Fans of the New England Patriots across the globe and Henry Hill can certainly agree on one thing; after you’ve lived the finest of the fine life, it’s hard adjusting to living the rest of your life like a shnook.
I mean, this is the third year in a row we’ve been talking about draft picks in JANUARY, and we don’t even get to do that thing where we just assume the top 25 on everyone’s draft boards will already be gone by the time we pick. That’ll humble you real quick.
So, now we find ourselves on the outside looking in on the Super Bowl once again, and the game’s significantly less fun to watch if you’re the guy wearing the ironic “I Hope Both Teams Have Fun” shirt from Instagram. And there’s only one choice for fans of our pedigree:
The Philadelphia Eagles.
(what, you didn’t think the blog named Pats Pulpit dot com was going to go all-in on cheering for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, did you?)
Now, I know what you’re thinking. The EAGLES? The dog mask bros that handed Tom Brady his third Super Bowl loss and all but guaranteed that Brady breaking the Super Bowl passing record that he himself had just set the year before would be lost to the sands of time? The team that thought they had cracked the code to defeating the historically dominating Patriots at football, arguably the most complex sport on the planet, was simply having more fun at practice? The Eagles team that lucked into the second-easiest schedule in the entire league and cruised through the Daniel Jones Giants with your UberEats driver getting snaps at wide receiver and the
Brock Purdy Josh Johnson 49ers like they were speedrunning Goldeneye? What’s next, you’re going to tell me the X-Men should team up with Magneto??
Yep, you heard right. Those Eagles.
Still not convinced? Probably not. Fine. Crack open a fresh Gansett and let’s make the case for the green team.
Starting with the obvious one, cause I’d bet the rent you’re as sick of this as I am:
Jalen Hurts can stop the Mahomespocalyse
What we DO hate, and with all due respect to our moms that all told us that hate is a very strong word, is literally everyone talking about Patrick Mahomes. The dorks on ESPN and FS1 saying it’s already time to GOAT him because he can throw a frozen rope 65 yards across his body while he’s rolling out of the pocket and making one of those fancy $17 cocktails where they take out that little blowtorch and toast the top.
The fans that’ll tell you “NO ONE’s ever seen this!” when guys like Donovan McNabb and Roger Staubach and Steve Young did it before they were even a twinkle in their father’s eye. The casuals that act like the famous sick incompletion in the Super Bowl a few years ago was a religious experience. The drunkasses at the bar that say Mahomes would’ve won every Super Bowl since he joined the NFL, except for all the parts when, y’know, he didn’t.
And then analysts and ESPN shows and podcasters have the chutzpah to tell US that WE’RE not appreciating Patrick Mahomes enough, because we all have LeBron James MVP fatigue and just get excited about the flavor of the week cause we’re bored with Mahomes and his greatness?
Jalen Hurts and the Eagles are our only hope of sending all the worst people in sports a collective, resounding GTFO.
Seriously, what would it say about Patrick Mahomes agenda if he can’t even outgun a second-round (air quotes) Project QB who’s more well-known for his bananas fantasy football scores and getting benched in a national championship than his ability to, you know, throw footballs?
Help us Jalen Hurts, you’re our only hope. We’re all helpless little Grogus in desperate need of a Mandolorian to save us from all the mean space aliens and gnarly monsters and stuff.
Next up: this may sound bizarre, but maybe the Eagles can help us out with something that’s been on our Christmas list since... forever?
Maybe the Eagles can convince Bill Belichick to get a real BAMF wide receiver
Men only want one thing and it’s disgusting, and it’s a man who can one-hand catch 69-yard bombs at approximately the same rate as Randy Moss and Rob Gronkowski. Is that too much to ask?
The Eagles, meanwhile, have succeeded in smashing fashion at following the old Bill Belichick business model of “it’s good to succeed by being smart, but sometimes it’s best to succeed by just aiding other teams’ efforts to be stupid”. When the Tennessee Titans did the “I had a summer job and paid my tuition every semester in cash!” boomer routine in response to A.J. Brown’s relatively reasonable contract expectations, the Eagles looked at the trade proposal like, “Wait, we can acquire one of the most baller receivers in the game for the price of... a draft pick or two and some money?”
Mmmmmm, that sounds good. I’ll have that.
All A.J. Brown did this season was log the fourth-most receiving yards in the entire NFL, haul in 88 passes and hit pay dirt for 11 touchdowns, and average a nice, tidy 17.0 yards per catch. All while running an entirely disproportionate number of routes that are almost guaranteed to get his clock cleaned coming across the middle:
A.J. Brown route profile relative to other wide receivers.— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) February 6, 2023
Tons of "in" routes -- 2nd-highest rate of all wide receivers. Lots of go routes and above average rates of drags too. pic.twitter.com/7Qy51AIV27
Brown also laughs at your cute little “press coverage”, which... I ‘member when the Patriots had guys that didn’t get bodied by defensive backs.
A.J. Brown averaged a career-high 4.5 yards per route against press coverage this season, the most in a season in the NGS era (min. 100 routes).— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) January 31, 2023
Brown has gained a league-high +572 receiving yards over expected vs press since being drafted in 2019.#SBLVII | #FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/XnMMBxuAiC
Bill Belichick is already on the path from his old ways to wide-receiver-curious; he spent the 32nd overall pick on the only receiver in the 2019 draft that turned out to stink out loud, and then took one of his famous second-round flyers on the fastest WR in the draft that’s also somehow five inches taller and roughly the same weight as Wes Welker. All we have to do is convince him to not run away from his feelings, and maybe we can have a badass receiver of our very own!
Plus, I mean, Belichick already fell for this pitch once before. Nelson Agholor cooked the Patriots in the Super Bowl and he promptly handed him 100 million dollars. Or something like that.
Let’s get back to old grudges and stuff:
2017 stings, and people don’t forget. Tom Brady went ahead and dragged one of the worst defenses in NFL history — not hyperbole, just a factual statement — to a damn Super Bowl en route to winning his tthird MVP and breaking his own Super Bowl passing record that he had set barely 12 months before in the 28-3 Bowl. All to get strip-sacked by Brandon Graham and sit there after the clock hit triple zeroes like “Wait, what do you MEAN there’s no more time for ‘one more possession for Tom Brady to do his game-winning drive thing’?”
That being said, that makes it one for them, and one for us. I mean, imagine a nightmare bizarro world and being on the losing side of this:
And then as an added insult to injury, Philly wasted a positively Incredible Hulk performance from Terrell Owens and got to listen to Donovan McNabb puke jokes for the next decade and a half. Brutal stuff. Especially after four straight seasons of playoff runs with Andy Reid and finding increasingly new and creative ways to choke each and every time.
So, yeah. You got us once, and we got you. Even Stevens. It’s time to bury the hatchet already.
(the Philly Special was totally an illegal formation, though)
The Eagles prove New England’s team-building model can work
That team-building model, of course, is “I would simply draft good football players”. Boom. Done. Profit.
Jokes aside though, Philly’s built their squad in a way Bill the GM has to love; they’re almost a lock to use at least one of their top-60 picks on big, mean-as-hell trench boys. Basically all their ass-kickers up are homegrown talents: Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat, and rookie behemoth Jordan Davis on the defensive line, and Landon Dickerson, Jordan Mailata, Isaac Seumalo, Andre Dillard, Lane Johnson, and the somehow ubiquitous Jason Kelce mauling on the O-line. All Eagles draft picks.
Like your moron friend that burns way more money on Powerball tickets than any reasonable human always says, can’t win the lotto if you don’t play.
Meanwhile, the Eagles may be the only team on the planet that shares the Patriots’ Ross Gellar luck when it comes to drafting wide receivers. You already know the names if you’re even a draft casual — J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Jalen Reagor in back-to-back years, our respective headache Nelson Agholor, Jordan Matthews, and that’s just the Thursday and Friday picks from the last half-decade or so.
The solution, of course, as we covered in exhausting detail a few minutes ago, is “Keep taking swings and eventually a Devonta Smith will pan out” and “When all else fails, work smart not hard and let someone else find ‘em and we’ll acquire ‘em and pay ‘em. With money”.
Now for an uncomfortable truth:
Philly fans: They’re just like us
Bills fans may have been getting all the love for the last few years, with their ketchup and mustard showers and the folding tables and the Zubaz pants, but there’s crazy, and then there’s CRAZY, where you pronounce it as a three-syllable word. Bills fans know how to have fun; Eagles fans truly have no regard for their own lives.
Among other things, last time the Eagles won it all, the city of Philadelphia had to grease the lamp posts in a feeble attempt to keep the fans on the ground... and fans didn’t just climb them, at least one got removed from the ground altogether and paraded around like the spoils of war.
And as salty as we all were at the time, we all saw the Eagles parade. These are some birds of a feather (no pun intended, but, sorry for the dad joke anyway) right here:
These nutbars in Philly know just how precious a Super Bowl win is and how hard they are to come by, and how to properly celebrate with appropriately insane behavior. Meanwhile Chiefs fans are out here acting like every Super Bowl is their birthright these days, and... Hey, wait a minute, that’s what we did around here for 15 years!?
Running the ball can still make hay
For as many times as he’s discovered a Konami code that breaks the rest of the NFL and forces everyone else to get on his level or get wrecked, Bill Belichick still very much enjoys his vices. Every football coach talks about how much they want to run the ball. Bill Belichick... well, let’s say that if the NFL was a punk show, he’d be in the pit.
And since a big part of football is, you know, scoring more points than your enemies, nobody was better at pounding the rock into the end zone for six than the Eagles. Philly smashed in 32 rushing touchdowns in the regular season, a comfy eight ahead of the second-highest Dallas Cowboys and nine ahead of the third-place Detroit Lions. They rushed for the fifth-most yards in the league and averaged a tidy little 4.6 yards per carry, and Jalen Hurts forcing defenses to play 11-on-11 quite frequently plays out like a cool version of what we hoped Cam Newton could be up here.
If you count the playoffs, the Eagles are clocking an average of 153.9 rushing yards a game. And if they can bring home the bacon on Sunday night, that’d be the highest rush yards per game average for a Super Bowl champ since the ‘98 Denver Broncos.
It’s the year two thousand and twenty three, by the way. Teams aren’t supposed to win this way anymore. Not when everyone’s jonesing for their very own Josh Allen that’ll sling it 70 times a game.
Surely, that’s got to put a smile on an OG like Bill Belichick’s face. He does smile every once in a while, you know.
The Always Sunny cast loves them
You know a show has struck pure gold when the premise is, “These are the 5 worst people you’ve ever met” and all it does is become the longest-running live sitcom show in American history. We’ve been watching these freaks crash and burn every week since before the Celtics traded for Kevin Garnett!
All the Eagles jokes in the show, right down to the Linc being extremely prominently featured in the theme song, aren’t just fan pandering; Mac and Dee and the most of the gang is out here living it.
Even if you’re as famous as them, these Super Bowl tix couldn’t have been easy to come by:
Can we just skip the next two hours and call it a night? pic.twitter.com/8qBwIcjBUC— Rob McElhenney (@RMcElhenney) February 5, 2018
(ok, ok, the whole, “you’re not from here, you wouldn’t get it” is what every fanbase for every team in every sport across this entire country always says, but still.)
They’ve brought us enough joy that maybe they can have another Philly championship, as a treat.
And last, but certainly not least:
The Eagles saved us from the rest of the NFC
Imagine a world where the Eagles didn’t get a yellow brick road to the Super Bowl and one of these clown teams made a playoff run for the privilege of being Patrick Mahomes’ target practice:
The 49ers? With a backup-backup quarterback and we have to listen to not only two weeks of Tom Brady comps, but two weeks of how Kyle Shanahan is a generational genius and how dreamy his offense is and how his defense is a combination of the ‘85 Bears and the 300 Spartans despite, y’know, the part where his Super Bowl ring count is still the same as you and me? I’d rather gargle a bar mat shot.
The Cowboys? America’s Team, the guys that roll into every season and somehow find a way to keep their streak of never even making an NFC Championship since they last won the Super Bowl in 1995 alive? The world doesn’t need any MORE Cowboys/Yankees/Lakers/Duke fans, thank you very much.
Giants? For obvious reasons: ABSOLUTELY THE HELL NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
The Vikings? If you thought the Ghostbusters crossing the streams was risky, imagine what could happen to the space-time continuum if Kirk Cousins wins a Super Bowl. He’d probably try to rap Eminem in the postgame or something.
Bucs... would actually be excellent for the Brady agenda, but then on the other hand, Tom winning two without Bill Belichick could power the takes on Boston sports radio for 50 lifetimes. So, no. Absolutely not. No one deserves that, especially not us. Bring on the cordyceps if that’s the situation.
That leaves the Eagles. Let’s try this on for size, a la Dave Chappelle’s Tiger Woods attempting for the very first time to say something he’s always wanted to say, “For Shizzle”: