By Shailen Patel ’26
PHOTO COURTSEY OF YONG KIM
Following stellar seasons from both the Philadelphia Union and Philadelphia Phillies, reaching finals in their respective leagues, fans were excited to see what the Eagles could produce. The Eagles were able to surpass these lofty expectations by recording 14 wins on the season and securing the first seed in the entire NFC.
While on the field, quarterback Jalen Hurts managed games brilliantly, holding a record of 14-1. Right tackle Lane Johnson ranked first for his position while securing all-pro honors, and linebacker Haasan Reddick contributed 49 tackles, 16 sacks, and five fumbles to the defense. Additional stand-out players included A.J. Brown, Jason Kelce, Miles Sanders, and Darius Slay.
Heading into the playoffs, the Eagles were poised to win the NFC and dominate teams in the early rounds. After receiving a bye in the wildcard round, their first matchup was against the Giants. The Eagles made a statement early on in this game with receiver DeVonta Smith completing a pass for 40 yards on only the second play. Tight end Dallas Goedert was able to complete the drive with a touchdown. The group continued this momentum with two sacks on the defensive side by linebacker Reddick. The last 2 minutes of the first quarter were promising with both a touchdown by Smith and an interception by cornerback James Bradberry going into the second quarter. The pattern repeated with more stops on defense and scores on offense, and the Eagles advanced with a score of 38-7. Now, the stakes were high as this next match, the NFC championship, decided whether the Eagles could secure a spot in the Super Bowl. They started off with a stunning fourth-down conversion by Smith, which catalyzed the eventual touchdown. The defense then forced a fumble on the 49ers’ opening drive, giving the ball back to Philly. The Eagles were up 14 points entering the half, and this lead kept increasing as the 49ers struggled with an injury to their star quarterback, Brock Purdy. The NFC Championship ended in a 31-7 victory for the Eagles.
Finally, it was time for the Super Bowl. The Eagles were set to play the Kansas City Chiefs, a team that, coincidentally, scored the exact same number of points and had the exact same record as the Eagles throughout the season. It was a very entertaining match with a one possession point difference for almost the entirety of the game. Keeping tradition, the Eagles scored yet another first possession touchdown in Hurts’s quarterback sneak play. However, this early momentum was quickly squashed as the Chiefs’ Travis Kelce caught a well-placed throw to even the score. The second quarter began with a thrilling 45-yard touchdown grab by receiver A.J. Brown on the very first play. To keep the momentum going, the Eagles’ defense stopped the Chiefs on a three-and-out drive, giving the ball back to Philly’s offense. Unfortunately, Hurts lost the ball on a snap, and the Chiefs capitalized to score a fumble-recovery touchdown. Proving his resilience, Hurts was able to drive down the field and score adding to his already impressive performance. Eventually, the Eagles entered the break with a score of 24-14. As fans watched Rihanna’s halftime performance, both teams regrouped with hopes to win the coveted Lombardi Trophy. The Chiefs fired back early with a touchdown of their own, narrowing the gap. Philly now needed a stop in the fourth quarter, but unfortunately, the Chiefs scored another touchdown and achieved their first lead of the game. Philadelphia’s offense struggled as it gave the ball right back to the Chiefs once again. Led by the ultra-talented Mahomes, the Chiefs capitalized again, creating an eight point lead with minimal time left in the fourth. While the fans were demoralized, the Eagles’ resiliency shined through, and Devonta Smith caught an inspiring 45-yard catch to put them on the 2-yard line. After scoring the touchdown, the team opted for a two-point conversion to tie up the game. Entering perhaps the final drive, the score was even at 35-35. Marching up the field, the Chiefs looked unstoppable, but the Eagles stellar defense put up a front in the red zone and forced a fourth down. However, one of the most controversial flags was thrown, giving the Chiefs a fresh set of downs as well as the ability to use the rest of the clock and kick a game-winning field goal. Whether or not the hold was legitimate or should have been called in such a close situation, the city of Philadelphia has a great team to be proud of, and, hopefully, the Eagles can return for another chance next year.