The Philadelphia Eagles are going to the Super Bowl.
Yes, you read that correctly, no, you are not dreaming. After a 38-7 rout of the Minnesota Vikings last night at Lincoln Financial Field, the Eagles advance to Super Bowl 52. It will be their 3rd appearance as a franchise and the first in 13 years. The Eagles will be taking on the same opponent as they did in 2005, the New England Patriots, a game in which the Eagles lost 24-21.
Philadelphia certainly embraced the “underdog” role and used it as a rallying point. Coming into the playoffs, many had doubt as to whether or not backup QB Nick Foles would be able to produce enough to get the team to the promised land. Against the Falcons, they were 3-point underdogs and against the Vikings, they were 3.5-point underdogs. And even though Nick Foles put up 38 points on a defense some say is the best in the league, the Eagles open up as 5.5-point underdogs to New England. That is the largest spread since 2009 when the Arizona Cardinals were 7-point underdogs to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In the NFC Championship, two big things stuck out. Nick Foles and the defense. After the first drive of the game where the Vikings scored seemingly too easy, the defense would not let up a single point the rest of the contest. In fact, they forced three turnovers in the process, two interceptions, one returned for a TD by Patrick Robinson and the other by Corey Graham, and a fumble recovery by Chris Long. All three turnovers coming when Minnesota was within scoring distance. The Eagles defense has been very productive at home over the last 5 games, holding teams to 10 or fewer points in those games. That is the best streak in the NFL in 9 years.
As for Nick Foles, he may have a 7 TD passing game from a few seasons ago, but there’s no doubting that this was Foles’ best performance as a starting QB. Foles went 26/33 for 352 yards and 3 touchdowns. Foles set a new Eagles playoff record 79% completions after his 77% last week vs Atlanta. He is also the only QB in Eagles history to have 3 straight playoff games with a 100+ rating.
Celebrations quickly ensued once the final whistle blew as students of Temple flooded out of their homes, apartments, and dorms to gather in the streets and celebrate the championship win. Police shut down most traffic heading south on Broad Street due to the mass number of fans marching their way towards City Hall. On the march down Broad, cars were honking, fans were screaming, strangers were embracing and memories were made. Eagles success has a funny way of rallying the city and becoming one. Most importantly, no arrests were made during the celebratory night. The corner of Walnut and Broad Streets seemed to be the main rallying point for all, as some stayed until around 2:00 A.M. One can only imagine the city’s excitement and celebration if their beloved Birds finally bring home the Lombardi Trophy for the first time in franchise history.
In two weeks, the Eagles will get the rematch against Brady, Belichick and the Patriots they’ve been waiting for, for 13 years.
A revenge Super Bowl, and this time, it’s personal.