Eagles’ Super Bowl window still is ‘wide open’
Mike Florio and Chris Simms take a look at how teams have performed after losing in the Super Bowl and discuss why the Eagles have a rare chance to win it this season following their loss.
- The Eagles have passed the Cowboys by. They not only went to the NFC Championship, they got to the Super Bowl. Oh, and they won one back in 2017 with a very different team than what they have now. Here is a little from tight end, Dallas Goedert, receiver, AJ Brown about getting over their loss to the Chiefs in Super Bowl 57.
DALLAS GOEDERT: After the Super Bowl, I couldn't wait to get back. That was the toughest loss I've ever had in my career, and the only thing I wanted to do from that time on is get back, start this new season so we can go out there and prove. I think if anything, it puts a chip on the entire team's shoulder. And based on what we've done in OTAs, it looks like that's the entire team's mindset, and it looks like we got a lot of guys that are super hungry to try to replicate the season we had last year.
AJ BROWN: You just can't dwell on it. That's life. Not everything can go your way. And at some point, you gotta get off the mat and you got to get back working. I look at it in terms of it's life, man. Of course, you can want something so bad, you know? But if it's not your time, it's not your time, man, and get back to work. Don't quit because you never know because next time could be your time. So we one day at a time. We're not trying to look ahead. The season is far ahead, but we're working one day at a time.
- Now look, I think different Super Bowl hangovers affect different teams differently based upon the circumstances of how they lost.
- Yeah. Sure.
- Eagles had the game won. They're up 10 points in the second half. It felt like they were going to win the game.
- And it fell apart. That complicates the overall psychology of getting over it, and the challenge is-- and remember three years ago? Was it three years ago or four years ago? I think it's already been four years ago. God. When Kyle Shanahan was asked about his goals for the 49ers the year after they lost to the Chiefs in the Super Bowl, he said something along the lines of goal is to get back to where we were last year, up 10 points with 7 minutes left in the Super Bowl and hang on.
Well, that's the hard part. The easy part is holding a 10-point lead for the final seven minutes of a Super Bowl, at least it should be. The hard part is checking every box necessary to get yourself in position to have a 10-point lead in the second half of the Super Bowl.
Now for the Eagles, this is where the NFC is different from the AFC. The AFC you got to thread needle and thread needle and thread needle and thread needle to get to the Super Bowl. You got to win all sorts of crazy games under certain circumstances where it looks like you're going to lose. You got to dig deep. You got to find yourself. You got to somehow get past the Jaguars when Patrick Mahomes is injured. You got to somehow beat the Bengals when it feels like they are making it Burrowhead Stadium, and then you've got to somehow come back from 10 points down in the Super Bowl. The Eagles did not have a gauntlet to run.
- When you think about it. They splattered the Giants on that Saturday night in the Divisional round. They had the bye week, so they didn't play in the Wild Card round, and then they had the Brock Purdy thing where the NFC Championship became a cakewalk. So they don't-- and who knows what it's going to be this year, but I think it's easier for them to get back, far easier for them to get back than for the Chiefs to get back. But it's still not simple.
- It's not. You have to put yourself back in what Dennis Greene called the Valley of 0 and 0 and fight your way out of it when teams are going to be gunning for you, maybe more than they were last year. But I don't write them off. I don't say nope, nope, nope, last year was your chance. That was your window. The window's closed now. Yeah, the window is wide open for the Eagles.
- Yeah, it is. I mean, they're just starting the lifeline of this team. That's what's amazing. That's where I don't think they're going anywhere. Like, where I could see maybe a Super Bowl hangover just a little bit early in the year, right? But like, yeah, this is the best roster in the game, and it was the best team in football last year.
And to your point, I think you're spot-on. We brought that up during the Super Bowl a little bit during that week that we felt that Kansas City was used to being, oh wait, we're in a close the football game. We questioned whether Philadelphia what they would do and how they would handle that.
That was the first game all year that Philadelphia threw haymakers, and landed them, and knocked them in the head, and slapped them in the face, and did everything else, and it was the first time all year a team got up and said so? We're coming back. We don't care. We're going to start throwing punches too. You knocked us down. So what?
And I think there was a little bit of like, oh no. Oh wow. And then AJ Brown, who I love. AJ Brown's becoming one of my favorite players in football, his realness, and how he talks, how he handles social media. He's amazing. But like he said after the Super Bowl. When we went down and kicked that field goal and didn't score the touchdown, it crept into their head. Uh-oh. Wait, they didn't go down with some of our haymakers. They're here.
Mahomes is going to go down and score. Oh no. We could lose this game. And they hadn't been in a lot of those scenarios where, like you said, the Chiefs are like, well, we do this every other week. This is no big deal. We did this on the way to the Super Bowl a few years ago and won the Super Bowl. So OK, we're coming back. We don't care. We're used to brawls. I think it's a very valid point there, Mike, it is a total different mindset in those two conferences right now.
- And you're right. Easier to get back, harder to win.
- Because the AFC champion, whoever it may will, have emerged from that meat grinder where they are ready to deal with adversity. The Eagles had it a little too easy on their path to the Super Bowl, and maybe they weren't ready. Maybe in those key moments, they got a little tight because they hadn't been in those key moments, right? With the Nick Sirianni propensity to go for it on fourth down, I was critical of two occasions where I thought he should have gone for it on fourth down.
- But he hadn't faced that moment where the season is flashing before his eyes. He hadn't had to deal with that in the postseason to maybe have himself in the right mindset to know I've got to go for it. I can't play it safe here. I can't coach to lose. I have to coach to win or coach not to lose. I have to coach to win. So a point that was on that graphic, if we want to put it back up, Super Bowl hangover?
- Yeah, let's talk about that for a second.
- It depends upon the team. It depends upon the year. It depends upon a lot of factors. But here's the reality, only once since the '71, '72 Dolphins has a team lost the Super Bowl and come back the next year and won the Super Bowl, and that's the 2018 Patriots after they lost to the Eagles, a heartbreaker shootout. They got back and won the Super Bowl the next year.
It is not easy to do, and that's all the fans of the team that lost the Super Bowl want. They want to get back to the top of the mountain and be the one to plant the flag. It's not a satisfying experience if they got back to the playoffs the next year. It's expected they're going to get back to the playoffs. It's expected they're going to compete for the Super Bowl.
The fans of the team that lost the Super Bowl aren't going to be satisfied until they win it. And only once since the Dolphins, who lost Super Bowl 5-- Super Bowl 6, excuse me, to the Cowboys and then went undefeated the next year and won Super Bowl 7, that's the only time it's happened since then was when the Patriots pulled it off.
So if the Eagles-- and, obviously, they aspire to do it. Every team aspires to win the Super Bowl. We know that. It's just not going to be easy to do because it rarely happens, Chris. And whether it's you played a longer season, you have a bigger target on your back.
- You forget how hard it was to get to the top of the mountain. You take for granted the climb.
- It's hard to put yourself back in that spot and climb again. Whatever it is, there's a lot of factors, and we're talking about a third-year head coach that's going to have to navigate his team through these various factors that teams rarely successfully surmount to get to the top of the mountain.
- No. Listen, it's not easy. Is it an overblown subject to a degree? Maybe, right? I think that we've gotten caught here in a phase of the last 10 to 12 years where you can talk about this a little bit, and we had some marquee quarterbacks who were able to overcome that, and some teams that I think are marquee that are just they were so good, and their quarterback, like a Mahomes or whatever, they're not going to let the team die down, Brady or whoever. It's not going to happen.
It's like, OK, hey, we're going to go back, and here we go again, and I'm going to be the driving force and lead us. But it is still a real thing, and it is not easy, like you said, to come back from the most devastating loss of your athletic career. And like you said, you put in all that time and effort all year long, and you're envisioning what's our life going to be like after we win a Super Bowl, and the night is going to be awesome after the game, and this is going to be so fun. And then you lose, and it just feels like the whole year was lost. And, you know, of course it was a great year by the Eagles, but I'm sure they feel like-- not to say it's a waste of a year, but certainly feels like that when you don't come away with the main prize.