No surprises here. Doug Pederson — the only coach to win a Super Bowl in Philadelphia — has put himself squarely in the NFL Coach of the Year conversation.
Pederson missed out on the coveted award in 2017 as the voters gave it to brash upstart Sean McVay in an odd move that angered many Eagles fans. In fact, Pederson finished fourth and garnered only one vote that year.
Sure, McVay had resurrected a dying Rams franchise and catapulted them into the playoffs. However, Pederson’s Eagles knocked off McVay’s Rams in Week 14 and went on to win the Super Bowl. There was no love for Pederson.
This year, the Eagles have done the near-impossible after rallying around a group of practice-squad players that even their coach admitted has been trying at times. The secret to his success has keyed on “being consistent, open and honest” with his players.
A month ago, they were left for dead. Now they are NFC East champions with a legitimate shot to win more games. Pederson definitely deserves the lion’s share of the credit for keeping everything in front of them.
“Just staying consistent with the players and getting them to believe themselves with all the adversity we have faced,” Pederson said after Sunday’s thrilling 34-17 win. “I’m just so happy for the guys for what they had to endure.”
Even sometimes biased loud-mouth Colin Cowherd was buying what Pederson was selling. Pederson has now gone 10-1 over the past three seasons in games where the Eagles faced playoff elimination.
Pederson is the longest-tenured coach in the NFC East, with just four seasons under his belt. That’s because the Giants (Pat Shurmur) and Redskins (Jay Gruden) both fired their head coaches while the Cowboys are expected to relieve Jason Garrett of his duties on Monday afternoon.
Donovan McNabb Sends Kudos to Carson Wentz
It was a banner evening for Carson Wentz as he broke a slew of franchise records. Oh yeah, the Eagles quarterback also put the Eagles on his back and clinched a playoff spot.
Wentz capped off a 34-17 win over the Giants on Sunday by going 23-of-40 for 289 yards and a touchdown. In doing so, he set five new Eagles’ records and became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards in a single season while having no receiver record 500 yards.
Wentz also established new benchmarks for passing yards (his 4,039 are the most in franchise history) and passing completions (his 388 are a new high). He leaped over former Eagles quarterback — and borderline Hall-of-Fame nominee — Donovan McNabb for both of those accolades.
McNabb, who had been critical of Wentz last year, was quick to congratulate him on both social media and during his weekly appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic. In fact, McNabb even shared some advice that Wentz can hopefully use in the postseason.
“Just relax and don’t think you have to do everything, trust what you’re seeing and protect that football and give the team a chance to sustain drives and do what you’ve done to get the team to this point,” McNabb said.
Wentz is the only quarterback in franchise history to throw for 4,000 yards in a single season. He also set one more record on Sunday after hitting Joshua Perkins for a 24-yard touchdown to put the Eagles up 10-3.
Wentz is the only signal-caller in Eagles history to throw a touchdown pass in all 16 regular-season games. He did it all on the day before his 27th birthday. Congratulations and happy birthday!
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