The Eagles journey to their first Super Bowl title was epic to say the least. Here are 10 moments from the 2017-18 season we’ll never forget:
The following Eagles were injured this season. Jason Peters (9 Pro Bowls), Darren Sproles (3 Pro Bowls), Chris Maragos, Jordan Hicks, Ronald Darby, and Carson Wentz (Pro Bowler this year) all missed significant time. That’s one hell of an injury report. And yet, the Eagles won 13 games and a world championship.
9. Demons on defense
Philly — Super Bowl aside (they allowed the most total yards in a win in NFL history last week) — won as much with defense as with offense. They ranked fourth in yards allowed, fourth in points allowed, third in rushing touchdowns allowed, first in rushing defense, fourth in interceptions and fourth in takeaways. Defense wins championships.
8. The streak
Week 2 was a low point for the 2017 Eagles. They fell 27-20 to Andy Reid’s Kansas City Chiefs and the game served as a turning point. The players rallied together, and rallied nine straight wins. By the time they fell to the Seahawks in Seattle in Week 13, they had already solidified themselves as a Super Bowl contender.
7. Howie wheels and deals
No recap of the Eagles championship run can exist without acknowledging Howie Roseman’s contributions. He signed LeGarrette Blount, Alshon Jeffery, Patrick Robinson and Torrey Smith. He traded for Jay Ajayi, Ronald Darby and Tim Jernigan. He drafted Derek Barnett. All of the aformentioned players played huge roles in the playoff run.
6. Purple people pummeling
We’ll mention Philly’s second playoff win first, as they totally dismantled the Vikings 38-7. Clearly a combination of the Eagles firing on all cylendars — taking the “underdogs” thing to the next level, and the Vikings with a hangover from their miracle win a week earlier, the Birds clinched a Super Bowl berth with style at home.
5. Wentz’ MVP campaign
He didn’t win the actual MVP award — though he did get two first place votes — but for 14 weeks Carson Wentz was the best player in football. He set an Eagles record for touchdown passes, had the best QBR (according to ESPN) and came into his own as a threat in every way imaginable.
4. Bittersweet L.A. victory
Philly won the NFC East in a slugfest against the Rams, another NFC powerhouse in Los Angeles in Week 14. They also lost Wentz for the season with an ACL. It was the very definition of bittersweet as a subdued celebration followed.
3. Goalline stand
The final play of the Eagles’ divisional game against the Falcons arguably set the tone for their Super Bowl run. The defense preserved a 15-10 lead with Atlanta knocking on the door near the goalline, and forced an incomplete pass to Julio Jones that literally made the Linc shake with thunderous cheers seconds later.
2. Big Balls Doug
Pederson’s aggressive play-calling in the Super Bowl will be remembered forever. The “Philly Special” on fourth down. The decision to throw the ball in the red zone instead of running, down by one, with two minutes to go — risking a potential Tom Brady comeback (more on that below). Pederson let Nick Foles, a back up quarterback, air it out all night long and go toe-to-toe with the best QB of all time. The should-have-been coach of the year was the real MVP in the Super Bowl.
The final play of Super Bowl LII was unusual. With 10 seconds to play Brady — his Patriots trailing by eight, hurled a hailmary pass was looked to have a chance at getting caught. With 70,000 fans in Minnesota stone silent, it was hard to see what was happening. But when the ball finally did ricochet its way onto the turf, the Eagles were Super Bowl champs. Perhaps not the best play of the year — but…. it was the best play of the year.