Since the season-ending knee injury to Carson Wentz in their Week 14 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia Eagles fans (myself included) believed in the defense and backup quarterback Nick Foles. Our faith has been rewarded; last weekend the Eagles won 38-7 in a rout of the Minnesota Vikings at Lincoln Financial Field as the Eagles won the NFC Championship and earned a spot in the Super Bowl. Home underdogs for the second time to the Vikings, the Eagles showed any remaining doubters from the Divisional round that they’re here to compete for the Lombardi Trophy.
Since Wentz went down, the entire football world has counted out Philadelphia except their fans. A 13-3 record earned this team the No. 1 seed in the NFC and home field throughout, but still they were picked as home underdogs in back-to-back contests. A disrespected Eagles team showed how tough their secondary was against a high-powered Atlanta offense in the Divisional Round by holding the Falcons to just 10 points through four quarters in a nail-biting 15-10 win to advance to the NFC Championship Game. The Eagles’ defense held Julio Jones to 0-3 in an unforgettable goal line stand that sent Matt Ryan and the defending NFC Champions to the golf course early.
The Eagles have done their part this season in showing all the doubters it wasn’t just Wentz who kept them afloat all year. Now with a week left before the Super Bowl, as a fan I couldn’t be more happy. For weeks, the Eagles have been doubted and downright disrespected, even disregarded as a contender. Yet here they stand ready to go toe to toe with arguably the greatest franchise in the NFL.
It’s a rematch from the 2004 Super Bowl where the New England Patriots came out victorious 24-21, and since the Patriots 2004 Super Bowl victory, they’ve established themselves as kings of the NFL world while Philadelphia fans endured hardship.
In Philadelphia the Eagles have made it to just one NFC Championship game since 2004 after attending three straight between 2000 and 2004. Before this season, they had only returned to the NFC Championship game once and lost to the Arizona Cardinals in 2008; that loss was followed by two Wild Card Round losses in 2009 and 2010. The Eagles struggled in 2011, finishing with a .500 record. In 2012, they would hit rock bottom, going 4-12, with their struggles leading to the firing of longtime head coach Andy Reid.
Eagles fans felt optimistic with a new face coming to town after Reid, and just when us fans thought we were going to be on the up and finally get over the hump, we had to survive the Chip Kelly era. Fans helplessly watched the team be dismantled from the ground up after winning 10 games in back-to-back seasons under Kelly.
A motto in Philly that has become popular, mostly because of the 76ers, is “trust the process.” Well it’s safe to say we hated the Kelly process, and it led to his firing half way through the 2015 season. Doug Pederson took over in 2016 and drafted Carson Wentz and has built a defense with Jim Schwartz that has proven to be battled-tested in this 2017 season.
Eagles fans have longed for the day that we would return to the big stage. Now Philly is back and has a chance to get revenge by defeating Tom Brady and his Bunch for their first-ever Super Bowl Championship. It doesn’t get much better than this for the fans.
Fly, Eagles, Fly!