MINNEAPOLIS — The Eagles are playing in the Super Bowl Sunday, and few predicted that they would.
Even the players themselves seem not to have known exactly how good they actually were until different parts of the regular season.
For linebacker Mychal Kendricks, it was relatively early.
“I feel like we always knew we were gonna be here,” Kendricks, who beat his brother Eric in the NFC Championship, said. “We played Kansas City [in Week 2], when we lost, we were like ‘see you guys in the championship,’ straight up.”
Kendricks was wrong about the Chiefs, who lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Titans in dramatic fashion.
His confidence was strengthened as the season went on, particularly after the Eagles walloped the 49ers in Week 8.
“When we beat San Francisco, DeMeco Ryans came up to me and told me ‘you guys are going to the Super Bowl,'” Kendricks said of the veteran linebacker..” He’s been in the league, he understand the level of talent and he played on the team. He’s familiar with everything. When he told me that, I was like ‘damn, even he see’s what we know.’ Other people see it too.”
For rookie Rasul Douglas, who saw his playing time at cornerback dwindle after Ronald Darby returned healthy, it was a bit different. He said he didn’t think the Eagles were a Super Bowl contender when he was drafted in Apri — but that quickly changed.
“Watching the Eagles last year, 7-9 and about three or four of those games they lost on the last drive, you knew they were a good team,” Douglas said. “They added pieces like Alshon [Jeffery], Torrey [Smith], Jay [Ajayi], and you knew anything could happen.”
“We played against some good teams, we knew could do something special, it’s up to us. Everyone came closer together, week by week, and we got stronger.”