The Super Bowl matchup is finally set between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles. To get there, the Chiefs defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC championship, while the Eagles defeated the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship.
Almost every year, the one-and-done NFL playoffs see some teams get very lucky; the stars align just perfectly for them. That’s certainly what happened this year and why I don’t believe this Super Bowl matchup is between the two best teams this football season.
The end of the NFL season can be very unpredictable, especially compared to other professional sports. In the MLB’s and NBA’s “best-of-seven” playoff series, teams are given several chances to succeed. It’s “one strike, and you’re out” with the NFL playoffs, meaning some teams don’t get to truly show what they are capable of, maybe bearing injury. Oftentimes, NFL fans don’t see their team’s true potential when the playoffs finally arrive. This year was no different.
This year, the Philadelphia Eagles were the luckiest team in the whole NFL. Before the season started, the Eagles had the third easiest schedule in the league. The teams they faced had a combined winning percentage of .462, which means a majority of the teams that they faced had records below the average of .500. This allowed the Eagles to cruise to a 14-3 record, securing the 1st seed, first round bye and home field advantage in the NFC playoffs.
In the playoffs, they played the 9-7-1 New York Giants, beating them for a third time this season. In the championship game, they played the 49ers. The 49ers had already gone through two different starting quarterbacks through the season, Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo, and were on their third-string quarterback, the last pick in the draft: Mr. Irrelevant Brock Purdy. It just so happened that Purdy would tear his UCL in the first half of the game, and the team’s backup quarterback, Josh Johnson, would go down with a concussion, leaving the 49ers with no quarterback and the Eagles with a free trip to the Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona.
That’s not to say that the Eagles aren’t good. In fact, they’re very good. They have the second-ranked defense and the third-ranked offense. However, with all that in mind, I still don’t think the Eagles were the best team in the NFC. I believe if the 49ers had been able to utilize their regular lineup of players in that matchup, they would have won the game and gone to the Super Bowl.
But they didn’t. The Eagles are in the Super Bowl, and if they can win the game, they will prove me wrong. It’ll be tough, though, because I believe the Chiefs were the best team in the AFC (even though they might have gotten some help from the refs in the championship game).
I have never really liked the Eagles and probably never will. I will be reluctantly cheering for the Chiefs. But if the Eagles do win, you might hear me say, “FLY EAGLES FLY.”