It’s a shame we have to meet like this, but it felt like only a matter of time before we did.
With Sunday’s loss to the Saints marking the end of the 2018 title defense season, it would be remiss for me to not write to you on behalf of all Eagles fans.
You’ve just completed your fifth, and quite possibly last, season with the Eagles and boy, what a ride it’s been.
During your first stint with the team, you gave us optimism. A 27 to two touchdown to interception ration in 2013, including that remarkable seven-touchdown game, gave us hope of a Super Bowl win in the immediate future. A 6-2 start to the 2014 season gave us reason to believe that we were close to watching you in a parade on Broad St. But then your clavicle broke and you missed the final eight games of the season. Our faith in that season withered, as the team went 4-6 the rest of the way and did not make the playoffs.
Then Chip Kelly decided to cast you off for Sam Bradford. Another one of his head-scratching moves, one made after he released your deep ball target, Desean Jackson.
We could only imagine what could have been if you, LeSean McCoy, and Jackson could’ve stayed together. Would a Super Bowl title have been won? One could only dream of such a scenario.
While you were gone, we struggled as a fan base. Seeing our team go 7-9 back to back seasons. Yes, the 2016 season was a developmental year for then-rookie Carson Wentz, but the success you had with us was another year behind. The memories of all of that joy and jubilation we had while watching a successful season were fading away.
But you returned to us. You decided not to retire and signed with our team. You came home.
It’s not a coincidence that the 2017 season, your first season back, gave us an MVP-caliber season from Carson Wentz, you were guiding him after all. You were there to teach and share any knowledge you had on what makes a quarterback great.
The aforementioned MVP-caliber season from Wentz came to a sudden halt when he tore his ACL. We were devastated. But you were there to calm our nerves. With a playoff berth and first-round bye intact, you guided us safely through the last few weeks of the season.
That first game in the playoffs gave us some pause, truthfully. It wasn’t your sharpest game. But there you were, again, leading us to victory. There you were the next game, against the Vikings, picking apart the number one defense.
Finally, Tom Brady comes along.
But the big stage of the Super Bowl didn’t faze you. Facing off against arguably the best quarterback of all time could be catastrophic for any other quarterback, but not you.
You were there again for us, compiling 373 passing yards and three touchdowns en route to a Super Bowl victory.
A Super Bowl victory for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Something that has NEVER been said in the history of the Philadelphia Eagles. You allowed fans of all ages: people over 58 seeing their first championship celebration since that NFL Championship in 1960, people in their middle ages seeing their first ever, and youngsters seeing their first of hopefully many in their lifetime.
You gave us that. You and that remarkable team of yours.
Now although this season has come to a close, you gave us that hope again.
The hope we felt once before when you were here the first time around. The way that team rallied around you after a 4-6 start. After another Wentz injury, you took the reigns again. You led us to the playoffs and within two minutes of a potential second straight NFC Championship game.
I could not begin to try and find the appropriate words to best represent how thankful we are of you.
So, if this is goodbye, even though you haven’t completely slammed the door shut on a return, please know that we will always have a place for you in our hearts.
Wherever you go, that team will have gained a tremendous football player and an even better human being. (Just don’t go to the Giants or Redskins, thanks.)
From the bottom of all of our hearts, thank you.
With love and admiration,
Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports