Why the Philadelphia Eagles Championship in Super Bowl LII could be the Greatest
The 2017 NFL season was a roller coaster for the Philadelphia Eagles. They started as an average team after an average season in 2016, then they became one of the favorite teams after winning several consecutive games with great performances by Carson Wentz, but after his knee injury they again became the less favorite team for winning in the post season.
Even when they where winning in the regular season, people said it was because they had an easy schedule.
All season they had several key players with injuries: QB Carson Wentz, left tackle Jason Peters, running back Darren Sproles, middle linebacker Jordan Hicks, special teams ace Chris Maragos, and starting kicker Caleb Sturgis. Most of the people thought this was enough to stop the Eagles, but every time they lost a player, they recovered thanks to the team effort, love and brotherhood.
They became the first team to arrive to the post season with the best results of their division, but still considered the less favorite ones to win, they became The Underdogs. But if you look well at it, they where considered Underdogs all season, only eagles fans remain with hope and faith.
The Philadelphia Eagles arrived to Super Bowl LII in Minnesota as the Underdog, the New England Patriots where by far the favorite team to win, actually they already won to the Eagles in Superbowl XXIX. Patriots had QB Tom Brady, consider by many as the GOAT, and also head coach Bill Belichick, known together to be the new dynasty in the NFL. Philadelphia arrived with Nick Foles, a backup QB, and with a team of good players but without any relevant super star.
The first half of the game was full of exciting plays and also several kick mistakes of both sides. One of the most relevant plays was a hit from Jenkins (Eagles) to Cooks (Patriots), that made him leave the game.
At the end of the first half Eagles where leading 15 to 12, and with only 38 seconds in the clock they had a 4th and 1 yard to the end zone. Logic would say they should go for a kick and 3 points, but they wanted a touchdown, because they where playing against a very offensive Patriots team.
And here is where one of the best trick plays in Super Bowl appeared: "Philly Special", QB Nick Foles would ask his Head Coach Doug Pederson if they should play the "Philly Philly" and Doug agreed. Nick Foles confirmed with the rest of his team they would do "Philly Special". There was a direct snap to running back Corey Clement, who started right and pitched to tight end Trey Burton. Burton threw to Foles for a touchdown. And that touchdown is now legendary.
This play showed the aggressiveness of this team, but also the great team work they had. Was played by Clement (undrafted rookie RB) to Burton (undrafted 3rd string TE) to Foles (backup QB). On 4th and Goal in a Super Bowl. First time in his NFL career that Burton threw a touchdown pass, and also first time in Nick Foles career to receive a touchdown pass. This play showed the world that team work can achieve the most amazing results, that anyone can make the biggest play in the biggest stage, if you trust in yourself, but also trust in your team mates. Is the ultimate David VS Goliat example.
Doug Pederson mentioned they took that play from the Chicago Bears who used it against the Vikings also in Minnesota one year before.
Patriots frustration makes them say it was an illegal formation, but is also more impressive that even Patriots used that same play against the Eagles in a Week 13 game in 2015. If you watch the Mic'd Up video of NFL Sound FX you will hear how Lewis from the Patriots says "They hit us with our shit" and the rest of Patriots team says that was a big and great play. Why? Because they also have it in their playbook.
Also the Patriots in the same game used a trick play where Tom Brady missed the catch, that made a very good reason to named Nick Foles the MVP of the game.
Everything is great around this play, and that is why Eagles fans are even now making tattoos about it.
The second half was as usual a better half for the Patriots, they where able to lead the game 33 to 32 in the 4th QTR, many thought that the story was going to repeat as always, Patriots coming back on the 4th QTR to win another Super Bowl. But the Eagles showed what was needed: perseverance. They where able to score another touchdown with Zach Ertz, that also has become one of the portraits of this Super Bowl LII.
And after that came the biggest play of the game or at least as important as the "Philly Special", Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham notched the first sack of the game at the exact right time, knocking the ball loose from Brady’s grasp and into the hands of Derek Barnett. Tom Brady had not lost a football in the Super Bowl on a decade, it was the Championship play.
Eagles made another 3 points with a kick of Jake Elliot his rookie kicker of 23 years old (another awesome story of this Eagles season), and with that and stopping again the patriots they sealed their victory Eagles 41 to Patriots 33. The whole game was one of the best in football history and I highly recommend to re watch it with the Sound FX or Mic'd up version of the NFL.
THE BEST TEAM WON
There are several Patriots fans that say Eagles cheated, but that makes it a most impressive win again, because is one of the few games where all official calls where good! Maybe this can help clarify all the play doubts and close the chapter:
Nick Foles TD "Philly Special"> "They where only 6 players in the line of scrimmage". Jeffrey is part of the line even he is a bit in the back, also confirms with officials he is considered part of the line before the play starts and actually he does his job as part of the line. And as mentioned before, even the Patriots used this same play in 2015 against the Eagles, and guess what: it was also legal. How awesome is that?
Corey Clement TD> Clement has perfect ball control since the first step he gets the ball, the third step is the one in doubt if he first touch inside, but actually it doesn't matter with already 2 steps before. You can verify how officials determined this in Inside The NFL.
Zach Ertz TD> is easy to see how Ertz becomes a runner with quick three steps in control of the ball before throwing himself into the touchdown, the ball touching the ground once he passed the line doesn't matter.
Jenkins hit on Cooks> This was also a legal hit, because even the helmet touch each one, it was considered incidental as the hit came from down to upper body at Cooks and he never saw it come, so no body resistance stopped Jenkins to go all the way up to his helmet.
THE BROTHERLY LOVE
This Eagles team succeed all the way to win a Super Bowl thanks to the team work, love and friendship between every team mate, coaches and even the owner; They remind us all that this game is more about teams and not about one or two super star players. Head Coach Doug Pederson said it perfectly:
In other words “An individual can make a difference (Brady and his 500+ yards), but a team makes a miracle (OUR EAGLES!)”. Its amazing that even they gave the MVP to Nick Foles is very hard to pick up one or two players as the best of this team, that makes so special this team and group of men.
You can see the brotherly love in this team, the reflection of an entire city: Philadelphia.
FREE MEEK MILL
This Eagles also played for a good cause, they used as their fight song "Dreams and Nightmares" from Meek Mill, in support of the rapper who is in prison after found guilty of violating his parle while traveling and performing which is his work as musician. This shows how the Justice System in USA is broken. You can find more of the Org #FreeMeekMill at https://www.freemeekmill.org/
You can get really hype watching this Eagles with their Super Bowl LII fight song.
EAGLES FANS CELEBRATIONS
After winning the Super Bowl LII, Eagles fans had a huge party in the streets of Philadelphia: Broad street, City Hall and the Art Museum, gather thousands of fans with joy. Policemen and fans, all celebrated together a Championship that this city wanted for years.
And yes there where also some fans who climbed places they shouldn't, turn down a car, throw products inside a shop, burned stuff in streets and a nasty fan who ate horse shit as a bet with the crowd. But well every fan has their own way to celebrate. Still Philadelphia showed the world how to party once again.
SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS PARADE
The Eagles also had a Super Bowl Champions Parade to remember with an estimate of 700,000 to 1 Million people.
The parade showed the world also how awesome this team is and how humble and down earth they are. Here are some of my favorite moments:
Head Coach Doug Pederson letting fans touch and kiss the Lombardy Trophy.
The team dancing and celebrating again with the electric slide.
Head Coach Doug Pederson catching a beer while one hand.
Jason Kelce chugs a beer with the fans.
Jason Kelce crowd surfing with fans.
And of course Jason Kelce honest speech.
THANK YOU PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
This has been one of the best stories in sports and of course one of the best championships in the NFL, with so many feelings, stories and moments to remember for sure it can be considered as The Greatest. I can only say, thank you Eagles! And will say goodbye with one last Eagles fight song and the Turning Point episode of the Super Bowl LII which is amazing.