New England Patriots

The Philadelphia Eagles apparently just proved that you can be paranoid about the Patriots and still beat them on Sunday.

Eagles long snapper Rick Lovato claimed as much in an interview with 620 WDAE in Tampa (h/t Pro Football Talk). Not that Lovato actually said the Eagles were worried about the Patriots spying on them, but he ostensibly confirmed it when he said the Eagles ran a fake walk-through during the week leading up to Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis.

Apparently, the Eagles just practiced a bunch of plays that they never actually used in the game. They avoided practicing the now-legendary “Philly Special” play that they ran at the goal line on fourth down to score a touchdown and go up 22-12 at halftime.

“I believe our whole walk-through was just a complete fake walk-through,” Lovato said. “We did it at the stadium. There were certain people walking around.

“I believe I overheard someone say a lot of the plays we were running weren’t even plays that were in the playbook for the Super Bowl.”

Nick Foles of the Philadelphia Eagles throws against Trey Flowers during Super Bowl LII. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Nick Foles of the Philadelphia Eagles throws against Trey Flowers during Super Bowl LII. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The Real Problem…

Lovato added that the Eagles essentially had their entire playbook installed for almost the entire two weeks of preparation for the Super Bowl. So there was apparently no need for a real walk-through. It’s worth noting that Lovato is the long snapper, so he didn’t partake in any offensive or defensive walk-throughs. But an actual player on the team is usually pretty reliable source.

Obviously, this is the least of the reasons that the Patriots defense looked so discombobulated against the Eagles offense in the Super Bowl. You can start with the Patriots’ myriad personnel problems with that group. Which were only exacerbated with the domino effect of benching Malcolm Butler. Real or fake, the Eagles’ walk-through probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference, even if the Patriots actually did spy on it.

It’s nonetheless striking that teams are still this worried that the Patriots are watching them. This time, the other team just happened to be the better one when they took the field.

— By Matt Dolloff,

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at