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In 2013, quarterback Nick Foles was the backup for the Philadelphia Eagles. After then-starter Michael Vick suffered a serious hamstring injury early in the season, Foles got the chance he had been waiting for. He ended up throwing for 27 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions in 11 starts, leading the Eagles to the 2013 NFC East division title and establishing himself as the Eagles' quarterback of the future. Unfortunately, his success would not continue. The next four years of his career consisted of a series of injuries, trades, and disappointments that led him right back to where he began: backup quarterback for the Eagles. In 2017, it was now Carson Wentz's turn to fall victim to injury. When he tore his ACL in Week 14, it gave Foles yet another chance to prove himself. The rest is history.
After being drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 2012 NFL draft, wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey became a mainstay in the Windy City. But, after violating the NFL's perfomance-enhancing drug policy in 2016, the Bears decided not to renew his contract. The Philadelphia Eagles chose to take a chance on Jeffrey in the hopes that he would become an offensive weapon for Wentz, who was only in his second year in the league. Jeffrey signed a 1-year, 14 million dollar contract with the Eagles, and he was worth every penny, especially in the playoffs. After recording 5 catches for 85 yards and 2 touchdowns in the NFC Championship game, Jeffrey caught the opening touchdown of Super Bowl LII (shown above) and was a major part of the Eagles' victory over the New England Patriots.
For running back LeGarrette Blount, playing against The New England Patriots in the Super Bowl must have been quite strange. Blount played for the Patriots on two separate occasions, in 2013 and from November 2014 to the end of the 2016 season. During his second stint with the team, he helped the Patriots to victory in Super Bowls XLIX and LI. So it would only seem fitting that after reaching the Super Bowl with the Eagles, his opponent would be those same Patriots. Blount rushed for 90 yards and 1 touchdown, and he celebrated his third Super Bowl title while many of his former teammates watched.
Tight end Zach Ertz is not a very flashy player, but he embodies many of the values of Eagles fans and the city of Philadelphia: toughness, determination, and faith. Ertz is known by many for his strong Christian beliefs and marriage to US women's national soccer team player Julie Ertz, but he has also become known as the most consistent and dependable player on the Eagles this season. He caught 74 passes for 824 yards and 8 touchdown during the regular season. His most important contribution, however, was catching the go-ahead touchdown with 2:21 remaining in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LII (shown above).
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie (front) is yet another member of the Eagles organization with ties to the New England Patriots. Born in Boston in 1952, Lurie used to be a big Patriots fan. In fact, Lurie's family had purchased Patriots season tickets since their inaugural season in 1960. After becoming successful as an executive for the General Cinema Corporation, Lurie attempted to buy the Patriots in 1993, but he lost the bidding war. As a result, he chose to buy the Philadelphia Eagles for 195 million dollars one year later. So, even with his strong ties to Boston, there was no way Lurie was rooting for the Patriots as they faced the Eagles in Super Bowl LII.
After his 14-year career as a NFL quarterback, head coach Doug Pederson (back) was a high school head coach and NFL assistant prior to being hired as the head coach of the Eagles before the start of the 2016 season. At the time of his hire, Pederson was not well-known and the decision to hire him was heavily criticized by experts and the general public. It did not help when the Eagles went 7-9 and finished in last place in the NFC East in his first season in charge. But this past season was a complete turnaround, and Pederson proved his worth by leading the Eagles to a Super Bowl victory even after the loss of starting quarterback Carson Wentz to injury. In doing so, he became only the fourth coach to ever win a Super Bowl as both a player and a head coach (Pederson was a member of the Packers team that won Super Bowl XXXI).
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