The Philadelphia Eagles face long odds to win Super Bowl LII, and the fact that they’ll roll into Minneapolis led by a quarterback who began the season as a backup has a lot to do with that.
But Eagles fans, unfortunately for them, know firsthand what it’s like to see a former second-stringer deliver in the big game.
Long before Nick Foles took the reins from an injured Carson Wentz and guided the Birds to the Super Bowl, where they’ll take on the heavily favored New England Patriots on Feb. 4, the Eagles were actually the favored party in Super Bowl XV against Jim Plunkett and the Oakland Raiders. And if you’re aware that the Eagles still have never won a Super Bowl, you probably can guess how that worked out.
Plunkett had replaced the injured Dan Pastorini in Week 5 and subsequently led Oakland to 13 wins over its final 15 games, including the playoffs, thanks to a dominant defense. The only two teams the Raiders lost to the rest of the way were the Dallas Cowboys and, oddly enough, the Eagles, who beat the visiting Raiders 10-7 in Week 12. Philadelphia therefore was a three-point favorite heading into the rematch at the Louisiana Superdome.
The Eagles were never in the game. The Raiders struck first on two first-quarter touchdown passes by Plunkett, who threw three TD passes in the game and was named MVP en route to the first of two titles he’d deliver to Oakland.
Now the Eagles, with Foles nominally in the role of Plunkett, hope to reverse course and, this time, be on the other side of backup QB history.