This 2018 NFL playoffs is almost like a cruel joke for the Philadelphia Eagles. If not for the tragic season-ending injury to league MVP Carson Wentz after leading Philly to an 11-2 record, Philly would be favorites to get back to their first Super Bowl since Donovan McNabb and T.O. fell short against the Pats in 2004.
Eagles WR Torrey Smith proclaimed Carson Wentz as his NFL MVP “Carson was able to make plays athletically that Tom [Brady] can’t physically do, even though he’s the greatest quarterback ever… when he’s scrambling, the crazy plays he’s made… it was huge for us” #CarsonWentz
The media has been very supportive of Phillys chances to win a Super Bowl without Wentz, which I think is absurd. Wentz was Cardi B great this season and he was THE difference between Philly being an elite squad vs. dog food for opposing teams.
Reality hasnt truly hit these foolishly optimistic fanatics yet, as veteran Nick Foles game-managed his way to a 2-1 record against the Giants, Raiders and Cowboys. He even torched the lowly Giants for four TDs and a 115.8 QB rating. Unfortunately, that wont mean a damn thing when they face the playoff-ready Falcons for a chance to advance to the NFC championship game.
The Philly fans are still believing in the team that ran away with the NFC East under the leadership of the NFLs breakout star of 2018. Foles is a journeyman who had some shining NFL moments and provided Philly fans with some exciting times throughout his tenure with the franchise, but this moment is too big for him. The support from teammates is admirable and expected.
But Nick Foles wasnt supposed to be here. This was Wentz’s moment, stripped from his clutches by the hands of fate. It would have been perfect for Wentz, who will undoubtedly have another shot at a Super Bowl and to lead Philly into a golden era. With Foles, Philly has to play more conservative, and that wont work in the playoffs where teams have to go for the gusto to reach the Super Bowl.
Foles is not the Jeff Hostetler to Phil Simms glory story for the 1990 Giants, although Hostetler himself says he sees similarities.
Jeff Hostetler on Nick Foles, the Eagles’ Super Bowl hopes and echoes of the 1990 Giants. By @DonBanks: https://t.co/JaUxWVyxvr
He doesnt have that Giants defense. And he doesn’t have the 2000 Ravens defense to be Trent Dilfer. It’s not like Philly has the 29th-ranked defense in the NFL. At four they are more than respectable but not legendary enough to pull Foles over the hump. This is the biggest game of Foles career, a career that saw him make the Pro Bowl in 2013, but never saw him get props as a franchise QB.
He led the Eagles to a 10-6 season and a postseason berth back then. He stepped off the field late in their divisional-round loss to the New Orleans Saints with the Eagles ahead, only to witness Drew Brees execute the game-winning drive. An elite QB beat a solid one that day. It happens en route to the Super Bowl.
Foles isnt that guy that can defeat a hungry Falcons squad, take advantage of home field and and deliver that perfect performance on Saturday. Is he going to make the huge plays that separate the game managers from the go-getters?
A Super Bowl was in the cards for the Eagles, but the football Gods called Carson Wentz home early. Yeah, Philly is hosting the Divisional Round with a 13-3 record and the support of the entire city, but the most important part of the plan to bring Philly its first Super Bowl is watching from the sidelines on crutches. Its like a bad dream.