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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Quarterback Nick Foles #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles raises the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the New England Patriots, 41-33, in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Eagles are back in the Super Bowl for the first time since the 2017-2018 season when they won their first Super Bowl. Obviously, this current team has not finished the job just yet. But is it a more talented team anyway? Both teams were the number 1 seed, but this team had the better overall record. And obviously, both teams made it to the Super Bowl. They even both blew out their opponent in the NFC Championship game to get there. But who is better? I went position by position, comparing the two teams, to find out who is the better team.

Which team had the better QB? Who got after the QB better? Did one of them have better WRs? Even though that 2017 team won the Super Bowl, you will be surprised by how many positions this team has the advantage at. As good as that 2017 team was, this team is that much better. Does that mean they are going to win? No. Because the team they are facing may be better than the Patriots team the 2017 faced. And I doubt Andy Reid will randomly bench his best cornerback before the game. But this team is still better on paper.

You don’t need to take my word for it. Let’s lay it out position by position, comparing the two squads. You will see that this team passes the Super Bowl one at nearly every position.

 

  • QBs- Jalen Hurts vs Nick Foles

    Nick Foles remains a beloved figure in Philadelphia. He always will be. The guy brought us our first Super Bowl parade. He even caught a TD in the game and threw many more. That performance will go down in legend.

    With that said, if we are talking about who is better talent-wise, it is Jalen Hurts by a mile. Foles had two amazing games. But look at his body of work before that game, and after it, and there is not much comparison. Outside one season Nick Foles never played that well as a starter. Every chance he had to start for any other team went down in flames.

    Hurts meanwhile was an MVP candidate. He very well may have won it if he didn’t sprain his shoulder and miss two games. He has lost just 1 game all year. Hurts can sling the ball just as well, if not better, as Foles was during the Super Bowl run. And if we are comparing what they can do with their legs, it is not even close.

    Hurts takes this one. There are many Foles fans that will scoff at that. But there are just so many more things Hurts can do for this team than Foles ever could.

  • RBs- Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Kenny Gainwell vs Jay Ajayi, LaGarrette Blount

    The Eagles did not have that big-name monster back in 2017. But what they did have was a tandem that complimented each other almost perfectly.  Ajayi brought the finesse, Blount the muscle, and Clement was explosive as a pass catcher. And that tandem worked really well for that team. Clement led the team in receiving yards in the Super Bowl with 100 and had that highlight reel TD catch (suck it Chris Collingsworth, it was a catch). Blount found the end zone once, and he and Ajayi combined for 147 yards.

    But once again, the Eagles’ RB Room this year is just better. Miles Sanders alone comes just 226 yards shy of those 3 guys’ total production. And his 11 TDs did outpace the Eagles 9 rushing TDs that year. And that is all before you bring Boston Scott and Kenny Gainwell into the fold.

    Kenny Gainwell has shown he has a nose for the endzone. And in the playoffs, he has really impressed. The 2017 guys were a great tandem. But Miles Sanders is a star this year, and his two backups are pretty great as well.

     

  • WRs- AJ Green, Devonta Smith, Quez Watkins vs Alshon Jeffrey, Nelson Agholor, Torrey Smith

    Yea this one is not even close. The Eagles had two WRS surpass 1000 yards. 2017 had 0. Eagles WRs had 20 total TDs that year. This year they had 21. Which may not seem like a big difference. But I will remind you that team ran the ball much less, and had just 9 rushing TDs, whereas this season the Eagles are often a run-first team in the Red Zone because they are nearly unstoppable running it there. So most of those 21 TDs came on deeper passes because this WR room is explosive enough to do that on a regular basis.

    The 2017 team had WRs playing above their heads. They put together a good performance. I even put them on my list of the best Eagles WR rooms of all time. But there is no comparison. This goes to the modern team, and it’s not even a debate.

     

  • TEs- Zach Ertz and Brent Celek vs Dallas Goedert and Jack Stoll

    Goedert is incredible. He is one of the more explosive Tight Ends I have seen. How many other tight ends can be as effective as him on screens? Not to mention he is a great blocker too. He has a chance to one day be called the best Eagles’ Tight End ever.

    But not yet. This has to go to Ertz. Ertz broke the record, Ertz made the big plays, and Ertz gets the nod here. When it comes to blocking he can’t touch what Goedert does. And we all know that he did not get much in terms of yards after the catch. But Ertz is the guy who caught the game-winning TD catch (Once again, Chris Collingsworth can suck it because it was clearly a catch). As for the backups, both are reduced to being blockers. At one point Celek was a dangerous pass catcher. But by this point, that was behind him. But an older Celek was still probably better than Stoll.

    Goedert very well could surpass Ertz. There are many things he does better. He is more explosive, and a better blocker. But at the risk of ticking off Anthony Gargano, I will put give the TEs from 2017 a slight edge.

     

  • OTs- Lane Johnson and Jordan Mailata vs Lane Johnson and Halapoulivaati Vaitai

    This one is obviously complicated because Lane Johnson is still here. But even though he is older now, I think I give the edge to the current Lane vs 2017 one. He is actually getting better with age. Dont get me wrong, he was great back then too. But now he is a First-Team All-Pro and hasn’t given up a sack in two years. We just saw him, with a torn abductor, shut down the best pass rusher in the league Nick Bosa.

    And at LT, were Jason Peters healthy for the Super Bowl 2017 would get the edge. But he got hurt, and they needed Vaitai to fill in. And while he filled in admirably, Mailata is clearly the better player. Mailata is occasionally beaten in pass pro, but even there you can see him dominate, like when he threw Nick Bosa to the ground on Sunday. And as a run blocker, it is not close. When Mailata gets to go on the attack, as you can as a run blocker, there aren’t many defenders who can compete with him.

    The modern team gets the edge here.

     

  • Interior O-Line- Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, and Isaac Seumalo vs Stefan Wisnewski, Jason Kelce, and Brandon Brooks

    This may be the toughest one yet. Obviously, Kelce then vs Kelce now is a wash. He was an All-Pro in both seasons. Even at 35, he is still the best Center in the league.

    What is tough to call is the guards. Dickerson is better than Wisnewski, but Brooks is probably better than Seumalo. People can forget how great Brooks was. The dude was a monster between Kelce and Johnson. But Dickerson on the left side is probably just as good as Brooks was. Now instead of the right side being a monster tandem, the left side with Mailata, Dickerson, and Kelce is. The Eagles can run to that weakside, and there is no stopping them. You saw it on Sunday vs the 49ers.

    Both interior offensive lines are stellar. But I have the give the edge to this year again. Though it was close.

     

  • Edge Rushers- Brandon Graham, Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat vs Brandon Graham , Chris Long, Derek Barnett, Vinny Curry

    This one is not close. That tandem in 2017 was good. Obviously, Graham was still there, and Chris Long, Vinny Curry, and even Derek Barnett all had nice seasons. And those edge rushers were responsible for perhaps the play of that Super Bowl when Graham got a strip sack on Tom Brady and Barnett recovered it.

    But this year’s edge rushers are one of the best Edge Rush groups of all time. Graham is still here and had the best season of his career. Josh Sweat was one of 4 guys with double-digit sacks. Oh, and they have this guy named Haason Reddick who you could argue surpasses even Nick Bosa. The Eagles Edge Rushers are a huge part of the reason the Eagles are here again.

    This one easily goes to the 2022 team.

  • Interior D-Line- Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Jordan Davis, Linval Joseph, and Ndamukong Suh vs Fletcher Cox, Timmy Jernigan, and Beau Allen

    This one is a blowout. Eagles vs 49ers in the NFC Championship-style blowout. There is literally no debate to be had here. Fletcher Cox then is better than Fletcher Cox now. But Javon Hargrave now might be just as good as Cox was then. The Interior D-Line goes 5 players deep. And all of them play well. Timmy Jernigan and Beau Allen did their jobs well. But you can compare them to the depth of this line. Jordan Davis is a monster in the middle. When he comes out, Linval Joseph replaces him. Or you can throw Suh in there.

    The edge clearly goes to the 2022 team.

     

  • LBs- T.J. Edwards, Kyzir White, and Nakobe Dean vs Nigel Bradham, Mychal Kendricks, Najee Goode and Kamu Grugier-Hill

    This is another one that could be close. Nigel Bradham played at a pretty high level for them in 2017. He led the team in tackles. And all the other pieces were solid to average. Jordan Hicks played great, but he got hurt and didn’t play in the Super Bowl. And for this team. TJ Edwards takes Bradham’s place and plays at a high level. Though Kyzir White has been a bit iffy at times.

    If Nakobe Dean were a regular part of the rotation, the current team may get the edge. But because he has been relegated to mostly special teams this year, I think the slight edge goes to 2017. Neither group is great. But both are dependable. Especially considering the Eagles’ recent history at Linebacker.

     

  • CBs- Darius Slay, James Bradberry, Avonte Maddox vs Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby, and Patrick Robinson

    This is a massive advantage for the 2022 team. Slay, Bradberry, and Maddox are perhaps the best CB tandem in the league. Meanwhile, Mills was prone to being burnt, and Darby was at best an average corner. Patrick Robinson is the only corner from that year I could say played at a high level. We will always remember his pick 6 vs the Vikings. But they can’t touch this year’s cornerback room.

    Bradberry is a second-team All-Pro. Avonte Maddox when healthy has been shut down in the slot. And while Slay had some iffy games late in the season, he is still one of the best corners in the league. There is no question here. The edge goes to the 2022 team.

  • S- CJ Gardner-Johnson, Marcus Epps, Reed Blankenship vs Malcom Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, and Corey Graham

    This is probably the position with the biggest advantage for the 2017 team. While CJ Gardner-Johnson has been great, Malcolm Jenkins is an Eagles legend. Not just because of all the things he did on the field, but also because he was the true leader of that defense. Jenkins did everything. He would move up to slot corner one play, play linebacker the next, and then drop back as the deep safety on another.

    And Rodney McLeod probably has the edge over Marcus Epps too. This year’s Eagles’ safety room is fine. But it was actually a strength for the 2017 team. So they get the edge.

  • Special Teams- Jake Elliott, Brett Kern/Arryn Siposs, and Britain Covey vs Jake Elliott, Donnie Jones and Kenjon Barner

    Jake Elliott is obviously still here, so the kicker is a wash. But everything else weighs heavily in the favor of that 2017 team. The Eagles punting this year has been awful, whether it was Siposs or Kern. Meanwhile, Jones set franchise records during his time with the Eagles. Neither team had that much of an impact from their return men.

    The punter makes a big difference though. So the 2017 team has the edge here.

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