The Philadelphia Eagles were the best team this season, and the best chance to defeat the New England Patriots at the Super Bowl. But then star quarterback Carson Wentz was injured for the rest of the season. Roll on up second stringer Nick Foles, and everyone expected the Wentzless Eagles to die in the dust. But they didn't.
Instead, the NFC Championship was an exciting game, where Foles - after an indifferent string of games - seemed to channel Carson Wentz. How could this be?
Credit must be given to the Eagles coach Doug Pederson. The team he built was strong - as strong as you like - but nothing can help you if you have an average quarterback. When Foles took over, he seemed pretty average. But Pederson must have done some serious work on him: in this last playoff game, Foles played like Carson Wentz incarnated. Seriously. Earlier this season I remember seeing Wentz lose the pocket, move around and throw the ball as he was being sacked - and still connect with his receiver. A magnificent effort. And in the process of winning the Eagles the Championship game and the Super Bowl berth, Foles did exactly the same thing under great pressure.
Of course, the Patriots have been the team to beat for over fifteen years. Their run must come to an end, but they still have a sterling coach in Bill Bellichick, an effective and game-changing quarterback in Tom Brady, and an absolutely solid roster throughout their offense, defense and special teams.
Look out for an exciting, explosive Super Bowl.