The NFL Wild Card weekend is officially over, and the Philadelphia Eagles have their Divisional Round opponent locked in for Saturday night. For the 3rd time this season, it will be a matchup with the New York Giants, who took down the Minnesota Vikings this past Sunday on the road, and will attempt to replicate that feat at Lincoln Financial Field less than a week later. We already know they have their work cut out for them, and that’s good news for the Eagles, who are heavily favored to knock off NY and move on to the NFC Championship game. This isn’t about one playoff game, though. The goal is always a championship, and we know very well in this city how much of a toll coming up just short can take on a fan base. If you’ve ever talked to any sports fan over the age of 45, you have undoubtedly heard the expression “defense wins championships”. Well, I’m here to tell you that that expression is no longer true, and it’s a very good thing for the Philadelphia Eagles.

In the modern NFL, quarterbacks win championships. It’s just the nature of the game, and it’s why it is the most premium position in sports. Now, your initial refute if you’re one of the defense believers may be to tell me to look at the first round of this year’s playoff games. Prescott beat Brady. Lawrence beat Herbert. Purdy beat Smith. You could argue that in half of the wild card games, the lesser QB won. Now, go back and read the first sentence of this paragraph again. Quarterbacks win CHAMPIONSHIPS. There are times when lesser QBs win playoff games, maybe even a couple playoff games, but when you look at the Super Bowl winners of the past 10 years, they are made up of the elite QBs of this era. Just take a peek at the list:

2022 – Matthew Stafford

2021 – Tom Brady

2020 – Patrick Mahomes

2019 – Tom Brady

2018 – Nick Foles

2017 – Tom Brady

2016 – Peyton Manning

2015 – Tom Brady

2014 – Russell Wilson

2013 – Joe Flacco

There are 2 anomalies on that list, in Nick Foles and Joe Flacco. The others are all either lock hall of famers, or players who have an argument that they should be in the conversation for Canton. Stafford and Wilson are the 2 on the outside looking in of enshrinement, but they have both been top tier starting QBs at points in their career, specifically in years where their teams took home a Lombardi. Now, let’s take a look at the defensive rankings of those champions, using yards per game and points per game allowed during their Super Bowl season:

2022 Rams – 17th in YPG, 15th in PPG

2021 Buccaneers – 6th in YPG, 8th in PPG

2020 Chiefs – 17th in YPG, 7th in PPG

2019 Patriots – 21st in YPG, 7th in PPG

2018 Eagles – 4th in YPG, 4th in PPG

2017 Patriots – 12th in YPG, 1st in PPG

2016 Broncos – 1st in YPG, 4th in PPG

2015 Patriots – 13th in YPG, 8th in PPG

2014 Seahawks – 1st in YPG, 1st in PPG

2013 Ravens – 17th in YPG, 13th in PPG

The 3 biggest outliers? The Eagles in 2018, the Broncos in 2016, and the Seahawks in 2014. Well, those teams were QB’d by Nick Foles, a washed Peyton Manning, and a Russell Wilson that we’ve seen look completely lost in Denver this season. As with every rule, there are exceptions, but largely Super Bowl winning teams over the past decade have been average defensively, and elite at the QB position. Even for those top defensive teams, Nick Foles had to have one of the great Super Bowl offensive performances of all time, Peyton Manning was the ultimate game manager, and Russell Wilson had a 123.1 passer rating on the way to 43 points in the Super Bowl.

So, what does this mean for the 2022-23 Eagles? Well, it means they have a better shot than anyone in their conference, and as good as the top AFC teams. If you ranked out the remaining QBs in the NFC, Hurts would undoubtedly top Prescott, Jones, and Purdy. In the AFC, I would put him above Lawrence, and on the same tier, at least this season, as Allen, Mahomes, and Burrow. Hurts still has to prove he can do it on a playoff stage, but after the regular season that he put together this season, the Philadelphia Eagles are as well poised to win it all as anybody, and it’s not because of their defense. QBs win championships, and Philly very well might have the best one.