Buffalo Bills: The Buffalo connections in Super Bowl 52

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

The Super Bowl 52 matchup between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles featured a lot of familiar faces for Buffalo Bills fans.

The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the highly favored New England Patriots 41-33 in stunning fashion last Sunday in Super Bowl 52. Nick Foles surprisingly had himself a game. Foles threw for 373 yards, three touchdowns and had one interception. He also managed to receive the Super Bowl MVP honors.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was pretty good also, throwing for a Super Bowl record 505 yards, three touchdowns and had no interceptions.

Super Bowl 52 also featured a slew of former Buffalo Bills players and staff members on both sides of the football.

Philadelphia had cornerback Ronald Darby, safety Corey Graham, linebacker Nigel Bradham and injured offensive tackle Jason Peters who were all at some point with the Bills in previous years.

But that is just on the field for the Eagles. The sidelines featured more old faces. Former Bills quarterback Frank Reich was calling the gutsy plays all night long for the Eagles. Reich was appearing in his sixth Super Bowl after four as a backup quarterback to Jim Kelly and two as an assistant, finally earning his coveted ring.

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Lastly, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who was the Bills defensive coordinator during the 2014 season, also finds himself as a Super Bowl champion.

The Patriots had former Bills players on the field as well. Former Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore was going up against a lot of familiar faces in Darby, Graham, and Bradham in the biggest game of his life. Patriots wide receiver Chris Hogan was appearing in his second straight Super Bowl. Also, former Bills running back Mike Gillislee was ruled out for the big game due to a coach’s decision.

As a Bills fan it’s a wonderful sight to see longtime Bills players like Peters, Bradham and Graham not only make it to the big dance but also defeat the AFC East rival Patriots in the Super Bowl.

It’s fascinating to see how a quickly a season can change from Darby’s perspective. Darby was traded from Buffalo to Philadelphia in August after just two seasons with the team. The Eagles gave up a third-round pick and wide receiver Jordan Matthews for Darby who instantly upgraded their secondary.

The two former backbones of the Bills secondary in Darby and Gilmore squared off against each other but only one came away a Super Bowl champion.

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Gilmore shouldn’t fret thought, as the Patriots are early favorites to win next year’s Super Bowl taking place in Atlanta.