Philadelphia

‘Great!' Jeff Lurie Tickled That Eagles Are Super Bowl Underdogs

Jeff Lurie just watched his team pull off an incredible 38-7 smackdown over the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game. 

He stood on stage and was handed the George Halas Trophy and got to celebrate with coaches and players. 

There was just one more bit of good news to come. 

"Are we underdogs again?" Lurie asked. "Great! Great. Great. Somehow I'm not surprised. I think it's great. I always try to root for underdogs, so I think if we can - it comes with an understanding that this is a very proud group of players and coaches and you tell them no one thinks you're going to win, you're not good enough. 

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"With all the hard work and success they've had, the best record in the NFL and all of that, and you tell them that. It doesn't register."

Yes, the Eagles are underdogs in Super Bowl LII against the Patriots. They're either 5½- or 6-point underdogs against Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Pats. 

And it's really not hard to figure out why. 

The Eagles have overcome so many injuries all season. That's really what has made this run so improbable and special. Lurie said the adversity the Eagles have faced this season is "unprecedented." 

The last time Lurie spoke publicly, in early September, he was hesitant to say whether or not he thought the Eagles were a playoff team. He said it was "foolhardy" to make predictions. 

So has this season surprised him? 

"It surprised me because of all the injuries," Lurie said. "I thought going into this season we were going to be a very good football team. How good, that's hard to judge. 

"If you told me before September, 'No you're not going to have Jason Peters, you're not going to have Darren Sproles, you're not going to have Jordan Hicks, you're eventually not going to have Carson Wentz, you're going to lose your best special teams player in (Chris) Maragos - oh, by the way, your field goal kicker, you're not going to have him either' - it's a lot of body blows at that point. If you had said that, I would have told you, 'No, I don't think we'll make the playoffs.' Right? So the resiliency amongst this group is phenomenal."  

Lurie admitted it was tough when Wentz went down in Los Angeles in early December but said they brought in Nick Foles and paid him a lot of money for a reason. Lurie said he isn't surprised by how well Foles played on Sunday. 

The Super Bowl in two weeks will be a rematch of the last time the Eagles went to the game; they lost in 2005 to the Patriots. Lurie said the rematch doesn't add any extra motivation. 

So what does he think the Eagles' chances are? 

"We go into every game expecting to win," he said. "This team, we haven't lost many games and we have a very, very focused group of players and coaches. They are focused on each practice, each play at practice, each film session, and that's how you have to be. That's how you have to be to have a maximum performance and I expect they will do all - this is a team that works hard."

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