Ten years ago, Doug Pederson was coaching high school football at Calvary Baptist Academy in Shreveport, Louisiana. And two years ago, Nick Foles was released by the St. Louis Rams and contemplated entering seminary school.
Now, like the rest of their team, the Philadelphia Eagles are Super Bowl champions.
Super Bowl LII will likely be remembered as an upset, but it's really hard to think of it as one. Leading up to the game, most of the coverage centered on Bill Belichick and Tom Brady and rightfully so. After all, they had the pedigree and the experience. As the game progressed, it was clear that the Patriots had their game plan and was ready to execute.
But, as it turned out, so were the Eagles. And they had a better plan.
For every New England parry, Philadelphia had a thrust of their own. Brady was sharp with his passes. So was Foles. The Patriots were efficient moving the ball and punted only once all game. The Eagles were just as efficient and didn't punt at all. Belichick made adjustments. So did Pederson. At times, Pederson out Belichick-ed Belichick. The Patriots ran a double reverse pass play to Brady who dropped the ball. The Eagles did the same for Foles which resulted with the first ever touchdown reception by a QB in Super Bowl history. And while both quarterbacks handled a tough pass rush well, the only sack of the game was of Brady. It was also the game's only fumble.
We've seen the Patriot dynasty begin with a clutch play, perhaps it could end as a result of one.
Both of Belichick's top coordinators, Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia, will be head coaches in Indianapolis and Detroit respectfully. It'll be interesting to see if the "next man up" philosophy the Patriots have will work as well on their coaching staff. And while Brady may have found the Fountain of Youth, how much longer can he really last?
As for the Eagles and their long suffering fan base. The drought is over. The monkey is off their back. There's a real life Rocky Balboa ready to run up those stairs and they'll be singing, "Fly Eagles Fly."