The Philadelphia Eagles, one of thirteen NFL franchises without a Super Bowl, was looking like a favorite just three weeks out from the end of the regular season. Starting out 11-2, it was not a stretch to call them the best team in football. Then, in Week 13, quarterback and MVP-favorite Carson Wentz went down with an ACL tear. It was a funeral on Philadelphia sports television and radio the next day. People called up crying. Even with a playoff spot and first-round bye clinched, many, even in Philly, could not see the birds winning a single playoff game.
Back-up quarterback Nick Foles, who led the team to the playoffs in 2013, stepped into the starting role once again. Foles helped the team secure home field advantage throughout the playoffs in his very first start of the 2018 season. The Eagles ended up becoming the the first team to be a home underdog as the one-seed against a six-seed in the divisional round, as everyone doubted. Except those in the locker room.
The Eagles stepped out onto their home field at Lincoln Financial nine days ago and outpaced the Falcons, 15-10. It was rarely pretty, but the Eagles got it done with a goal line stand as time expired. As Eagles players, fans, and ownership celebrated, that’s when offensive tackle Lane Johnson brought a dog mask out, reminding everyone who the “underdogs” were and what they did, and how no one believed in them.
— Lane Johnson (@Lanejohnson65) January 14, 2018
Since then, the dog mask has sold out on Amazon and can’t be found anywhere in Philly. Johnson is selling underdog themed t-shirts and memorabilia to raise money for charity. On Friday, Eagles tight end Zach Ertz , wrote a feature article for the Players’ Tribune, reminding everyone how they were once again underdogs entering the NFC conference championship game which they were also playing at home in Lincoln Financial Field. He wrote:
“The experts will probably all pick against us again. But you can just look around that stadium on Sunday night and know that Philly wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Then, the Eagles won on Sunday yet again, a 38-7 route on a Minnesota Vikings team that had the number one ranked defense throughout the regular season. The Eagles are now headed to the Super Bowl, embracing the underdog mentality yet again, as they face off against the New England Patriots and their dynasty.