The former Eagles QB who scored the first 'Philly Special' touchdown

Nick Foles and his teammates go wild after the quarterback scored on a pass from tight end Trey Burton with 34 seconds left in the first half of Super Bowl 52.

Colleague Jeff McLane dug deep into the “Philly Special” gadget play that is going to forever be one of the symbols of the Eagles’ first Super Bowl championship.

During Wednesday afternoon’s press conference, coach Doug Pederson confirmed that it was a play run by the Chicago Bears in the 2016 season. McLane previously reported that Eagles assistant quarterbacks coach Press Taylor brought the play to Pederson.

[Jeff McLane: Play wasn’t in Eagles playbook until the Minnesota game]

The plays were the same. The situations couldn’t have been more different.


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The Eagles used it as a boost to win a Super Bowl. The Bears ran it against the Vikings in the final week of a miserable season in the middle of an equally miserable game.

And, furthering the unlikeliness of this whole thing, the player who scored the touchdown was Matt Barkley, the former Eagles quarterback drafted by Chip Kelly.

The Bears, however, got drilled in the game, 38-10, to finish the season 3-13. They also let wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who is lined up at the top of the screen on this play, walk in free agency. He signed, of course, with the Eagles and caught a touchdown of his own in the Super Bowl.

[Relive the Eagles’ Super Bowl championship season with our limited edition commemorative book]

There are similarities in the plays, as well. Wide receiver Cameron Meredith tossed it easily to Barkley toward the end of the first half. And the game also was played in Minneapolis, site of Super Bowl LII. The Eagles had added “Philly Special” to their playbook before the NFC championship game against the Vikings, but never needed it.

“It was the right time at the right moment,” Pederson said Wednesday, fighting back a huge grin. “Obviously, it will be a pretty famous play talked about for a long time.”

From the high school ranks

Had a reader tweet this. Note the St. Joe’s Prep version at the end. Great stuff.

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