After the Eagles’ dominating 37-9 performance over the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, winning the NFC East is a formality, returning to the playoffs is expected, and a Birds’ Super Bowl is starting to seem like a distinct possibility.
“Chests are puffed. Boasts are made to buddies who root for rival teams. Meatballs are rolled and frozen in anticipation of Super Bowl parties,” my colleague Mike Sielski wrote after Sunday’s win.
But it’s not just Philadelphia fans who are talking about the Super Bowl. Even before the start of the game, longtime play-by-play man Al Michaels couldn’t stop praising the “tough” and “very passionate” Birds fans he’s come to love over his many years calling Eagles games for NBC and ABC.
Then he went there.
“They can win a Stanley Cup, which they’ve done. They can win a World Series, which they’ve done. They can win an NBA championship, and the way they’re playing right now, that may be sooner than later with the 76ers,” Michaels said of Philadelphia sports teams.
“But nothing, nothing would eclipse the Super Bowl champions and the Lombardi Trophy in the parade down Broad Street,” Michaels continued. “I’m flying in for that one.”
“It would be cold, and it would be special,” Mike Tirico added.
Michaels isn’t alone. After the game, ESPN NFL Live host Trey Wingo declared that “Dallas is done. And the Eagles are the Super Bowl favorite in the NFC.” Author and ESPN expert James Miller agreed with Wingo, and even gave Eagles fans permission to drop their pessimism and get truly excited about this team.
“No #eagles fans, that wasn’t a dream last night,” Miller wrote on Twitter. “Please continue to try and get used to winning; ease off being prepared for the worst. Let’s enjoy this.”
— jamesmiller (@JimMiller) November 20, 2017
According to numbers shared by Randall Liu, the NFL’s senior director of football communications, Eagles fans have a lot to be excited about. According to Liu, 50 teams have started 9-1 in the Super Bowl era. Of those, all made the playoffs, 23 advanced to the Super Bowl (46 percent) and 11 took home the Lombardi Trophy (22 percent).
Unfortunately for the NFL, last night’s game marks the second straight week a national audience was treated to the Cowboys’ being blown out. Last week, the Cowboys drew their lowest television rating of the year in the Dallas-Fort Worth area out of the five games they played in the national 4:25 p.m. slot.
Early in the fourth quarter of last night’s blowout, Michaels and his broadcast partner, color analyst Cris Collinsworth, pretty much gave up any pretense that the Cowboys had a shot of overcoming the Eagles’ lead.
“If you just joined us, good luck,” Michaels said coming back from a commercial break. “But if you just joined us, the halftime score was Dallas 9 and Philadelphia 7. And in the second half, it’s 30-0 Eagles.”
Cowboys fans certainty knew the game was well in hand. Most fled the stadium early in the fourth quarter, allowing Eagles fans to take over AT&T Stadium.
— Newy Scruggs (@newyscruggs) November 20, 2017
— Kliff's Treats (@KliffsTreats) November 20, 2017
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) November 20, 2017