CHICAGO — Jason Peters is 36. He’s been in the NFL since 2004. He’s been a Pro Bowler nine times.
One day, he’ll wear a gold jacket and his bust will have a spot in Canton.
Peters finally won his first playoff game on Sunday.
Just don’t tell him that.
It felt just like last year. I felt like I was out there with the guys last year. It feels just about the same. We just went all the way last year. Hopefully, we can do it again.
It’s special to play, but I just felt like last year I was out there with the guys the whole time.
While Peters was undoubtedly a part of the Eagles’ championship run this time last season, he wasn’t on the field. Last year, he basically played through Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who replaced him at left tackle after he tore his ACL in Week 7.
But Sunday’s 16-15 win over the Bears was the first playoff win Peters has been a part of as a player. Before Sunday, he was 0-3 in the playoffs (losses in 2009 at Dallas, 2010 vs. Green Bay, 2013 vs. New Orleans).
It took Peters 15 years and nearly 200 regular season games to notch his first win in the postseason. And it took a last-minute touchdown and a blocked field goal that hit aluminum twice on Sunday.
When you hear players stress that they can never take playoff success for granted, this is what they mean. Because the truth is, Peters deserves a lot more playoff wins than he has. But that’s just not the way these things work sometimes.
Peters is a future Hall of Famer and has been one of the best offensive linemen in NFL history, but even he had to wait this long to walk off the field of a playoff game with a smile on his fact. It’s a crazy, crazy league.
“I love it, man,” Lane Johnson said. “With him, a lot of people were counting him out, were giving up on him. There’s something about him. His whole career, he’s always fought. This is big for him. I was happy for him. And I just want to keep on going for him.”
While Peters has struggled to stay on the field because of injuries this season, the veteran tackle said he feels pretty good now. At the start of the season, he estimated he was around 75 percent healthy coming off that ACL surgery. He said he fought through it for about eight weeks, but since then has been getting healthier and healthier each week.
Even the other injuries that have plagued him this season seem to be under control. Despite a few plays where he was beat by All-Pro Khalil Mack, Peters played really well on Sunday afternoon. They’re going to need that from him next week too.
No one knows if Peters will be back next season. At this point in his career, that’s the approach from both sides. But he is the longest-tenured Eagle right now and he finally got a first-hand taste of postseason success.
“He’s just been a special player for this organization for a long time,” Kelce said. “Not just the type of player he is, but the type of personality he is, the type of person he is. Everybody was really happy for JP to be out there battling with us.”
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