington, Super Bowl XXII) and Jeff Hostetler (New York Giants, Super Bowl XXV).
Foles signed a five-year, $27.5 million deal with the Eagles before the 2017 season. The final three years of the deal void if he is still on the roster after the 2018 season. Wentz is the undisputed long-term starter in Philly, but Foles' trade value skyrocketed with his play this postseason. Look for the Eagles to trade Foles once Wentz is healthy. Foles will be able to cash in as an NFL starting QB.
The Eagles coach went toe-to-toe with Bill Belichick, who is widely considered the best coach in the history of the sport by many. Pederson was bold and did not shy away in the big moment. He kept the foot on the gas, including two fourth-down conversions (his team converted an NFL-high 17 during the regular season). The Eagles were reportedly ready to hire Ben McAdoo as their coach in January 2016 before he accepted the same job with the New York Giants. Two years later McAdoo is out of a job and Pederson is a Super Bowl champion and guarenteed never to have to pay for another meal in the City of Brotherly Love.
The e-commerce giant Fanatics handles licensed merchandise for the NFL and runs the NFL Shop. The NFL bought a 3% stake in the company in 2017. The first Super Bowl title in Eagles history will likely set off a feeding-frenzy of Philly fans buying championship gear. The company is probably going to move more merch than if the Patriots had come out on top -- Pats fans are fully stocked on championship products after five titles.
Regular season ratings for the NFL were off 10% this season and postseason ratings were off as well. The Super Bowl will draw more than 100 million views on TV, but almost certainly won’t reach the 114.4 million average audience record from 2015. NBC couldn’t have asked for a better game though. The close, high-scoring contest that came down to the final play likely kept people glued to their sets to the end. NBC used the game as a promotional vehicle for the Winter Olympics, which begin on Friday on the Peacock Network.
This is the third time Timberlake has been part of the Super Bowl halftime show. First was with his former band *NSYNC in 2001 and then the infamous wardrobe malfunction with Janet Jackson in 2004. This was his first time as the headliner and reviews were mixed. Timberlake rolled out his usual hits with well-choreographed dance moves. The show featured JT performing a duet of sorts with the deceased pop star Prince of the Minnesota native's hit "I Would Die 4U" as a clip from “Purple Rain” was projected on a curtain hanging from the roof.
Timberlake is a big winner though. Halftime show stars typically enjoy double- and triple-digit percentage spikes in consumption of their music after the Big Game. Timberlake also dropped his new album Man of the Woods on Friday and has a tour kicking off in March. Timberlake also debuted the Air Jordan III JTH collection during his performance. It is a collaboration between Timberlake and Nike’s Tinker Hatfield. The shoes were released on SNKRS during the game.
The quarterback had a rough season as his team struggled to a 3-13 record, but Manning once again showed his comedic chops in a commercial. The 60-second spot starring Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. took place in the Giants practice facility with the two celebrating a touchdown recreating the iconic dance scene from the movie "Dirty Dancing," with Manning in the Patrick Swayze role and Beckham playing Jennifer Grey.
It was choreographed by Stephanie Klemons from the Tony Award-winning musical, "Hamilton." "Celebrations were a highlight of this season, and we had so many breakout moments where players showed their creativity together," said Dawn Hudson, NFL Chief Marking Officer. "We wanted to keep that fun going for the Super Bowl and give our fans something to smile and laugh at that was just about football and how awesome it is to be part of a team."
The Patriots cornerback made one of the biggest plays in Super Bowl history three years ago with his game-winning interception against the Seattle Seahawks. He was limited to special teams play during the game. "I made the decisions that give us the best chance to win," Belichick told NBC's Michelle Tafoya at halftime.
Butler entered 2017 looking for a blockbuster payday as a free agent this March, but he struggled this season on the field relative to his past two years. The Super Bowl benching will not help his free agency case.
The NFL got a great game in its showcase event, but a season marred by the catch and no-catch issue suitably ended with it cropping up once again on the biggest stage. The Eagles got the benefit of the doubt on two touchdown reception calls that went to review and could have been overturned.
Thirty-second ad spots cost more than $5 million for the Super Bowl this year and NBC was expected to net $500 million from commercials during its coverage of the game. Most failed to leave an impression and some created a backlash, like the Dodge Ram ad that used a speech given by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as the voice-over. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said in a note to the media: "The Ram Truck brand believes in Dr. King’s notion that 'everybody can be great because everybody can serve,' and Ram owners demonstrate this commitment every day in lending helping hands to their families, friends and communities." Most found the idea of using Dr. King as a car salesman distasteful.
Beyond the Manning-Beckham ad, several others got high marks from viewers, with a star-studded Amazon Alexa ad topping the widely-followed USA Ad Meter. The Manning ad finished second, followed Budweiser's "Stand By You"and Doritos Blaze vs. Mountain Dew Ice.
Brady won his third regular season MVP Saturday night and set a Super Bowl record with 505 passing yards, breaking his own record of 466 set last year in the Pats overtime win over the Atlanta Falcons. Brady was masterful once again in the playoffs and should not shoulder any of the blame for the loss. Brady has established his credentials as the greatest QB of all time and labeling Brady a loser is tricky.
But a third loss in the Super Bowl ultimately dings his legacy when compared to the greats in other sports like Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky. The Jordan comparison was popular ahead of Super Bowl LII with Brady having a chance to match MJ's six titles and put his name on the Mount Rushmore of all athletes. Similar to LeBron James, Brady always seems to be there at the end but is not always holding the trophy. Brady says he'll be back next year and the Pats are already the overwhelmingfavorite to win the 2019 Super Bowl.read more