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New England Patriots cornerback Eric Rowe started Super Bowl LII against the Philadelphia Eagles to the surprise of fans and journalists everywhere.

It also came as a surprise to Rowe, who said afterward that he wasn’t expecting to start until just before the game began.

“No, that wasn’t the plan,” Rowe said, via Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams.

“It wasn’t official until kickoff.”

Rowe started ahead of Malcolm Butler, who was benched on defense for the entirety of the contest despite starting and playing the majority of snaps throughout the season. Butler appeared distraught when shown on camera prior to kickoff.

Related: Malcolm Butler: Patriots ‘gave up on me’ with benching

Rowe struggled throughout the game as the Eagles continuously marched downfield against the Patriots, ultimately emerging with a surprise 41-33 victory.

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Related slideshow: Best of Super Bowl LII (Provided by photo services)

Fans celebrate in Center City after the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots to win the Super Bowl on February 4, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Super Bowl LII

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