How the Eagles got to Super Bowl LVII | Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast

Yahoo Sports' Matt Harmon and Charles McDonald break down how Philadelphia has proved all the doubters wrong on way to their second Super Bowl appearance in the last six seasons - with different head coaches and starting quarterbacks.

Video Transcript



MATT HARMON: I kind of want to do a little fun version of, like, how these teams got here, which I always think is fun to, like, look at the two Super Bowl teams and kind of try to paint the road that they took to making it here, to being the last two teams left. But I want to do it through the lens of some takes that aged pretty poorly for both these teams. I'm not gonna call out anybody in particular. I didn't go full old takes exposed or whatever, and, you know, look up whatever. So maybe I'm doing some strawmen here. I don't care. These are definitely things that I've seen.

CHARLES MCDONALD: It's your show. You can do whatever you want.

MATT HARMON: That's a good point. I can do whatever I want here. And same to you. You've got any bad takes you want to throw out there that you remember from the offseason, go for it.

CHARLES MCDONALD: No, I don't remember anything.

MATT HARMON: Well, that's fair. What I definitely remember, though, and we'll start with the Eagles here, and this one, I did quote tweet an old tweet of mine-- that's a lot of tweets-- quote tweet an old tweet of mine from draft night, talking about, man, AJ Brown, top-five talent, top-five potential receiver, the guy's a stud, and there are so many responses in there about, well, too bad his quarterback can't throw, too bad he's playing with a running back, or huge quarterback downgrade. Any sort of anti-Jalen Hurts take has aged extremely poorly, as we sit here just a few days away from him playing in a Super Bowl.

CHARLES MCDONALD: Yeah, Jeff Lurie said yesterday, basically, he's gonna get whatever--


CHARLES MCDONALD: --kind of extension that, I guess, the market decides that he--

MATT HARMON: Did that surprise you at all?

CHARLES MCDONALD: A little bit, I mean, that he would just kind of give it up like that, you know, because I feel like we don't really see front offices come out and give up their leverage that easily. That was the only thing that--

MATT HARMON: I mena, shoot, the Ravens are still trying to, like, play chicken with Lamar a little bit, all these years later.

CHARLES MCDONALD: Right, and I think Lamar is, like, a different class of quarterback than Jalen Hurts, and he still can't get his money. So I thought that that was a little interesting. I think just there are areas where Jalen still has to get better. I mean, even that 49ers game last week was pretty rough for him, and he's going through the shoulder thing. But anyone who said that he should, like, have to switch positions or something like that, you've been proven horribly, horribly wrong on that one, because he's certified, or established himself as the Eagles' next franchise quarterback, and the Eagles owner says he's gonna get paid accordingly, so you are wrong.

MATT HARMON: You were very wrong. And I know I've said this on the show all year long, I wish I had been a little more imaginative about Jalen Hurts specifically, because if you look at him from his final year at Alabama, to his season at Oklahoma, to his first two years in the NFL, he has gotten incrementally better. Like, from an adjusted yards per attempt standpoint, he went and he took a boost when he went from Alabama to Oklahoma. He took another jump from his first year to his second year, and, obviously, this year, he's taken a huge jump as well.

I wish I had trickled that down to the receivers more, because, I mean, I love these two receivers. Like I said, AJ Brown, I was a big fan of. He's been top three in success rate versus man and press coverage. I remember talking to you about that in the offseason in each of the last three years in Reception Perception.

And DeVonta Smith too. I mean, that's another guy that people have been proven wrong about as well, the low BMI stuff, all of that. I know he didn't actually catch that pass in the conference championship game, but--

CHARLES MCDONALD: No, he did not.

MATT HARMON: It was close. It looked good. It looked good, though.

CHARLES MCDONALD: Yeah, it looked good. It wasn't even really that close. He definitely dropped it.

MATT HARMON: I mean, he got up and was like, come on, let's go, let's go, let's go, run the play, and Kyle Shanahan's still, like, looking around, like, throw that challenge flag!

CHARLES MCDONALD: Which is crazy, because you almost never see anyone get that off in that scenario.

MATT HARMON: No, never.

CHARLES MCDONALD: So, yeah, I mean, these guys, they've figured out, basically, how to play with Jalen Hurts in a way that is almost flawless in terms of the strengths of all of their skill sets kind of meshing together, and that gives a lot of credit to Jalen, DeVonta, AJ, the coaching staff, and, like, the Eagles offense on the whole, it's just a machine, man. Like, the offensive line is so good. That allows them to do a whole lot of things, and they have acquired the skill talent to kind of make everything pop. So that's what kind of gives them a chance, even when you're looking at a quarterback that's as good as Patrick Mahomes on the other side, is just the whole collection the talent for the Eagles is special.

MATT HARMON: It really is, and there's so many different ways they can attack you, and, again, we'll preview the game on the next show, but just thinking about, like hey, if they want to take away the run game, because they have a great run game. I mean, I wouldn't say, like, Miles Sanders, I mean, he definitely had a great season. He didn't score a touchdown. Or what did he score, like, one, or zero touchdowns last year?

CHARLES MCDONALD: Yeah, it was in that ballpark.

MATT HARMON: Yeah, it was either one or zero. I can't remember off the top of my head. But, regardless, not a lot, and he had a real great season this year, after telling us not to draft him in fantasy, which was terrible advice. You definitely should have drafted Miles Sanders in fantasy. They have a great run game. I wouldn't say they have, like, a special stable of backs, but you mentioned, it's the offensive line, the way that Howie has always emphasized the trenches, and I think that's a big lesson to take away from this team.

Like, I know that some people push back at me when I said this on online, but the fact that the Eagles won a Super Bowl, like, five, six years ago, and they had it not just a different coach, but also a different quarterback, like, you rarely see teams change over both positions, and then get right back to, like, a winning identity, but I think, because of what they do on the offensive line and the defensive line, I think that's a big reason why they're here.

CHARLES MCDONALD: Yeah. I feel like they've been good at building their team just over the past five or so years, because even when you look at their downturn, they never really fell all that far. They've been able to keep veterans together through that, and a lot of that is through the trenches. So, you know, I remember, I was at the Eagles-Giants game, and after the game was over, we were down in the hallways outside the locker room, and Howie Roseman is kind of giving himself a pat on the back for the job that he's done building the Eagles, and he kind of deserves it. Like, it's an incredible thing that they've built, and even looking at their pass rushers, you've got, like, four guys with 10 or more sacks.

MATT HARMON: That's insane.

CHARLES MCDONALD: Yeah, that's insane.