If I could put how I felt after the Super Bowl into words I would. That feeling I got when Tom Brady the five time champion, three-time NFL MVP, and kisser of sons, fumbled the ball as the Philadelphia Eagles went on to beat the New England Patriots 41-33 on the biggest stage would be a disservice on paper.
[Photo courtesy of: SportsCenter Twitter]
Not many teams tussle with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady in a Super Bowl and live to tell about it, but the Philadelphia Eagles made history on Sunday night.
Nick Foles was slinging the football from the jump, and although the Eagles’ secondary looked shaky, the defence made stops when it had to.
But it’s the man who didn’t step out onto field, and didn’t put his body on the line in the trenches, that deserves so much credit: Doug Pederson.
For nearly four hours, 60 minutes of game time, Pederson put his guts on the line and prevailed on the biggest stage where no one thought he could. He cultivated a game plan that consisted of Run-Pass options (RPO for short); in layman’s terms means you have the option to throw a pass or hand the ball off for a run, which was executed efficiently by the offence.
Throughout the season the Eagles ran the most RPOs of any team in the league, and they never deviated from that on the biggest stage.
The reason so many teams failed against Brady and Belichick is because they diverged from what was working. They would alter their own game plans to try and get a 1-up on New England.
Those opponents got timid and played to hold on rather than win. We saw it in the AFC Championship game when the Jacksonville Jaguars got complacent, it happened to the Seahawks when Pete Carroll over thought the last play of the game by not giving it to Marshawn Lynch at the one yard line, and last year the Falcons could have ran the ball into field goal range to win the game.
But Pederson never wavered. He kept pushing his agenda with absolutely no fear.
The play calls to go for it twice on fourth down were the gutsy moves that needed to be made to beat the Patriots. But they were calls the Eagles time and again this season, attempting 26 fourth downs and converting on 17 of them for a 66 percent completion rate ranking them second in attempts and first in completions according to ESPN.com
Where other teams faltered, Pederson rose to the challenge. It was refreshing to see a coach not be intimidated by Goliath after years of heartbreak with Andy Reid and Chip Kelly who just didn’t have “it” in the playoffs.
Granted, had those plays gone the other way I wouldn’t be here writing this, but it’s apparent that Pederson believes in living on his feet rather than dying on his knees. He always had faith and rallied a team that had “no business” being on this stage after several key injuries to guys like Jason Peters, Fletcher Cox, Jordan Hicks and Carson Wentz.
And although Wentz wasn’t on the field to carry his guys to victory he deserves credit for putting them in this position, along with all the others guys who stepped up in the absence of those key injuries. I won’t lie to y’all, I had doubts for this team time and time again, but they pulled through
Pederson and his coaching staff deserve credit and I wish he could have earned co-MVP Super Bowl honours for his performance on Sunday. I’m beyond elated to finally call the Philadelphia Eagles: 2018 World Champions.