While Eagles fans will be watching the Super Bowl from the comfort of their own homes this weekend and probably placing money on Big Red to do it again, they are firm favorites in the latest odds from Sports Betting Dime, there will be plenty of reminiscing. In fact, it’s exactly three years ago from the most iconic moment in team history.
Looking back, it does feel like some kind of dream. There was something so magical about that team. The ‘next man up’ mentality is one thing, the wins are another. But holding that underdog banner high into the air was a team comprised of comeback stories, resurgence, and fairytales.
We could speak all day about the stories we know every word to, because they were so prevalent. The way the team gelled around Nick Foles after Carson Wentz had a stunning MVP-caliber campaign ripped away from him, the roar of ‘Dreams and Nightmares’ echoing through the Linc that convinced every fan that the upcoming playoff game was a guaranteed win, and the underdog masks that defined an era. These memories are etched in our minds forever.
Even the Philly Special, a play so iconic that frame-by-frame can be played on loop when we close our eyes, hides some remarkable narratives.
Corey Clement, a UDFA out of Wisconsin who has done very little since that fateful night in Minnesota, led the team in receiving yards, becoming only the third player to register 100 receiving yards in a game for the Eagles all year long.
There was the comeback story of Nelson Agholor, who just one year prior to the Super Bowl, had to take time out to settle himself mentally. During Agholor’s flourishing Brandon Brooks selflessly opened up about his own battles with mental health, inspiring fans all across the globe to keep pushing by reaching the very top of the Mountain and overcoming what really is a haunting demon.
What about Mychal Kendricks or Patrick Robinson? Two players who when coming out of Training Camp appeared to be on a very thin tether. One was coming off of a career-low season and the other was saved by a trade for Ronald Darby that sent him back to his comfort zone, while the other was forced to play in a preseason week 4 game just one year prior. Both of these players shined throughout this season as two of the defenses biggest standouts.
We haven’t yet mentioned LeGarrette Blount’s rumbustious season, where his carries dipped after the arrival of Jay Ajayi, only for him to end up being one of the key reasons behind the team’s postseason berth in the first place.
As much as the world turned its back on Alshon Jeffery, there was a time where he was not only worth the money, but he was everything that encapsulated being an Eagle. Playing through the entire season with a torn rotator cuff, Jeffery’s finest hour may also be his most painful.
Through all the noise, we see one of the most amazing spectcales in all of sports. Danny Amendola had 152 receiving yards…when? Chris Hogan and Gronkowski also surpassed the 100 yard mark? When? Tom Brady threw for over 500 yards and lost. Lmao. How did this team, this glorious, crazed, injury-riddled team, do that. The answer was simple. From top to bottom, they’d being doing it all year.
There’s something quite cathartic when looking back on February 4th 2018. It was the night lives changed forever. A city was united in jubilation and after generations of pain, upset, and longing, the Eagles were finally able to give fans what they craved. The truth is, it wasn’t even a Lombardi Trophy – but a team that won it for them. A team that played for them – the fanbase who turned an L.A Chargers road game into another home demolition job.
A lot has changed since then. Relationships have fractured, an era has ended, and identity has been lost. But no matter how bad things get, The Eagles were declared world champions in a way that only Philadelphia could ever be. With their backs to the wall, the world turning away, and an upset that still lives rent-free in the head of Tom Brady.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire