The Philadelphia Eagles and football immortality: A match made in Minnesota
By Matt Giraldi
The Philadelphia Eagles are hoping to parlay Hall of Fame inductions with their first Super Bowl win.
Philadelphia Eagles safety Brian Dawkins is going to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He will be joined by former Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens. Now, on the grandest stage of them all, Nick Foles will attempt to make this the greatest weekend in Philadelphia sports history by bring the Eagles their first Super Bowl win in franchise history.
The X’s and O’s have been talked about ad nauseum. Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the rest of the New England Patriots need no further introduction. Foles, despite his playoff performances, is still the victim of skepticism nationally. Now he prepares to take on the 2017 NFL MVP in Brady. In just a few short hours however, all the talk and awards become meaningless.
That includes certain proclamations by Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery’s comments surely provide the Patriots with bulletin board material. Of course, even bulletin board material is irrelevant at this point. If a team is in the Super Bowl, they deserve to be there. They also should believe they can win.
There’s a buzz in the air.
That feeling has swept over the city of Philadelphia leading up to today’s game. The Eagles players and their fans truly believe this team is capable of pulling off their third straight “upset” victory. In order to do that, two current players who mirror T.O. and Dawkins need to perform like them. That would be the aforementioned Jeffery and Malcolm Jenkins.
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Jenkins, to his credit, has developed into the emotional leader of the franchise. Today, the defense is going to need him to be more than just a leader. They are going to need him to play at the same level that Dawkins played at throughout his career. What Jenkins has that Dawkins did not is a better supporting cast to take on Brady and company.
As for Jeffery, he might not be what Owens was, but he’s still capable of taking over a game. Coming off of his best game as a member of the Eagles, Jeffery is oozing confidence. The Eagles will need every ounce of it too. Fortunately for Jeffery, he also has a better cast of characters going to battle with him than Owens did.
It takes more than being good ‘on paper’.
Of course, the players still need to perform on the field. In 2005, the Eagles performed admirably and came up short. Now this ragtag cast of starters, replacements, veterans and rookies are faced with a similar task. The three letter word that the Eagles desire the most is “win”, but the three letter acronym that will be most responsible for making it happen will be RPO. As Warren Sharp points out, running the football might be the Eagles’ best chance for success against the Patriots.
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Perhaps it’s appropriate that on the eve of the Super Bowl, two members from the Eagles’ last appearance are heading to Canton, Ohio. Maybe a better word for it is fate. What other word could describe the unprecedented run that this team has gone on? One word certainly comes to mind: Destiny. In a season that has been defined by 53 instead of one, today, one is all we need.