At the end of a dud of a first half of the NFL season opener, Philadelphia Eagles fans were already fed up.
The Eagles, 30 minutes in football time from seeing a Super Bowl banner raised, were treated to a chorus of boos from the home crowd as they left the field trailing the Atlanta Falcons, 6-3.
Doug Pederson lines up another trick play
In the second half, head coach Doug Pederson knew exactly what to do.
He appeared to resurrect one of the biggest plays in Super Bowl history by dialing up a fresh take on the Philly Special.
In a play that resembled the iconic fourth-and-1 touchdown play from Super Bowl LII, quarterback Nick Foles handed the ball off to running back Corey Clement, who tossed the ball on an end-around to wide receiver Nelson Agholor with the Eagles facing third and five just over midfield.
By the time the Falcons realized what hit them, Agholor found a streaking Foles wide open down the sideline for a 15-yard gain and first down.
Patriots, not Philly Special, inspired trick play
The drive ended with Jay Ajayi crossing the goal line for the first touchdown of the NFL season.
While the Philly Special is the first thing to come to mind from Thursday’s play, one astute NFL writer pointed out that it closely resembled a New England Patriots play from the same Super Bowl.
The Patriots' play from the Super Bowl vs. the Eagles' play tonight pic.twitter.com/dhJKUpBlDs
— Sean Wagner-McGough (@seanjwagner) September 7, 2018
Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson confirmed that the Patriots did inspire the play while taking a knock at Tom Brady in the process.
Eagles OT Lane Johnson on Nelson Agholor’s throw to Nick Foles, tells team broadcast it wasn’t Philly Special: “It was the same play the Patriots used — the one that Tom dropped.”
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) September 7, 2018
After the game, Pederson shared name the name of the play that is sure to sit well with Eagles fans.
Yep, THAT play was called "Philly,Philly"
Doug talks about it here.
Join us right now for Eagles Postgame Live on NBC Sports Philadelphia. pic.twitter.com/pjBhB3wMZJ
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) September 7, 2018
He also admitted to taking a page from the Patriots playbook.
“That’s where we got it from,” Pederson said when asked about the resemblance to the failed Patriots play in the Super Bowl. “We just put different people in the game.”
Trey Burton was watching
Trey Burton, now a Chicago Bear after making the famous Super Bowl throw to Foles, was a fan regardless of the inspiration.
The touchdown drive proved be the difference in an 18-12 Eagles win.
Credit to Pederson for proving once again that Eagles opponents should always expect the unexpected.
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