There are plenty of reasons the Eagles’ 2018 Super Bowl win won’t be forgotten anytime soon. First, it was a pivotal win over the Patriots and Tom Brady, which few pundits or fans saw coming. Second, the subsequent celebrations, from street parties to Jason Kelce’s outfit from the celebration parade, were heavily covered in the media.
Lastly, the Eagles Super Bowl LII win wasn’t supposed to happen. With a relatively untested quarterback in backup Nick Foles, who replaced Carson Wentz at the end of the regular season, and a poor late-season finish with three losses, the Eagles entered playoffs as an underdog.
In fact, the Eagles were slated to lose each of their post-season faceoffs. Soon, fans wore dog masks in honor of the team’s ongoing victories and, by early February, the Eagles were heading to the Metrodome to do battle against the Patriots. The resulting 41-33 victory won’t be forgotten anytime soon, as many other NFL fans glommed onto the team, thankful for a meaningful loss for the Patriots.
Though the Eagles aren’t listed in this year’s top Super Bowl winner betting odds, there are more than a handful of valuable lessons to keep in mind from head coach Doug Pederson and other key players. Five are listed below.
Tailor Every Plan
Though Doug Pederson has since left the Eagles, and not all fans and pundits share the same positive views of the former player-turned-coach, he prepared extensively for the Patriots. As the underdog, Pederson and other head staff worked to identify their team’s strengths and develop plays specific to those attributes.
There was a cohesive plan for the offense and defense, and each player knew that plan down to the letter. Each player was positioned with clear reason, designed to highlight their individual strengths. By getting granular with details, Pederson optimized every player.
Know Which Risk to Take
Though Pederson did his homework, he wasn’t afraid to take risks. One of the most evident examples of this was the running of the first Philly Special. At the end of the first half, the unexpected play helped the Eagles nab a touchdown. Fans watched as a running back passed to a tight end, who then threw to the quarterback, confused and delighted by the outcome.
The risk worked, highlighting not only Pederson’s astounding play-calling skills but also his ability to take a risk that pays off.
Pederson notoriously dropped the ball when he trusted Nate Sudfield to make a better replacement than Jalen Hurts last year, but this hasn’t always been the case. In the 2018 Super Bowl match, Pederson followed his instincts. Pederson doesn’t give a damn what people think; he’s got a killer instinct that he follows, regardless of what pundits think. In the aforementioned Philly Special, Pederson didn’t actually call the play himself—instead, he listened to Foles, who urged the coach to let them run the play.
Stay in the Moment
Pederson’s leadership during the Super Bowl was a combination of careful, painstaking planning and game-day observation. This led to a detailed arrangement of players, matching them to opponents on the Patriots, which was balanced with last-minute calls, like the Philly Special.
In other words, Pederson and the Eagles prepared extensively for the game, but didn’t let their idea of a winning plan overshadow was what happening live on the field.
Plan for a Win
On the field, staff and players pulled out all the stops to make Super Bowl LII one of the most memorable in franchise history. However, one of the biggest takeaways doesn’t come from fans or coaches. Instead, one of the Super Bowl’s biggest lessons relates to city infrastructure.
There’s no doubt that Philly fans are some of the most passionate in the league. As such, city officials might want to plan for a win the next time the Eagles play in the Super Bowl by allocating certain areas for post-game celebrations.