It’s no surprise that the Philadelphia Eagles organization as a whole would have less collective Super Bowl experience than Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, but it’s not even remotely close. A stat popped out of my Twitter feed on Tuesday, and it really illustrated that the underdog status of this team goes far beyond a point spread.
Entering SuperBowl Lll, Tom Brady has played in 7 Super Bowls in his career, as many as the entire Eagles roster combined (7)— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) January 23, 2018
Heading into the NFC Championship, head coach Doug Pederson was utilizing some of the veteran players who had played on footballs biggest stage to talk about how to manage emotions and stay motivated. There was a very small pool of players in this category. Only seven players on the entire roster have ever played this far into the postseason -- highlighting just how special this opportunity is — but all seven finished on the winning side of things and came away rings.
(Technically eight Eagles have Super Bowl rings. Offensive tackle Will Beatty was with the Giants the year they beat the Patriots in Super Bowl 46, but after suffering a detached retina in late-November against (ironically) Philadelphia, Beatty underwent emergency surgery and was on IR to finish out the year. So while he does have a Super Bowl ring, this will be his first time actually playing on the big stage.)
Super Bowl XLIV
When the New Orleans Saints hosted the Super Bowl just a year after the Katrina disaster, Malcolm Jenkins and his teammates were playing to heal an entire city. With only the Indianapolis Colts (still led by Peyton Manning) standing between them and one of the best sports moments of all time, the Saints were dominant in third 31-17 victory. Jenkins finished the day with four total tackles and nice piece of bling.
Super Bowl XLVII
Three current Eagles players were apart of the Baltimore Ravens team to upend the San Francisco 49ers to cap off the 2012 season, winning 34-31. Receiver Torrey Smith followed up a three-game playoff run that included nine receptions for 198 yards with a rather meager performance of just two catches for 35 yards (off six total targets) in the Super Bowl matchup.
Over on defense, nine-year veteran LB Dannell Ellerbe claimed six total tackles (four solo), along with 11-year player DB Corey Graham snagging four total tackles (two solo). With 20 years of NFL experience between the two — and a pair of Super Bowl rings -- they should be able to get some of the young guys in their position group ready for the big day.
Fun fact: The Niners kicker for Super Bowl XLVII was Eagles legend David Akers, who went 2-for-2 in extra points and 3-for-3 in field goals on the day. He may have finished his career sans Super Bowl ring, but he was voted to six Pro Bowls and that’s pretty cool.
Super Bowl XLVIII
One of the best special team players in the league, Chris Maragos was added to the Eagles IR in mid-October thanks to a knee injury. He might not be able to suit up for Super Bowl 52, but his experience in the championship game will certainly come in handy. Maragos won a Super Bowl ring as a member of the Seattle Seahawks when they demolished the Denver Broncos 43-8, and claimed 13 special team snaps in the contest.
Super Bowl LI
Two reining Super Bowl champs will face off against their former squad for another shot at a ring, DE Chris Long and RB LeGarrette Blount. Both saw playing time for the Patriots in last year’s Super Bowl 34-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons, but they’ll likely get more snaps in this year’s contest as Eagles. Long was only on the field for 15 defensive snaps (31%), and Blount saw just 17 offensive snaps (17%) resulting in 11 caries for 31 yards and a lost a fumble.
For only being in Philadelphia one season, both Long and Blount have made a big impact on Eagles Nation on and off the field. Nearing the end of their long careers, you can expect these two to give everything they’ve got to finish this season with a bang.