By Steven Keys

The Take from Super Bowl 52? The Eagles don’t even get close to the Lombardi trophy with a run-QB subbing for the injured Carson Wentz on short-notice. Not a snowball’s chance in Hades or even the 70° cozy confines of US Bank Stadium.

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Pocket-passer quarterback is a rare bird, endangered species in the pros due to emergence of collegian flash-QB, a place where he thrives like a Georgia robin in spring (they move in herds here) under laissez-faire tutelage of Coach-Lite.

But the traditional, stand-tall-in-the-pocket signal-caller who matriculates well past the RIF-stage to read defense with proficiency, rabbits as a last option rather than reflex, is still the surest, quickest way to reach that wonderous state we call Titletown, aka, whatever metro currently holds the Silver Swag (City of Brotherly Love).

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Hail the Philadelphia Eagles, coach Pederson, owners Lurie, SB-MVP Foles, regular-season super-QB Wentz, a defense that played well for 18 of 19 games and the rest of the E-Birds rosterees and staff, the 2017-18 NFL Champions!

In besting the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl 52, Philadelphia nabbed their first NFL title since 1960, a club led by Chuck Bednarik (D) and Norm Van Brocklin (QB), that topped Lombardi’s first title-game Packers, 17-13.

And what a shocker it was.

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Not because these Eagles weren’t impressive all season long, excepting a pathetic regular finale (6-0 loss at home v. Dallas), but because they finished their run with a back-up quarterback that had started only one game (KansasCity) since 2016 (22-14 career) yet defeated the well-decorated Patriots to do it while Nick’s D-mates allowed said New Englanders a whopping 600+ yards in total offense on way to hoisting the hardware.

Nobody picked the Eagles to win Super Bowl 52, nobody who wasn’t a fan, gambler or media employee hoping for some office bragging rights.

I don’t think anyone, not even Eagles brass and players, saw this kind of time-line for a championship. Maybe in 2-3 more years but SB52? Not on your life.

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It’s the top topic for sportswriters in the days following every Super Sunday: What’s the champ’s template for success? In Philadelphia’s case, there is none. Forget about it. Eagles have no template for Titledom. Doesn’t exist. Nope.

What these present E-Birds DO have is, if not a wholly unique GM / coaching skill-set, a not altogether common ability to accomplish the two following tasks:

1) Execution of draft-picks with a certain wisdom (Wentz); and

2) Rostering a quality back-up QB (Foles), something the Patriots too have shown a panachee for finding (Cassel 10-5 (08) / Garoppolo 7-0 (NE / SF)).

But as important as are those two abilities, the 2017-18 Eagles were recipients of a sizable gift from Lady Luck. That being that they competed in the least competitive NFC in this writer’s recent memory. Here’s a tale of the tawdry tape:

Giants (3-13): OB was out but we now know TC wasn’t the big problem.
Packers (7-9): Mike dodged one on Rodgers ill-advised return at Carolina.
Seahawks (9-7): Maybe the most disappointing winning-mark this decade.
Cowboys (9-7): Elliott’s on-off susp’n was disruptive but Dak’s still learning
Cardinals (8-8): Loss of star Johnson early-on is big blow cuing Arians exit.
Buccaneers (5-11): Tampa was expected to contend but barely made a ripple.
Falcons (10-6): Defending NFC champs were clearly a lesser grade in 2017.
Lions (9-7): Detroit is becoming the pretender of all 20-teens pretenders.
Redskins (7-9): Like TB, maybe higher expectations are not a good thing.

And yes, the Vikings and Rams infused some much needed competition into the National but it hardly made up for the general malaise that permeated it, a sad state not all that much worse than a rather weak AFC itself in 2017.

It’s not the Colin Kaeprnick effect that explains the malaise. Better chance it’s the plethora of run-QBs, the never-ending flood of poorly-trained, modern single-wing tailbacks masquerading as quarterbacks coming into the League unprepared for the pro-style play. Oh yeah, throw in the mass of DCs who rely on glory stats (INTs / PD / sacks) to stop the score, and not too effectively at that. Translating into most defenders today who couldn’t skillfully tackle an opponent if their life depended on it. There’s that, too.

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Photo credit: NFL-symbol, 2011, wikiproject, 6k; PhiladelphiaEagles, SB52-Victory-Parade, souvenirs, 2.8.18, wc.cca, 7Beachbum; SB52, Kitten-Bowl, wc, 2.3.18, B.Allen-VoA; Eagles, SB52, Victory-Parade, NickFoles, 2.8.18, GovWolf, wc; Eagles, SB52, Victory-Parade, VL-trophy, 2.8.18, wc, GovernorWolf
Posted: 2.10.18 @ 11:13pE ; Copyright © 2018

Filed under: NFL, Philadelphia Eagles

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