After the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory over the Patriots on Sunday, Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson received lavish praise for his decision not only to go for it on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line late in the first half but also to call a trick play in that high-pressure situation.
The Eagles’ play call — Philly Special, as we’ve since learned — required Foles to slyly line up as a tight end, then for running back Corey Clement to take the snap and pitch it to tight end Trey Burton, who would then toss it to Foles. The play worked to perfection, with Foles catching a touchdown pass to give the Eagles a 22-12 lead. Pederson looked like a genius.
But as we learned Tuesday thanks to video from Showtime’s Inside the NFL, it was actually not Pederson who called Philly Special. It was Foles. Check out their exchange:
— Inside the NFL (@insidetheNFL) February 6, 2018
Here’s another view of the same events, via the Eagles’ Twitter account:
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) February 6, 2018
Imagine being a backup quarterback, thrust into the starting role by injury, maligned and doubted by half the country, who nonetheless asks for a trick play on one of the most important snaps of your life. That takes some sort of guts.
Kudos to Pederson for having such a nifty play at his disposal and for going along with his quarterback’s suggestion when many other coaches would have opted for something more conservative. But the guy who really deserves credit for what could become one of football’s most famous plays is the man who called for the ball an then caught it in the end zone, Nick Foles.