MINNEAPOLIS — Vikings fans' worst nightmare has begun. The Eagles have arrived in their town, and thousands of their most obnoxious fans are about to join them.
God, I love Philly.
We're a week out from Super Bowl LII now, and here's our Sunday edition of Roob's 10 Random Eagles Super Bowl Observations, coming at you from the shadow of the Mall of America.
1. One of my favorite memories of 2004 in Jacksonville is from the day before the Super Bowl. By Saturday, all the media stuff was over and a few of the beat guys decided to pile into somebody's car, hit the highway, get out of town and escape all the Super Bowl insanity. We wound up at Amelia Island, a quiet golf and tennis resort on the Atlantic Coast an hour north of Jacksonville, about five miles south of the Georgia border. We drove up, parked and started walking around, and the first thing we heard was a group of about 20 people yelling … "E … A … G … L … E … S … EAGLES!!!!!!"
2. Doug Pederson has won more playoff games since 2009 than Andy Reid.
3. Driving around downtown Minneapolis Sunday with NBC Sports Philadelphia Eagles producer Dave Zangaro, we stumbled on workers near U.S. Bank Stadium putting the finishing touches on a giant Super Bowl poster. And there, staring at downtown Minneapolis, were Brandon Graham and Nick Foles. Foles on a wall. That's the moment for me that it all finally seemed real.
4. A couple blocks away, any thought we had that the city of Minneapolis had gotten past the notion that Vikings fans were poorly treated in Philly last weekend was erased when we spotted this sign on the front of a private club called Truth Bar.
Welcome to Minneapolis! pic.twitter.com/9s1eoQuIDm— Reuben Frank (@RoobNBCS) January 28, 2018
5. Can Foles repeat his deep ball accuracy against the Patriots? Get this — the Patriots allowed 18 pass plays of 35 yards or more during the regular season. Only two teams allowed more — the Texans and Giants, with 20 each. Foles is coming off a game in which he hit four passes of 35 yards or more. Look for the Eagles to go deep early and often next Sunday.
6. Imagine if somebody totally off the radar has a huge game out of nowhere and wins MVP? Imagine Mack Hollins up there in front of the world's media accepting the trophy and the car that comes with it after catching two long touchdown passes? Ya never know. With this team? I wouldn't be surprised if someone like Jaylen Watkins, Corey Clement or Trey Burton has a ridiculous huge game out of nowhere and gets the MVP. Odds are, it'll be Tom Brady or Foles, but this team is different. It would be fitting if it's someone off the wall. It would just feel right.
7. Reading about the Pro Bowl while you're at the Super Bowl must be like, I dunno, reading about someone taking a trip to the Poconos while you're walking on the moon?
8. Would you take a first-round pick for Nick Foles? I'm not sure I would. I know it sounds crazy, but what would you rather have had this year — a first-round pick or a trip to Super Bowl LII? I don't know how many other current backup quarterbacks could have done what Foles has done this last month and a half. Barring a catastrophe a week from Sunday, he's going to have strong trade value, and there are going to be teams out there that want him as a starter. He's better than a lot of starters out there. And you figure he's a lock to leave after next season anyway as a free agent so why not take the draft pick or picks now, clear some cap space and give Foles the opportunity he deserves? Makes sense. But what if Carson Wentz gets hurt again and your backup is an untested rookie or a lesser veteran or Nate Sudfeld? Nothing against Sudfeld, but Foles is now a proven Super Bowl quarterback. Are those other guys going to get you where he got you? A first-round pick is tempting. But it's not as easy a call as you might think. Plus there's this — no team is going to trade for Foles unless he agrees to a new contract. Not when he can walk after one year. So he essentially holds all the cards here. If he doesn't want to go, say, to the Browns, he just doesn't agree to sign an extension and the Browns don't make the deal. So he's in a great position. He can stay here and make $7 million and back up Wentz or he can get traded to a team he wants to play for for even more money.
9. You know what's really weird? It was a shorter period of time from the 1960 NFL Championship Game to the Fog Bowl than from the Fog Bowl to now. How is that even possible?
10. You try to get a grasp of just how special all this is to so many people in the Philadelphia area and then you read a tweet that perfectly sums it up.
Just had a long talk with my dad about how this Super Bowl means so much to him. He lost his dad in 2009 and he said “I just want to call him up and tell him all about the Birds, but I know he would know all about it.” This is more than just football. It’s family.— Lacey (@phillysown_) January 28, 2018