BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Terrell Owens' Hall of Fame chances, Eagles rookies during Super Bowl week, lots of rushing stats that fascinate me and a Mind-Boggling Nick Foles Stat of the Day that includes Chad Pennington.
That's just a taste of what's to come in our Thursday night edition of Roob's 10 random Eagles Super Bowl observations!
Sit down, relax and let the observations come to you!
1. I don't like Owens. I don't like him at all. He didn't strike me as a particularly good person during his brief stop in Philly. But the Pro Football Hall of Fame doesn't have a word in its bylaws about whether a candidate is a good person or not. It's all about production, and you just can't deny that T.O. is one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history. They put Cris Carter in the Hall of Fame, and T.O. has 2,000 more yards, 23 more touchdowns and three more first-team All-Pro seasons than Carter. Not to mention nearly 2½ yards more per catch. He's No. 2 behind Jerry Rice in receiving yards. No. 2. And you want to talk character … Carter is a convicted felon. T.O. has never been arrested. The Hall of Fame is a sham if T.O. doesn't get in.
2. I have no idea what this means, but there have been only seven rushing touchdowns of 20 yards or more in 51 Super Bowls and only two in the last 26 Super Bowls — DeShaun Foster's 33-yarder for the Panthers against the Patriots in 2003 and Willie Parker's 75-yarder for the Steelers against the Seahawks in 2005. Two in 26 years seems really, really low. I guess that just shows that the Super Bowl is all about quarterbacks and defense. So maybe most Super Bowl teams are built around an elite quarterback and an elite defense, both of which could neutralize big-time running back play.
3. No Eagle rushed for more than 44 rushing yards in either of their Super Bowls. Brian Westbrook and Wilbert Montgomery both ran for 44. Jay Ajayi is going to double that Sunday.
4. Interesting also that the Patriots haven't had anybody rush for more than 44 yards in their last four Super Bowls. In fact, their pass-run ratio in their seven Super Bowls under Tom Brady and Bill Belichick is 334 pass plays and 162 runs. That's a 67-33 ratio. I wouldn't be surprised if Dion Lewis and James White are more involved in the passing game Sunday than the running game.
5. I don't know what Chris Long's future is or how long he wants to play. He hasn't speculated about it. He turns 33 in March and is in his 11th year in the NFL and his second Super Bowl in a row. I do know that I've never seen a veteran player make as much of an impact as Long has both on the field and off the field in such a short time. The Byron "Whizzer" White Community MVP Award that Long received Thursday is an extraordinary honor, and I can't think of anybody more deserving (see story).
6. I was really impressed by the way all the Eagles handled the Super Bowl media the last four days but in particular the rookies. Guys like Mack Hollins, Derek Barnett, Rasul Douglas and Corey Clement are kids, and I can't imagine being 21, 22, 23 and all of a sudden being thrust into the middle of the most hyped sports event in the world. It speaks volumes about their character and also speaks volumes about the Eagles' veteran leaders who got them ready for all this. Those guys spent a lot of time last week really preparing the younger guys on the team for what they were about to experience. And it definitely paid off. I've always felt this was a really smart, focused, mature team. They played that way all year and behaved that way this week.
7. I find it fascinating that Doug Pederson never mentions Andy Reid.
8. What do you guys think the odds are that the Replacements will make a surprise halftime appearance backing Justin Timberlake Sunday? This is Minneapolis. How about a halftime All-Star jam with Timberlake singing "Cry me a River" backed by the Replacements, Timbaland, Lil Wayne, Nelly Furtado, Bob Mould, Ringo Starr, Soul Asylum, Christina Aguilera and Rick Aguilera? Maybe?
9. Mind-Boggling Nick Foles Stat of the Day: Foles is the only quarterback in NFL history to have three playoff games with a 69 percent completion percentage or higher and no interceptions before his 30th birthday. Only five others even had two — Troy Aikman, Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers and Pennington. (Pennington?) And only 13 others even had one. So there have been a total of 26 such performances in NFL history by quarterbacks in their 20s and Foles has three of them.
10. Here's a fascinating stat that is certainly relevant this year, considering the Eagles' running back rotation: There have been 25 teams in history that had two different running backs with 10 or more carries in a Super Bowl. Those 25 teams went 22-3 — and two of the teams that lost faced a team that also had two double-digit ball-carriers. Here's the full list, with losing teams in italics:
1966 Packers: Jim Taylor (17-56), Elijah Pitts (11-45)
1967 Packers: Ben Wilson (17-62), Donny Anderson (14-48)
1968 Jets: Matt Snell (30-121), Emerson Boozer (10-19)
1969 Chiefs: Warren McVea (12-26), Mike Garrett (11-39)
1970 Colts: Norm Bulaich (18-28), Tom Nowatzke (10-33)
1970 Cowboys: Duane Thomas (18-35), Walt Garrison (12-65)
1971 Cowboys: Duane Thomas (19-95), Walt Garrison (14-74)
1972 Dolphins: Jim Kiick (12-38), Mercury Morris (10-34), Larry Csonka (15-112)
1972 Redskins: Larry Brown (22-72), Charlie Harraway (10-37)
1973 Dolphins: Larry Csonka (33-145), Mercury Morris (11-34)
1974 Steelers: Franco Harris (34-158), Rocky Bleier (17-65)
1975 Steelers: Franco Harris (27-82), Rocky Bleier (15-51)
1976 Raiders: Mark van Eeghen (18-73), Clarence Davis (16-138), Pete Banaszak (10-19)
1977 Cowboys: Tony Dorsett (15-66), Robert Newhouse (14-55)
1979 Steelers: Franco Harris (20-46), Rocky Bleier (10-25)
1984 49ers: Roger Craig (15-58), Wendell Tyler (13-65)
1985 Bears: Walter Payton (22-61), Matt Suhey (11-52)
1989 49ers: Roger Craig (20-69), Tom Rathman (11-38)
1991 Redskins: Earnest Byner (14-49), Ricky Ervins (13-72)
1992 Bills: Kenneth Davis (15-86), Thurman Thomas (11-19)
1996 Packers: Edgar Bennett (17-40), Dorsey Levens (14-61)
2002 Buccaneers: Mike Alstott (10-15), Michael Pittman (29-124)
2005 Steelers: Jerome Bettis (14-43), Willie Parker (10-93)
2007 Colts: Dominic Rhodes (21-113), Joseph Addai (19-77)
2012 Ravens: Ray Rice (20-59), Bernard Pierce (12-33)