The Philadelphia Eagles are just days away from competing in Super Bowl LVII. It is a special moment as the franchise has an opportunity to bring home its second Vince Lombardi Trophy in five seasons. It took quite a while to win the first one, but it was well worth the wait as it ended a 58-year championship drought that stretched from December 26th of 1960 to February 4th, 2018.
Following the 1966 AFL-NFL merger, the Super Bowl was born. The coming iteration, the 57th, doubles as the Eagles’ fourth appearance in the biggest NFL game of the year. While they aren’t one of the most decorated franchises in that aspect, a second Vince Lombardi Trophy would certainly place them on the path to becoming one.
Let’s take a walk down memory lane and see just how far the Birds have come.
The Philadelphia Eagles had a rough start post-merger, but have since qualified for four Super Bowls.
Before the first Super Bowl’s inception, the National Football League (NFL) and American Football League (AFL) previously awarded their respective championships in separate leagues. The Eagles, having played since 1933, won three NFL Championships in 1948, 1949, and 1960. They have since played in three Super Bowls. On February 12th, they’ll play in a fourth.
Super Bowl XV (Philadelphia Eagles vs Oakland Raiders) – January 25th, 1981
Announcers: Dick Enberg, Merlin Olsen, John Brodie, and Len Dawson (NBC). Jack Buck and Hank Stram handled the radio call. (CBS Radio)
Following the merger, Philadelphia struggled from the early 1960s until the hiring of head coach Dick Vermeil in 1976. He along with quarterback Ron Jaworski brought the Eagles to their first-ever Super Bowl appearance on January 25th of 1981 to close the 1980 NFL season.
Venue: Louisiana Superdome (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Referee: Ben Dreith
National anthem: Helen O’Connell
Coin toss: Marie Lombardi, widow of Vince Lombardi
Halftime show: Jim Skinner Productions presents “Mardi Gras Festival”
MVP: Jim Plunkett, RaidersVenue: Louisiana Superdome (New Orleans, Louisiana)
The game was played in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. Despite being favored by three points, the Eagles fell behind early and walked into the second quarter down 14-0. Philadelphia looked out of sorts all afternoon and lost by a final tally of 27-10.
Super Bowl XXXIX (Philadelphia Eagles vs New England Patriots) – February 6th, 2005
Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Cris Collinsworth, Pam Oliver, and Chris Myers (Fox). The national radio call was handled by Marv Albert, Boomer Esiason, John Dockery, and Bonnie Bernstein on Westwood One.
Following the disappointment of Super Bowl XV, the Eagles wouldn’t qualify for another Super Bowl until the 39th. Fans were hopeful that, after finally winning the NFC Championship Game versus the Atlanta Falcons (following three consecutive championship game losses), this would provide the ‘cherry on top’. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be.
- Venue: Alltel Stadium (Jacksonville, Florida)
- Attendance: 78,125
- Referee: Terry McAulay
- National anthem: The U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy provided a combined choir along with the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets.
- Coin toss: Youth football players from Jacksonville, Florida/New Orleans NFL Junior Player Development coach Tamaris Jackson
- Halftime show: Paul McCartney
- MVP: Deion Branch, Patriots
Philly entered Super Bowl XXXIX with a 15-3 record. While there were some all-star-level performances by the Eagles in this one (Terrell Owens caught nine passes resulting in 122 yards just weeks after breaking his leg), this one will forever be remembered more so what the Eagles didn’t do than for what they did.
T.O.’s relationship with Donovan was never the same after the game as the former was very critical of the latter. That sparked a feud between the two that still exist presently.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Philadelphia Eagles got on the board first. The game was close throughout, but the Patriots pulled away, scoring ten points in the fourth quarter. Philly added a late score to close the gap to three points, but four turnovers in the game were too much to overcome. They lost by a final score of 24-21.
Super Bowl LII (Philadelphia Eagles vs New England Patriots) – February 4th, 2018
Announcers: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (NBC) / Kevin Harlan, Boomer Esiason, Mike Holmgren, Ed Werder, and Tony Boselli (Westwood One)
As the old saying goes, the third time proved to be the charm. In a bit of a surprise, the Philadelphia Eagles, led by second-year head coach Doug Pederson did an outstanding job as second-year QB Carson Wentz transformed into an MVP candidate… Then, he got injured.
Enter Nick Foles, who helped steady the ship and helped carry Philly to its first-ever Vince Lombardi Trophy.
- Venue: U.S. Bank Stadium, (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
- Attendance: 67,612
Referee: Gene Steratore
National anthem: Pink
Coin toss: Hershel W. Williams, representing Medal of Honor recipients
- Halftime show: Justin Timberlake
- MVP: Nick Foles, Eagles
You couldn’t write a better script. It felt like there was nothing that was going to stop the Eagles this time around, but winning wouldn’t be easy. Standing in the way once again were Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and the New England Patriots.
The game featured a ton of action with both offenses moving the ball seemingly at will. Philly’s QB1, Nick Foles, played the game of his life. He threw for 373 yards, three touchdowns, one interception, and caught the famous Philly Special.
Collectively, both teams combined for a Super Bowl-record 1,151 total yards of offense, but Philly’s defense finally got the stop they needed as Brandon Graham forced pressure and registered a sack, forcing the ball from Tom Brady’s grasp late in the fourth quarter. It was the only sack and turnover registered during the game.
Other records were set as well. Both teams combined for the fewest number of punts in a Super Bowl (one), and New England’s final point tally (33) were the most points ever scored in a Super Bowl by a losing team.
At last, the Eagles were finally Super Bowl champions with their gutsy 41-33 victory. It was the most improbable win to give one of the league’s most starving fan bases the championship they deserved.
The Philadelphia Eagles are looking for their second Super Bowl title on February 12th versus the Kansas City Chiefs in Phoenix, Arizona. A win would give the Eagles two Super Bowls in four tries and their second world title in five seasons.
The Chiefs will give the Eagles their biggest test this year, but Philly is favored as of now.