This is it. One more day. In just over 24 hours, the Philadelphia Eagles will be competing in their first Super Bowl since 2005 with a chance to take the Lombardi Trophy back to the City of Brotherly Love and give fans the championship they have been pining for since the team’s creation. While Philadelphia holds its breath in anticipation, here are some quick thoughts on the matchup and beyond.
Is Nick Foles some kind of playoff magician?
To say the career of Nick Foles has been a rollercoaster would be an understatement, but when it comes to the playoffs, Foles has been a completely different quarterback. Whether it’s the pressure, thriving in the lights, or simply managing the game more efficiently, Foles has been tremendous thus far.
Nick Foles stunningly currently holds the NFL record for highest postseason passer rating with 116.4. Not only that, but he became the first QB in NFL history to register a 100+ passer rating in each of his first 3 playoff games. He’s averaging a stunning 75% completion percentage during this span and is yet to throw a postseason interception.
If Foles plays to the same level tomorrow night, the parity between Brady and Foles may not be as great as we think. Nobody is saying Foles is as good or ever will be as good as the greatest quarterback to ever throw a pigskin, but in a one game sample size where Foles has reigned supreme so far…he could at least keep the contest close.
This year has been simply remarkable for the Eagles, but behind the scenes it has been even more so. The Eagles would become just the fourth team in NFL history to win the Lombardi Trophy after having a losing record in the previous season. The most recent were coincidentally the 2001 Patriots. Would that not be the greatest ending to the fairytale that has been the 2017 season?
The chess match:
Bill Belichick is one of the greatest footballing minds in existence and nobody is disputing that. If they are, maybe give them a nudge and remind them just how much he’s been able to achieve. But in the world of Football chess matches, it takes resiliency and a trust in the plan in order to stick to the blueprint and not be scared off course. Doug Pederson has not only evolved into a creative play caller, but a coach who has unwavering confidence in his players, coordinators and gameplan. This alone, without any of the other matchups or players mixed in, make Pederson a worthy opponent. He’s faced this Patriots team before…and we’ll break that down a little later. Not only that, but Pederson has faced Belichick in the playoffs before…
How Eagles HC Doug Pederson almost defeated Bill Belichick in 2015 playoffs
This story has been told time and time again, but it never gets old. It never will. So long as the Eagles are in the Super Bowl, this deserves every story, every headline, every quote. The fact that this team has overcome so much in the space of a few short months is remarkable. The culture, the players, the fans. This is a city that has united in its love for the Eagles and gritty underdogs once again and the Doug Pederson era is the perfect embodiment of that. The Eagles have found their new identity and it just so happens to resonate so perfectly with that which garnered the gritty reputation to begin with. There has never been a better time to be an Eagles fan and whether they win or lose, this is only the beginning.
Pederson vs Belichick
Foles vs Brady
Jeffery vs Gilmore
Cooks vs Mills
Dynasty vs Underdog
Even as a neutral fan, there are so many things to love about this game. It’s why we watch sport to begin with. The potential fall of greatness is balanced with the rise of a new era. Will the Patriots add another level of dominance? Can Brady secure his sixth Super Bowl ring and cement his legacy as the greatest ever? Or will it be the most unexpected quarterback in the NFL to hoist the Lombardi trophy for the team who drafted him to begin with? Only time will tell…but the spectacle alone is enough to get the blood flowing.
One more time for the people in the back…
WE ALL WE GOT, WE ALL WE NEED
One game is all we got. One game is all we need.#SBLII | #FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/ykbgOt5vBf
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) February 1, 2018
Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports