Foles' value, Minneapolis takeover and more in Roob's observations

Foles' value, Minneapolis takeover and more in Roob's observations

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.

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.

Eagles are raffling off a real deal Super Bowl ring for charity


Eagles are raffling off a real deal Super Bowl ring for charity

Jeff Lurie has turned into Willy Wonka for a good cause. 

The Eagles on Wednesday announced that they’re going to raffle off a Super Bowl ring and all the proceeds will go to the Eagles Autism Challenge, Inc. 

This is pretty cool. 

Click here to donate and enter.  

The coolest part is that the ring the Eagles will give away on Dec. 3 before Monday Night Football against Washington at the Linc, is the real deal ring. The one the players got, with all 219 diamonds and 17 green sapphires. And it'll be personalized. 

The contest is underway and runs through Sept. 30 at 11:59 p.m. Fans can enter the contest by making a donation to the Eagles Autism Challenge, starting at $10 for 100 entries. The fan who wins will also get 50-yard line seats to that Dec. 3 game. 

There are also other incentives for fans who submit 2,500 entries or more. 

The Eagles have already done incredible work through their autism challenge, raising over $2.5 million at the inaugural event in May. This is a pretty cool way to raise even more money for a good cause.

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On his 35th birthday, a look at possible Darren Sproles milestones

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On his 35th birthday, a look at possible Darren Sproles milestones

Generally speaking, running backs either begin to decline or hit a wall around the time they turn 30. 

That hasn’t happened to Darren Sproles. 

In fact, today is Sproles’ birthday. He turns 35 and after rehabbing his way back from a torn ACL and a broken forearm, he still hasn’t shown signs of slowing down. That, in itself, is pretty incredible. 

Since it’s Sproles’ birthday, it seems like a good time to look into the elite company he can join this year as a productive 35-plus-year-old in the NFL. 

Sproles will enter the 2018 season with 19,155 all-purpose yards. He’s already eighth in NFL history and has a chance to surpass quite a few names on this list with a productive season. There are just seven players in front of him and five of them are already Hall of Famers: 

Jerry Rice: 23,546
Brian Mitchell: 23,330
Walter Payton: 21,803
Emmit Smith: 21,564
Tim Brown: 19,682
Marshall Faulk: 19,190
Steve Smith Jr.: 19,180

It’s impossible to know just how productive Sproles will be in 2018, especially as he’s coming off a significant knee injury. Last year, he had only two healthy games and he had just 88 all-purpose yards in them, putting him on pace for 704. That would have been significantly lower than his three previous seasons with the Eagles. 

In those three previous seasons, we saw a very slight decline from 1,237 in 2014 to 1,171 in 2015 to 1,108 in 2016. 

But if Sproles can return to form and is able to eclipse 1,000 all-purpose yards in 2018, he’d become just the eighth running back in NFL history to do it at age 35 or older. A search of Pro Football Reference shows the top mark ever for a running back over 35 (must be 35 or older on Dec. 31 of that year) was Herschel Walker’s season in 1997 (1,336). 

If Sproles eclipses that 1,000-yard mark, he’d also become just the second Eagles player (any position) to do it at 35 or older. The only other Eagle to do it was Irving Fryar, who had 1,316 back in 1997 too. 

He’d also move past Smith, Faulk and Brown into fifth all-time in all-purpose yards, becoming just the fifth player in NFL history to surpass the 20,000-yard mark. 

Even in 2016, when he had a down year as a punt returner, Sproles still had 224 punt return yards. If he surpasses the 200-yard mark this season, he’d be just the third player in NFL history to do it at 35 or older. The other three are Michael Lewis (336 in 2007), Leo Lewis (225 in 1991) and Mel Gray (205 in 1996). 

And this year, with the new kickoff rules, there’s a chance the Eagles might use him as a kick returner too. More chances to pile up yards. 

The man himself doesn’t care too much about individual achievements; he’d rather win another Super Bowl. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy tracking his progress. 

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