The Chicago Bears made their mark on Super Bowl LII, and it goes far beyond the three catches, 73 yards, and touchdown reception from Alshon Jeffery.
In a week where Jordan Howard called Dowell Loggains’ offense “basic,” Alex Smith suggested quarterback Mitch Trubisky wasn’t used correctly, and Darren Sproles’ said that Tarik Cohen could have been used differently, it was a play Loggains ran 13 months ago that proved to be the inspiration for the Philadelphia Eagles.
With the Eagles looking at a 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard-line, running back Corey Clement took a direct snap and dashed left, only to hand the ball off to tight end Trey Burton on a reverse. From there, Burton, while rolling right, unleashed a quick pass to quarterback Nick Foles, who slipped behind the Patriots defense and into the end zone.
Here’s how the play unfolded:
YUP. Nick Foles is catching TD passes.
In the @superbowl.
— NFL (@NFL) February 5, 2018
And here’s the original, with Jeremy Langford receiving the direct snap, Cameron Meredith getting the reverse pitch, and Matt Barkley catching the touchdown:
— NFL (@NFL) January 1, 2017
The common thread tying the two together: Alshon Jeffery running a route at the top of the screen that cleared out that side of the end zone, leaving a vacant area for an easy pitch-and-catch opportunity.
Eagles Offensive Coordinator Frank Reich said the team saw the Bears run it in 2016 and installed it late in the season, according to Adam Hoge of WGN Radio. But instead of using it against the Vikings, Reich kept the play in his bag of tricks until the Super Bowl. Good call, coach.
As for Loggains, his offenses (generally) were underwhelming … but the trick plays were fun. We’ll always look back fondly on the time Trubisky converted a razzle-dazzle two-point conversion in his debut and when Cohen threw a touchdown pass to Zach Miller. It’s unfortunate the rest of the offense wasn’t as imaginative as that handful of plays. Perhaps things could have gone differently in Chicago.