So, here we are now just three days away from the most anticipated Eagles game in 13 years (unless you think Chip Kelly’s debut in 2013 was more anticipated than a Super Bowl appearance). Everyone and their brother is picking the Patriots. One national moron even picked the Patriots based on how “rude” Eagles fans are. So, let’s just give Tom Brady his 6th Lombardi Trophy and go home, right? Not so fast.
I get that playing the Patriots is the equivalent (or maybe even tougher) than playing the 60’s Packers, 70’s Steelers, 80’s 49ers and the Cowboys of the 90’s. They are a dynasty, formed right before our eyes. Despite what you might read, The 2017 team isn’t as good as those other Patriot teams, and let’s face facts – the AFC East hasn’t been the toughest division in the NFL during this run. The Patriots defense is 29th in yards allowed despite being a top 5 scoring defense. The Eagles aren’t exactly a 9-7 six seed that got hot late and got on a run. Before Wentz got hurt they were considered the best team in the NFL. They are balanced, and their front seven led by Cox, Graham, Jernigan and Curry is dominant. Just ask the Falcons and Vikings. Their offense put up 31 points on the best defense in the NFL, completing four passes of 35 or more yards in the process. To put that into perspective, Tom Brady has one pass of 35 yards or more in his seven Super Bowl appearances. They are still explosive with Foles, they just don’t have the elusiveness that Wentz provided.
Can the Eagles win their first ever Super Bowl Sunday, even with Nick Foles at QB and not the franchise QB Carson Wentz? Absolutely. Will they? I certainly hope so, but if they don’t I can’t call this season a failure. Not by a long shot.
The previous two Eagles Super Bowl teams (1980 and 2004) were expected to get there. The 1980 appearance was the culmination of Dick Vermeil’s five year plan when he took over in 1976. For the 2004 team, it was the year they finally kicked the door down after losing the previous 3 NFC Championship Games, including the previous two at home. When training camp started, nobody had the Eagles even making the playoffs let alone making the Super Bowl as the top NFC team. The word unexpected doesn’t begin to define the Eagles being just one win from the promised land. They have nothing to lose while the Patriots do. Expect the Eagles, win or lose, to play like a team with nothing to lose.
Just don’t call the season a failure if they don’t.