In a little more than 24 hours, Super Bowl LII between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles will be kicked off. The two teams teams are entering the game as their respective conference's number one playoffs seed, which they both earned with identical 13-3 records during the regular season - all despite suffering some major injury losses along the way.
Let's take a look back at the Eagles' to find out how they made it to their third Super Bowl in franchise history:
Week 1: at Washington Redskins
Result: W 30-17
Philadelphia opened its 2017 season on the road against Washington. The game started as a sloppy affair on both sides and saw a combined four turnovers in the first half. However, behind an opportunistic defense that registered four takeaways on the day – one of which a touchdown – and a big-play offense, the Eagles were able to pull away late: After entering the final period up by two points, Philadelphia scored 11 fourth quarter points to secure a 30-17 win.
Week 2: at Kansas City Chiefs
Result: L 20-27
The Eagles' second straight home game brought the team its first loss of the season. While Philadelphia generally moved the football well on offense, the team struggled to convert red zone trips into touchdowns. Kansas City, on the other hand, was able to take advantage of this and of Philadelphia's self-inflicted wounds to pull away in the fourth quarter en route to a 27-20 win.
Week 3: vs New York Giants
Result: W 27-24
Philadelphia's home opener and first divisional game was a wild one. After a scoreless opening quarter, the game turned into a shootout. After the Eagles took a 14-0 lead, New York scored three straight fourth quarter touchdowns to move ahead 21-14. The home team answered with a touchdown to tie it and both teams exchanged field goals in the game's final three minutes. The home team finally won on a last-second 61-yard kick by rookie Jake Elliott.
Week 4: at Los Angeles Chargers
Result: W 26-24
As has been the case multiple times during the season, the Eagles had a fast start against the Chargers. After moving ahead 13-0, the team took a 16-10 lead into the locker rooms at halftime. The Eagles, who ran for 214 yards on the day, stayed ahead in the second half but saw the home team come closer. However, Philadelphia iced the game on a long fourth quarter possession.
Week 5: vs Arizona Cardinals
Result: W 34-7
One of the Eagles' most lopsided wins of the season took place in week five. From the opening snap, Philadelphia was in control of the game and jumped to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter behind a pace-controlling offense, stifling defense, and big-play special teams unit. Even though the home team did slow down a bit after building a three-touchdown lead, it still remained in control throughout the contest.
Week 6: at Carolina Panthers
Result: W 28-23
A combination of efficient offensive football and a ball-hawking defense made the difference in the Eagles' week six win in Carolina. Philadelphia was able to score touchdowns on both its red zone trips, while the Jim Schwartz' defense intercepted the Panthers a total of three times. This made the difference in a close game between two playoff teams, that was tied at 10 at the half.
Week 7: vs Washington Redskins
Result: W 34-24
At least early on, the Eagles' rematch against the Redskins was a tight affair. Washington even took a 10-3 lead midway through the second quarter – but at that point, the home team started to get into a rhythm and scored 21 unanswered points. And while Washington came within seven in the third quarter, Carson Wentz and the offense were simply too good that day to allow a comeback.
Week 8: vs San Francisco 49ers
Result: W 33-10
Offense, defense and special teams all contributed to the Eagles jumping to a 17-0 halftime lead against the 0-7 49ers: After a Jake Elliott field goal, Carson Wentz and Zach Ertz connected on a touchdown pass before a Jalen Mills interception return added to the team's lead. The second half saw Philadelphia add to its lead and improve its record to 7-1 – matching its win total from the 2016 season after just eight games.
Week 9: vs Denver Broncos
Result: W 51-23
The NFL's number three scoring defense had its most productive day in week nine against Denver. Carson Wentz threw for four touchdowns against what used to be a great Broncos defense prior to this season, while Philadelphia rushed for almost 200 yards. Add two interceptions by the defense and a dominating effort versus Denver's ground game and, baby, you got a blowout going.
Week 10: Bye
Week 11: at Dallas Cowboys
Result: W 37-9
Coming out of their bye week, the Eagles played a close game on the road against the Cowboys – at least early on. After Dallas took a 9-7 lead into the half, Philadelphia turned on the heat and scored 30 unanswered points to win in blowout fashion. Key components of the win were the visitors' opportunistic defense that registered four takeaways as well as a season-best 215 rushing yards by the offense.
Week 12: vs Chicago Bears
Result: W 31-3
Week 12 saw Philadelphia register its fourth straight blowout victory. As opposed to their game against the Cowboys one week earlier, the Eagles dominated the 3-7 Bears from start to finish. The offense's balanced attack was too potent for Chicago while the defense held its opponent to just one field goal – all while registering two interceptions and limiting the Bears to 0.4 yards per carry. If there was one flaw in the game it was the Eagles losing three fumbles.
Week 13: at Seattle Seahawks
Result: L 10-24
After nine straight wins, the Eagles came up short in Seattle. Philadelphia was able to keep the game close in the first half and was in a position to tie the game on the first drive of the third quarter. However, a fumble by Carson Wentz went through the Seahawks end zone for a touchback. On the next drive, Seattle took a 17-3 lead. The touchback was one of multiple errors made by the Eagles that contributed to their 24-10 defeat.
Week 14: at Los Angeles Rams
Result: W 43-35
The Eagles' game against the Rams was one of the best offensive contests of the year that saw the two teams gain a combined 762 yard of offense. However, the game's importance lies outside its shootout nature: On a touchdown run in the third quarter, quarterback Carson Wentz tore his ACL and was lost for the season. The team pulled out the victory but from that point on had to rely on backup Nick Foles.
Week 15: at New York Giants
Result: W 34-29
Foles' first start came against the Giants one week later – and he had a very good game, completing 24 of 38 passes for 237 yards and four touchdowns; three of which in a first half that ended 23-21 in the home team’s favor. However, Philadelphia was able to pull away in the third quarter by scoring 10 unanswered points before special teams and defense sealed the deal in the fourth period.
Week 16: vs Oakland Raiders
Result: W 19-10
The Eagles and Raiders fought a defensive battle in week 16. Philadelphia had the better start but the two teams entered halftime tied at seven. The visitors would go up by three after intermission before the home team tied the contest later in the third quarter – following a stretch that saw three turnovers in a four-play span. With 27 seconds left, Jake Elliott put the Eagles up 13-10, before a last-second fumble return touchdown added six more points to Philadelphia's total.
Week 17: vs Dallas Cowboys
Result: L 0-6
On the final day of the regular season, the Eagles had their worst outing of the year. One reason for that was that Philadelphia – the NFC's number one playoff seed in hand – opted to bench most of its starters after only one quarter. The same happened on defense but as opposed to the team's offense, the unit stood its ground and surrendered only one touchdown. Ultimately, it was not enough to beat Dallas.
NFC Divisional round: vs Atlanta Falcons
Result: W 15-10
Philadelphia's playoff run started against the Falcons. But despite being the conference's top seed and thus playing at home, the Eagles were seen as an underdog by the oddsmakers. Early on, this seemed to hold true as the second offensive play of the day was a turnover that set up an Atlanta field goal. However, after entering halftime down 10-9, momentum started to shift towards the home team: The Eagles' clock-control offense produced two field goals while the defense stifled its opponent. A fourth quarter rally by the Falcons ultimately came up short at the Philadelphia 2-yard line.
NFC Championship Game: vs Minnesota Vikings
As has been the case one week earlier, the Eagles entered the NFC Championship Game against the visiting Vikings as the underdog. And, as has also been the case one week earlier, Philadelphia proved its doubters wrong by playing one of its most complete games of the season. After falling behind 7-0, the Eagles defense registered a pick-six to tie the game. With the offense in a groove and the defense registering another takeaway, Philadelphia was able to head into halftime with a 24-7 lead. The team added two more touchdowns on its first two drives of the second half and was able to punch its ticket to the Super Bowl in dominating fashion.
The Eagles have not been perfect since Nick Foles took over as the team's starter – but they played at an incredibly high level despite missing their starting quarterback. Paired with a big-play defense, the team proved why it is the class of the NFC by defeating two highly talented squads in the playoffs. Whether Philadelphia also is the class of the league will be seen tomorrow.