2018 doesn’t feel all that long ago when you see it written down, but it almost feels like a lifetime has gone by since then. The world has changed a lot since then, but in the world of sports, nothing is the same.
Five years is the equivalent of a sporting eternity. The Warriors won their second championship and looked destined to dominate the next decade of basketball; Messi vs. Ronaldo was still a worthy debate; Tom Brady just lost the Super Bowl but never seemed likely to leave the Patriots. The Eagles team that won the Super Bowl couldn’t be more different from the current iteration. How did they retool their roster in those five years?
Truly grateful on this day. Thank you 🙏🏻❤️ pic.twitter.com/j2s2sezvSS— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) February 1, 2023
Trading Carson Wentz
Although it may be tough on Carson Wentz, the Eagles’ fortune really changed after his departure. Now, they are on the precipice of greatness once more, as they are one game away from winning it all. They walk into the contest with Superbowl winner odds in their favor, as they are slightly favored heading into this game at -120, compared to the Kanas City Chiefs who are +100. It would be a crowning moment in a remarkable turnaround.
Wentz has had a somewhat unfortunate career. Not to take away from his talent, because he is a steady quarterback capable of leading a team to a Super Bowl. When the Eagles won in 2018, the NFL selected Wentz for his first Pro Bowl for having a stellar season. However, during a week 14 game against the Los Angeles Rams, Wentz tore his ACL, leaving him out for the playoffs. Nick Foles stepped in and managed to do the impossible, leading the Eagles to a Super Bowl over Tom Brady and the Patriots. Wentz may have a Super Bowl ring, but it’s bittersweet.
After that season, the Eagles began to drop in the win column. Eventually, the Eagles wanted to go in a different direction and on March 17, 2021, they traded Wentz for a 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 first-round pick. It began a new era led by their current quarterback.
Depending on Defense
The Eagles are a well-rounded roster but are heavily dependent on their defense. Their pass rush is immense and will have a considerable role to play in the Super Bowl. Just this past regular season, they picked up 78 sacks, which is the third most in NFL history.
The Eagles constructed this stinging defense during the offseason, which is surprising with the speed they’ve come together. GM Howie Roseman pulled off some magic in signing Haason Reddick, Kyzir White, and James Bradberry, as well as trading for Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. The final piece of the puzzle came in the promotion of Marcus Epps to the starting line-up.
The Eagles have been aggressive this year – both on and off the field. By taking risks in their roster construction over the past few seasons, they’ve turned around a franchise heading for the bottom, making them a contender for what could be years to come.