These stats show just how important the No. 1 seed is for Eagles

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These stats show just how important the No. 1 seed is for Eagles

As the Eagles warmed up before their game against the Rams two weeks ago, the big screen atop L.A. Memorial Coliseum showed Cam Newton running 62 yards down to the 8-yard-line in the Panthers' game against the Vikings in Charlotte.

It may have been one of the biggest plays of the year for the Eagles.

That 62-yard-run set up the winning touchdown with a minute left in the Panthers' win over the Vikings, a win that gives the Eagles a tiebreaker over the Vikings.

Largely because of Newton's long run, the Eagles can clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC this weekend, either with a Vikings loss to the Packers Saturday or a win over the Raiders Monday.

If not, they'll get two more chances the last weekend of the season.

All of which leads to this question: How important is the No. 1 seed?

It guarantees nothing. But looking at NFL playoff history, it sure does give teams a huge advantage.

Let's take a look:

Since 1990, when the current 12-team playoff format was introduced, No. 1 seeds have reached the Super Bowl 28 times — 13 times from the AFC and 15 times from the NFC.

So that's 28 of 54 No. 1 seeds, or 52 percent.

During the same 26-year span, only 15 No. 2 seeds have made it to the Super Bowl — eight from the AFC and seven from the NFC.

That's 28 percent. 

So historically, you have about close to twice as good a chance to get to the Super Bowl as a No. 1 seed than as a No. 2 seed.

Once you get there, the difference is minimal.

No. 1 seeds since 1990 are 13-15 in the Super Bowl, a 46 percent winning percentage, which is really not that much higher than No. 2 seeds, who are 6-9, a .400 winning percentage. 

Only three No. 1 seeds from the NFC have won the Super Bowl in the last 20 years — the Rams in 1999, the Saints in 2009 and the Seahawks in 2013. The last NFC No. 2 seed to win the Super Bowl was the 2002 Buccaneers, who beat the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game at the Vet to get there.

The No. 1 seed in the AFC has won five Super Bowls since 1990 but won just two from 1990 through 2013 before winning the last three. No. 2 seeds out of the AFC have won just three Super Bowls since 1990.

Here's a look at the Super Bowl won-lost records by seed since the playoff field expanded in 1990.  

No. 1 seed: 13-15

No. 2 seed: 6-8

No. 3 seed: 1-1

No. 4 seed: 4-3

No. 5 seed: 1-0

No. 6 seed: 2-0

It’s been eight years since a No. 2 seed won the Super Bowl. That was the Steelers beating the No. 4 seed Cards in 2008. The last No. 2 seed to beat a No. 1 seed in a Super Bowl was the 2004 Patriots over the Eagles. The last NFC No. 2 to beat a No. 1 in a Super Bowl was Tampa, which beat the AFC’s top-seeded Raiders in 2002.

Matter of fact, since 1993, as many No. 4 seeds have won a Super Bowl as No. 2 seeds (four), despite having to play one more game to get there.

The home team is 8-0 over the last four years in the Championship Game round and 68-32 in the 50 years since the AFL-NFL merger. Upsets have been rare the last decade, with the higher seed winning 15 of 20 NFC Championship Games since 2006.

The only times the home teams lost both conference championship games since the merger were 1992 and 1996.

Teams seeded third and lower have reached the Super Bowl just 14 times but interestingly have a 9-5 record in those 14 Super Bowls.

In NFL history, teams playing at home are 87-51 in the wild-card round (.630), 149-61 in the conference semifinal round (.710) and 92-46 (.667) in the conference championship round.

Overall, that's 328-158, a .675 winning percentage.

Forget empty Day 2 of draft, Eagles hoping to find gold in Day 3

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Forget empty Day 2 of draft, Eagles hoping to find gold in Day 3

The Eagles are scheduled to have a pretty boring Day 2 of the draft this year. Because after they pick at No. 32, they don’t have another selection until the 31st pick of the fourth round. 

That means 98 players will be taken between the Eagles’ first and second picks. And they’ll have to watch other teams pick that entire Friday (Rounds 2-3) without them … unless they make a move. 

“We’re not looking at it like we’re sitting out on Friday,” Eagles de facto GM Howie Roseman said. “We’re going through our draft process looking at every scenario. When we get to Friday, we get to Friday.” 

Even if the Eagles don’t make a move, they’ll be plenty busy Saturday, the final day of the draft. They have two fourth-round picks and one pick in the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds. 

Eagles personnel head Joe Douglas showed up to his media availability with a stat ready to go to illustrate the importance of Day 3. 

“We’re excited that we have five picks on Saturday,” Douglas said. “When you look at the Super Bowl, there’s 22 starters that were third-round picks or lower. Of those 22, 18 of them were fourth-round picks or lower. So 18 starters in the Super Bowl this year were fourth-round picks or lower, including six of them that were undrafted free agents. We choose to keep the glass half full.” 

Douglas is right on all those stats — 22 of 44 starters in the Super Bowl were drafted in the third or lower and 18 of them would be considered Day 3 picks. Not bad. 

Here’s how the Super Bowl starters broke down by round: 1-10, 2-12, 3-4, 4-4, 5-3, 6-3, 7-2, UDFA-6. 

The Eagles accounted for seven of the 18 players who were drafted in the fourth round or later, so the Patriots were the ones who found even more value late in drafts. And of those seven, just three were original Eagles — Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Jason Kelce and Jalen Mills. 

Of the six undrafted players who started in the Super Bowl, two were from the Eagles — LeGarrette Blount and Rodney McLeod. Neither was an original Eagle, but the Birds also relied heavily on running back Corey Clement, who was an undrafted rookie last season. 

With a dearth of high draft picks, it would make sense if the Eagles attack the undrafted market following the draft, but Douglas thinks it won’t be as easy as many might think. 

“You would think because we’re coming off a Super Bowl, we don’t have a second or third round pick that it would be a lot easier after the draft,” Douglas said. “But my experience coming off a Super Bowl, it’s sometimes harder to get guys to commit to your roster because agents and players have a perceived notion that it’s going to be that much tougher to make the team. I think that’s going to be a challenge. I think that’s going to be a challenge for us and we know it and we’re going to attack it.”

The Eagles in recent years have shown a willingness to pony up significant money to entice undrafted players to sign with them, and if Douglas is right, they might need to do it again to land some this year. 

Either way, the Eagles know how important Day 3 and beyond can be. So when they’re bored on Day 2, they don’t plan on losing focus. 

Eagles reward Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles with reworked contract

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Eagles reward Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles with reworked contract

The Eagles gave Nick Foles a little raise on Friday, reworking the Super Bowl MVP’s contract, a league source confirmed. 

Basically, the Eagles are rewarding Foles after he helped the franchise win its first-ever Super Bowl a few months ago. 

Foles, 29, is still entering the final year of his contract with the Eagles, but the new deal also includes a mutual option for the 2019 season, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. The mutual option will still allow Foles the possibility to test the free agent market next season, but could leave the door open to a possible return beyond this upcoming season. 

Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport from NFL Network first reported the revised contract, which includes a $2 million signing bonus and “several millions in incentives if he’s the starter and hits various benchmarks,” according to Rapoport. 

That part makes a ton of sense. If for some reason Carson Wentz isn’t ready to play in 2018 or if he goes down again, Foles will have a chance to earn what might be closer to starter money. 

Foles was set to earn a base salary of $4 million in 2018, with a salary cap hit of $7.6 million on the contract before Friday’s renegotiation. 

Wentz and Foles grew very close last season — third-string QB Nate Sudfeld too — and have both been very selfless in a situation that would be awkward for many others in the league. But both have been incredibly selfless throughout the entire process. Just this week, Wentz admitted he had to fight jealousy but was truly happy for his teammate and friend, who became the Super Bowl hero (see story)

Earlier on Friday, Foles tweeted out this photo with his wife and daughter from the NovaCare Complex. That’s a $2 million smile.