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January 30, 2023

John McMullen: The Eagles are a 'breed of one' in the NFL

The Eagles continue to easily steamroll the competition, writes John McMullen

PHILADELPHIA - Maybe the critics were right for the wrong reasons.

The Eagles may be the first Super Bowl team in history to reach the big game having played no one.

A buzzsaw that outscored its overmatched postseason competition 69-14, ended the NFC side of the bracket with a 31-7 drubbing of San Francisco in the conference championship game on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

A team that hadn’t lost in three months was rendered impotent on its sixth offensive play of the game when Haason Reddick took aim at Cinderella and broke the glass slipper that was supposed to fit Brock Purdy into a million pieces with a strip sack that forced the rookie flavor of the month to the sidelines with an elbow injury.

By the time it ended, the 49ers lost backup QB Josh Jonson to a concussion and contemplated having to use Christian McCaffrey as a wildcat QB, before ultimately deciding to stick its tail between its leg with a plan that made Navy look explosive in the passing game with the ailing Purdy stepping back in to hand it off and thrown two dump-off passes.

And that was clearly the second-best team in the NFC.

As poorly as San Francisco played against the Eagles, however, Kyle Shanhan’s team isn’t a nobody. It was made one by the Eagles.

You could envision Minnesota and Dallas sitting at home, kicking themselves that they weren’t able to beat inferior teams but any trip to South Philadelphia by them or anyone else in the NFC may have had a different narrative but it would have ended with a similar result.

The Giants thought they had something when their junior varsity “hung in” against the Eagles in Week 18 and then upset the Vikings in the wild card round right up until they ran into Philadelphia when it cared. The Niners were dreaming of the next Tom Brady or Joe Montana with the fool’s gold of Purdy right up until Reddick turned into the alarm clock with no snooze button on that nonsense.

The only remaining hurdle for the Eagles in Super Bowl LVII is the biggest one of them all: presumptive MVP Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and the very man who let Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman in on the secret sauce to success in the NFL, Andy Reid.

The storylines write themselves as the winningest coach in Eagles history would ironically become the winningest coach in K.C. lore by beating his former team out in Glendale in two weeks.

You have the Kelce brothers, who just happen to both be future Hall of Famers, as the first brothers to square off in the Super Bowl, and perhaps even the New Heights Podcast on Radio Row.

The AFC as a whole is supposed to be the land of somebodies with the Chiefs outlasting the Cincinnati Bengals and Joe Burrow after Cincy took care of the Buffalo Bills and Josh Allen.

That flawed narrative is tied to the QBs, however, not 53-man rosters that pale in comparison to what the Roseman has built in Philadelphia.

Before meeting with reporters after the blowout win over the Niners Jalen Hurts took some time to himself in the corner of the Eagles’ locker room, resplendent in a purple leather jacket and adorned with his large diamond chain while smoking a victory cigar.

At 16-1 as a starter this season, Hurts seemed secure in the knowledge that his jewelry now has a double meaning.

The QB and his team are a “Breed of One.”