There’s a belief out there that the reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles are “the team nobody wants to play” in the 2019 NFL playoffs. Count Doug Pederson’s former teammate Brett Favre in that group.
In a recent interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio, Favre had the following to say:
Doug [Pederson] is a very close friend of mine, and there were several stretches throughout this year where he did not return any messages to me. Understandably so. It was a trying time for him.
And I’m with you, after that Saints game, I mean, they got just absolutely destroyed. And what I saw was a team who’d really thrown in the towel, had nothing left in the tank, and really had gone south. Like most, if I was a betting man, I would’ve put my money that they are done.
But when I watched the Rams game, I said “Boy, if they get in, look out, ‘cause no one is going to want to play them. And to me, that’s the whole thing about the playoffs, and I don’t think anyone, whether you’re an Eagles fan or not, can look at the Eagles and not say right now they’re the hottest team in football.
To me, they’re playing very, very similar to how they played at the end of last year, and that’s frightening because we know how that ended up. Yeah, [Nick] Foles is a little banged up, but you know, the odds have been against them all year long, and they have defied the odds and they’ve gotten themselves into the tournament.
I would not be surprised if the Eagles don’t make a run at this thing.
This is ultimately just one man’s opinion but Favre is saying what a lot of us are thinking right now. It just feels like this Eagles team is capable of going on another special run.
As Favre noted, Doug Pederson has really rallied his group since that Saints loss. The Eagles are 5-1 in their last six games with the one loss coming on the road in overtime. And the Eagles were screwed by exceptionally bad officiating in that matchup.
Nick Foles leads the league in passing yards, completion percentage, yards per attempt, and nets yard per pass play in the last three weeks.
Jim Schwartz’s defense is racking up sacks and takeaways; the Eagles rank tied for sixth and tied for ninth respectively in those categories over the last three games.
Really, everyone is stepping up down the stretch. Even guys like Haloti Ngata and Wendell Smallwood are playing their best football for crying out loud. As Jason Kelce infamously said on the steps of the Art Museum’s steps last year: “IT’S THE WHOLE TEAM!”
And that’s exactly what makes them a legitimate threat to be the first team since 2004 to repeat as Super Bowl champs.