PHOENIX - A pivotal Eagles-Chiefs matchup, an impossible Eagles rushing touchdown stat and a weird postseason wide receiver trend.
It's Day 2 in Arizona, and Day 2 of our Roob's Daily Random Eagles Super Bowl Observations!
See you back here in 24 hours!
1. Talk about Good on Good. Maybe the biggest Super Bowl matchup is the Eagles’ defensive line vs. the Chiefs’ offensive line. The Eagles’ defensive line is by far the best in the league, but they’ll be working against a Chiefs’ offensive line ranked 4th-best in the league by Pro Football Focus and No. 7 in pass blocking. Other than the 49ers, who wound up not throwing the ball, this will be the highest-rated pass-blocking o-line the Eagles have faced this year. Haason Reddick draws former undrafted free agent Andrew Wylie, and Josh Sweat lines up against four-time Pro Bowl left tackle Orlando Brown. That’s a challenge for Sweat, although he'll make plays against every offensive tackle he faces. The Chiefs are very good in the interior, with guards Joe Thuney, a first-time Pro Bowler this year, and Trey Smith, plus center Creed Humphrey, who also made his first Pro Bowl. So the biggest mismatch is Reddick vs. Wylie. Reddick is having the best season by an Eagles pass rusher since Reggie White in 1987, and I’m not sure if anybody else is close. Let’s face it, you’re not going to beat the Chiefs if you don’t pressure Mahomes. He gets rid of the ball fast, and doesn’t take a lot of sacks – 29 in 19 games this year. But his mobility is also not where it usually is, with that ankle injury. The Eagles have 58 sacks in their last 12 games – twice as many as they had all last year and the most sacks any NFL team has had in a 12-game stretch since the 1986 Bears. If they can keep up that pace, they’re not losing this game.
2. This one is totally nuts but true: 19 percent of all the rushing touchdowns the Eagles have ever scored in the postseason in franchise history have come in the three games Nick Sirianni has coached. They had 34 in 46 playoff games before Sirianni, eight in three playoff games since.
3. The Eagles are 20-1 in the last 21 games Jalen Hurts has thrown one or fewer interception. They’re 1-2 during the same span when he throws more than one. His only loss since November of 2021 with one or no INTs was the second Washington game this year. He’s won 15 straight games with no INTs, a streak that dates back to the Chargers game last year.
4. The Eagles and Chiefs are 3-3 vs. each other since 1999, and Andy Reid has been the winning coach in all six games.
5. The 14 points the Eagles have allowed in their two playoff games are the fewest by any team in the conference semifinal and conference championship round combined in 22 years. In 2000, the Ravens beat the Titans 24-10 and the Raiders 16-3, and the Giants beat the Eagles 20-10 and the Vikings 41-10. The Ravens beat the Giants 34-7 in the Super Bowl. Last time the Eagles allowed seven or fewer points in consecutive postseason games was the 1948 and 1949 NFL Championship Games, when they beat the Cards 14-0 and the Rams 7-0.
6. The Eagles haven’t had a wide receiver with 100 yards in their last 11 playoff games or their last 16 postseason victories. Their last 100-yard WR in the postseason was Jeremy Maclin, who had 146 yards in the 2009 loss to the Cowboys. Their last 100-yard WR in a postseason win was Fred Barnett, who had 109 yards in the 58-37 wild-card win over the Lions at the Vet in 1995.
7. I really don’t dwell on the past but I can’t help wondering what Carson Wentz is thinking this week.
8. Boston Scott has 20 career touchdowns on 372 touches, and Kenny Gainwell has 12 career touchdowns on 247 touches. No running back in Eagles history has more TDs on fewer than 400 touches than Scott, and no running back in Eagles history has more TDs on fewer than 250 touches than Gainwell. In NFL history, only nine RBs with fewer than 400 touches have more TDs than Scott (only two in the last 40 years) and only 14 RBs with fewer than 250 touches have more TDs than Gainwell (only two in the last 50 years). Flat-out touchdown machines.
9. Jalen Hurts was 2-9 in his first 11 career starts against teams with winning records. He's 7-1 since.
10. The Chiefs’ Isiah Pacheco, a native of Vineland, is the fifth South Jersey running back to reach a Super Bowl. Rancocas Valley’s Franco Harris played in four for the Steelers from 1974 through 1979, Overbrook graduate Ron Dayne was with the Giants in their loss to the Ravens after the 2000 season, Paulsboro’s Isaac Redman played for the Steelers in their loss to the Packers following the 2010 season and Glassboro’s Corey Clement obviously had a huge game for the Eagles in Super Bowl LII in 2017. Pacheco has had a terrific rookie year as a 7th-round pick out of Rutgers, with 830 rushing yards and a 4.9 average plus 121 more yards and a 5.5 average in the postseason. In college, Pacheco never ran for more than 729 yards in a season.