USA Today

Pauly's Point After

Super Bowl Champs Edition

Wes McElroy
February 09, 2018 - 11:55 am

My five takeaways from the show this week: Super Bowl Champions Edition. I know people are sick of hearing about it, but please indulge a lifelong Eagles fan just this once. 


Monday: I was wrong about Doug Pederson. On Monday, it still hadn’t sunk in yet. The Philadelphia Eagles are Super Bowl Champions. It was something I at times wondered if I would see in my lifetime, but it finally happened. And of all the men before who attempted in vain to bring a Lombardi Trophy to Philadelphia, we have Doug Pederson and Nick Foles to thank for making it happen.

I didn’t like or understand the Doug Pederson hire in 2017. It seemed as if he would just be another version of Andy Reid, which was the last thing the Eagles needed if they were going to win it all. But all throughout this season, the playoffs and finally with his masterpiece Sunday night, Doug Pederson showed exactly why he was the perfect fit.

On the grandest stage, under the brightest lights, he repeatedly attacked a Patriots team few others have had the resolve to go after when it matters most. He coached his team into position to win and, when the opportunities came, he went for the knockout punch against the greatest coach of the greatest dynasty in NFL history. His aggressive play-calling was nothing short of brilliant in a game that has consumed many in the past, especially the first-timers. And he did it all with his backup quarterback.

Pederson may have been a very vanilla hire, but in just two short years, he has changed people’s perception completely. He’s the gusty play-caller Andy Reid never was, and the offensive genius Chip Kelly was supposed to be, and he’s just getting started.

We talked to Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports after the big game, and here’s what he had to say about the Eagles getting their first.


Tuesday: I was wrong about Nick Foles. When Carson Wentz injured his knee, I thought the season was over. After watching Nick Foles through the end of the season, I was convinced that 2013 was nothing more than a flash in the pan and a product of Chip Kelly’s offense taking the league by storm. And after watching the final weeks of the regular season, I was more certain. What followed in the postseason weeks was an anomaly unlike any I’ve ever seen before in the NFL.

Tabbed as an underdog in each postseason game, Foles got astronomically better with each game. With each throw, each read, each big play, his confidence grew and he became the Nick Foles many believed he truly could be. And after the NFC Championship game, I thought there was no way he could top that performance. Once again, and in the biggest game of his life, Nick Foles proved me wrong.

If you had told me before this game that Tom Brady would throw for 505 yards and the Patriots would not punt once, I would think Patriots by 25. But it was none other than Nick Foles who made the difference. He not only surpassed his incredible performance in the NFC Title Game, he went toe-to-toe with the GOAT and outdueled him. He looked as collected as a guy playing a game of two-hand touch at the church social, completely unaffected by the moment and confident in himself from the first snap. And in the end, it was the man who nearly walked away from the game standing among the greats in NFL lore and establishing himself forever as a Philadelphia legend.


Wednesday: The Eagles didn’t just win, they ended an era. Call it a changing of the guard, a passing of the torch, call it whatever you want, Sunday night was the end of the Patriot reign.

Before people flood my inbox and social media with outraged messages and call for me to be institutionalized, I’m not saying the Patriots are going to go 4-12 next season. They will still dominate the AFC East and they will still make the playoffs, but the sun is setting on the Patriots empire….and it’s rising on one in Philadelphia.

The Eagles have a team built for success now and in the future. Every starter on offense is signed through 2019 as well as the entire starting defensive line with the exception of Brandon Graham. Fletcher Cox, Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffrey, Malcolm Jenkins, Lane Johnson, Brandon Brooks, Jason Kelce, and Rodney McLeod are all under contract through 2020, among others. Not to mention they have a budding superstar quarterback returning healthy next season who’s backed up by a now-Super Bowl champion.

I’m also not insinuating they will have a dynasty comparable to that in Foxboro, but this team is set up to be at the top of the NFL for the foreseeable future. The culture in Philadelphia is contagious, and what this Eagles team started this season will only grow and will spark this city’s first real dynasty.



Thursday: If your team wins a championship, GO TO THE PARADE. I was 11 years old when the Eagles lost to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX, and after watching Rodney Harrison end what appeared to be the dream season, I cried. I cried because, for the first time in my life, even at the age of 11, I felt the weight of my team not having a Super Bowl title. Of years of disappointment and heartache of an entire fan base that I wasn’t sure would ever be abated.

But Thursday, on a bitterly cold morning in South Philadelphia, that was all wiped away. My sister, who joined me at the Eagles parade along with my mom, turned to me and said, “This is so crazy; we’re here to celebrate the Eagles winning the Super Bowl,” and that was when it hit me: They really did it.

As I stood there looking down Broad Street, the crowd growing with every passing minute, the atmosphere I felt can only be described as euphoric. Fans flooded the streets by the thousands arrayed in Eagles green, “Fly Eagles Fly” was belted out time and time again, E-A-G-L-E-S chants rang out every 3-4 minutes, and before the parade even arrived, anything and anyone moving up the street was met with boisterous cheers. There were no fights, no skirmishes, no police horses assaulted; there was only pure joy and elation. It truly was the City of Brotherly Love. And what I saw through a sea of midnight green and white ticker tape was a team that will forever be remembered as the group of underdogs that overcame hindrance after hindrance and brought Philly its first Super Bowl championship.

Thursday, I checked in with Wes from Philadelphia as acting parade correspondent to update him on the happenings of the day. Check that out here.



Friday: The Eagles kept thanking us the fans, but it’s we who are eternally grateful. When the parade finally reached the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Eagles players and staff members spoke on their feelings of bringing a title to Philadelphia. From Doug Pederson to Nick Foles to Jason Kelce’s epic rant, all echoed a single point: “This is for you the fans.” And believe me, an entire city felt that. When Foles stepped to the microphone, however, he proceeded to thank the fans for staying with them; Carson Wentz, among others, did the same. But it is this city who is eternally grateful.

For 51 years since the Super Bowl was conceived, Eagles fans have seen championships. They watched the Flyers win back-to-back Stanley Cup titles in 1974 and 1975, they saw the Phillies bring home a World Series win in 1980 and 2008, and they marveled at Dr. J and company winning it all for the Sixers in 1983. But still there remained that gaping hole in the hearts of Philly sports fans everywhere that could only be filled by a Super Bowl victory. It was the missing piece of the puzzle that fans longed for to make their lives complete. Now, at long last, they have it.

So, no, thank you Nick, Doug, Carson, Malcolm, Brandon and every single player and coach that made this magical run possible. For overcoming everything the game could throw at you, ignoring the skeptics, coming together and coming through for this city in the most amazing way possible. It’s a time this city will never forget and will always cherish. The time when all the years of agony, taunting and being asked the infamous question, “How many rings do you have?’ all floated away like confetti in the wind. The time when we, as football fans, could stand atop the NFL world and call ourselves “champions.”

On Friday, I returned to the studio to give my lasting thoughts on the Eagles win and being able to watch the victory parade.