Vegas has installed Philadelphia as 5.5-point underdog to New England in Super Bowl LII, but let’s all think like we’re wearing dog masks for a minute.
The NFC’s top seed, tagged as damaged goods after losing quarterback Carson Wentz to injury late in the regular season, has played the underdog throughout the playoffs and played it well. They’ve even made it a thing, hence the pictures and videos of Eagles players wearing dog masks.
All apologies to Cleveland’s “Dog Pound,” which hasn’t had reason to woof in years.
All apologies to those who will never forgive the Eagles for giving Michael Vick a second chance. A few years removed, the franchise might have fallen into tone deafness, but we digress.
The Eagles have everything needed to make Tom Brady test his comeback magic again. Minus Wentz, they’re built similarly to the Jaguars, which made Brady pull a signature comeback at home in Sunday’s AFC Championship game.
Great defense, strong offensive line and running game and, until Sunday, an iffy quarterback in Nick Foles.
He’s Wentz’s backup, and to that role he will return, but the Eagles’ offense has evolved in his five games as the next man up. Against the Vikings in Sunday’s NFC Championship, the Foles-led incarnation of Philly’s offense clicked against one of the NFL’s top defenses.
Foles didn’t just hand off and dink and dunk on run-pass options. He ducked and dodged in the pocket and hit passes down field.
The Eagles came in with a plan to take shots and hit them, and they have two more weeks to evolve before playing Foles’ sixth fill-in game. Maybe it’s time to appreciate this underdog’s pedigree more.