After their run to the Super Bowl last year and the emergence of Jalen Hurts as one of the league’s most dynamic and effective players, the Philadelphia Eagles have never been more popular league-wide.
Unless you’re the San Francisco 49ers, that is.
But I digress. Fanbases without an axe to grind against the Birds recognize a good thing when they see it, and with the exception of the defending world champion Kansas City Chiefs, there is perhaps no team fans want to see come into their home stadium more.
OK, it’s a big odd to me that the home game Pats’ are looking forward to second-most is one that will be played in Germany, thousands of miles away, but I digress. By quite a wide margin, the Eagles’ opening-week tilt against New England is tops on their list.
Sure, it’s a rematch of Super Bowl 52 which, in case you’re new to all this, has some historical relevance.
One would imagine Patriots fans aren’t the only ones looking forward to matchup against the Eagles. Chiefs fans will undoubtedly be psyched for the Super Bowl rematch in Week 11. The divisional games are always just more logs on the fire of the long-standing rivalry within the NFC East, and Rams, Seahawks, Bucs and Jets fans certainly will get up for trying to knock off the presumptive NFC favorites to get back to the Super Bowl this year.
They came up just short in Super Bowl LVII, but there’s no reason to think the state of the Eagles’ roster isn’t as good as — if not better than — it was a year ago.
ESPN has the Eagles at No. 3 in the Power Rankings, but gives them the best chances overall, of any team in the league, to reach the Super Bowl, at 14%.
The median AFC playoff team in our simulations is roughly 2.4 points per game better than the median NFC playoff team. That’s a big reason Philadelphia leads Kansas City in Super Bowl chances, 14% to 13%. The Chiefs also face quite the gauntlet of a schedule in the regular season — second toughest in the league, according to FPI — which dampens their projections despite being the best team in football by almost a full point. The 49ers, Bills and Bengals round out the top five, while the Dallas Cowboys are the only other team above 5% (7%).
So it’s easy to see why fanbases like New England’s are looking forward to seeing the Eagles come to town, even if it means their team is likely to lose.
The Birds are fun, and everybody wants some.
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