As a fan of this great game and the writers that cover it, one tends to understand that certain types of storytelling will always be commonplace. There will always be roster projections during training camp as the Philadelphia Eagles try and determine who the 53 men are that will represent this organization during the regular season. There will always be mock drafts in April and trade scenarios at the deadline in November.
It’s always fun to explore new angles however, and recently, CBS Sports gave us one that was very intriguing.
Former Eagles star Nick Foles lands in the bottom half of Super Bowl QB matchup rankings.
It’s without question, the most memorable season in Philadelphia Eagles history. Following a 7-9, last-place finish in 2016, the Birds entered the 2017 campaign hoping to take the next step. Boy did they ever!
The story surrounding Philly’s march to a Vince Lombardi Trophy is movie-script worthy. Injuries mounted. The star quarterback goes down with an injury, and the forgotten backup steps in with hopes of leading them the rest of the way to achieve their championship dreams.
As you might imagine, there’s a twist, which is always good for any drama. The greatest dynasty in the history of professional sports, one led by the best quarterback and coach in NFL history, stood in the way as Philly’s final test on a February night in 2018.
The Eagles’ victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII was fantastic theatre when it happened. It would also make for a great tale on the big screen, but that didn’t stop the game from landing in the bottom half of CBS Sports’ recent ranking of the best Super Bowl QB matchups in the game’s history.
Super Bowl LII’s classic duel between Nick Foles and Tom Brady was a night to remember. Bryan DeArdo, the writer of this one, places their battle at number 40 however. Here are some of his reasons for making that decision.
"A Pro Bowler in 2013, Foles’ career endured a downward spiral before he re-joined the Eagles in 2017. Foles spent most of the year as a backup before Carson Wentz suffered a season-ending injury in Week 13. Foles caught fire in the playoffs. He threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns in the Eagles’ 38-7 rout of the Vikings in the NFL title game. In Super Bowl LII, Foles threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns to win MVP honors. In defeat, Brady threw for a Super Bowl record 505 yards."
Now, we’ll be fair. DeArdo states, prior to unveiling his list, what his criteria was: He looked at the career accomplishments of both guys, both before and after their Super Bowl. He looked at where both quarterbacks were at that time in their careers. He looked at whether or not, they’re on the NFL’s 100th Anniversary All-Time Team and how they rank there.
When you look at things from that lens, arguments can be made for placing Super Bowl LII’s matchup between Foles and Brady at 40, but come on. There has to be some gray area for exceptions. And, wait a second. Did anyone else notice that Jim Plunkett and Joe Theismann’s clash in Super Bowl XVIII landed at 21? Joe Burrow versus Matthew Stafford lands at 29. How can that be possible?
Stafford and Burrow’s story is special. It truly is. No one’ taking anything away from either guy. Plunkett and the Raiders’ demolishing Washington on ‘Black Sunday’ was one of the great moments in NFL history, but neither game matches the Philadelphia Eagles winning their first-ever Super Bowl with a backup quarterback over the Pats.
Neither does Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Hasselbeck’s battle in Super Bowl XL (ranked 32nd) or Joe Flacco versus Colin Kaepernick in SB XLVII (39).
Kudos are still in order though. DeArdos put a great story with a great angle together, and this one’s definitely worth a read, but when it’s all said and done, we demand a recount.
Just in case anyone’s curious, Donovan McNabb’s battle in Super Bowl XXXIX versus Tom Brady landed at 24. Jim Plunkett versus Ron Jaworski (Super Bowl XV) lands at number 31.