Eagles

Roob's 10 observations a month after the Super Bowl

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USA Today Images

Roob's 10 observations a month after the Super Bowl

It’s been a month now, and I’m guessing most Eagles fans still wake up some mornings, sit up, look around and then the reality hits them.

“Holy crap … The Eagles actually won the Super Bowl.”

This is called winning. And it's fun.

All of our lives changed in one way or another that frigid February evening in Minneapolis. So let’s take a look back with 10 Eagles Observations One Month after They Won the Super Bowl.

1. One thing I didn’t expect going into the Super Bowl was a big game from LeGarrette Blount. Blount’s productivity had clearly dropped the second half of the season. Through the Bears game in November, he was averaging 4.8 yards per carry — fourth-highest in the NFL. The next seven weeks, Blount averaged 2.9 yards per carry — second-worst in the NFL during that span. The other thing is, the Super Bowl is a young man’s game. Going into Super Bowl LII, only two running backs Blount’s age had rushed for 50 yards in a Super Bowl while averaging 4.0 yards per carry — none since O.J. Anderson in 1991. No running back 31 or older had ever averaged 6.0 yards per carry in a Super Bowl. Or even 5.0. So history was against him. And on the Eagles’ first drive, Blount had two carries for minus-1 yard. But Doug Pederson stuck with Blount, and on Blount's next carry, he plowed through traffic for a 36-yard gain, and on his following carry, he ran 21 yards for a touchdown. Blount finished with 14 carries for 90 yards, unprecedented numbers for a back his age. It was a remarkable performance, even more remarkable considering his age and the way he finished the season.

2. Putting Tom Brady’s performance in context, he became only the seventh quarterback in NFL history — regular season or postseason — with 500 passing yards and no interceptions in a game. That’s what the Eagles overcame.

3. And this: Going into the Super Bowl, 39 teams in NFL history had gained 600 yards in a game and none had lost. The Eagles allowed 613 and won.

4. Keep this in mind when watching the combine: The Eagles’ Super Bowl roster had more players who were undrafted or drafted in the fifth through seventh rounds (28) than drafted in the first three rounds (23). The combine has its purpose, but ultimately how many reps you do or how fast you do the three-cone drill doesn’t make you a champion.

5. For those who still buy into the nonsense that Nick Foles’ postseason was a fluke, consider this: Only six quarterbacks in NFL history have had more postseason games with a passer rating of 100 before their 30th birthday: Troy Aikman, Brett Favre, Joe Flacco, Russell Wilson, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. If Foles was a fluke, then those guys were flukes, too.

6. Let’s put the Eagles’ offensive performance in Super Bowl LII into context: The Eagles netted 374 passing yards and 164 rushing yards. That made them the first Super Bowl team and only the fourth team in NFL postseason history with 350 passing yards and 150 rushing yards. The Eagles recorded the fifth-most passing yards in a Super Bowl and the sixth-highest rushing average. How do you stop that combination? It speaks volumes about Pederson’s play calling that the Eagles were able to do whatever they wanted whenever they wanted and that he was able to mix up the play calls to the point where whatever he dialed up worked. Doug called a perfect game. The man is a genius.

7. Regarding the Philly Special, I don’t know what’s more incredible to watch: The exchange between Doug and Nick on the sideline or the play itself. I still can’t believe either one actually happened.

8. All year Pederson spoke about how he wanted his guys to just have fun, do what they do best, relax and enjoy every moment. That was just Corey Clement, Trey Burton and Nick Foles being themselves and having fun on that play. You can’t execute that play under that spotlight, on 4th down in a Super Bowl, with 100 million people watching, if you aren’t loose and free and having fun.  

9. I was talking to Clement postgame in the locker room when an emotional Jeff Lurie came over and embraced him. I snapped this with my phone. Love this picture:  

10. The most amazing stat ever is that Foles has 14 incomplete passes combined in the second half of his four career postseason starts. Fourteen. He’s 48 for 62 for 544 yards with five touchdowns, no interceptions and a 130.4 passer rating. That’s not even possible.

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

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Eagles

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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