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Eagles news: 49ers player thinks NFL conspired to help Birds win; Hurts, Mahomes to make Super Bowl history; Lurie won’t reveal ‘secret sauce’

Philadelphia Inquirer 1/30/2023 Rob Tornoe, Jeff McLane, Josh Tolentino, EJ Smith, DeAntae Prince, Matt Mullin, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown celebrates after defeating the 49ers Sunday. © Monica Herndon/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown celebrates after defeating the 49ers Sunday. Gianna Bowen celebrates the Eagles win over the 49ers Sunday night, sending the team to the Super Bowl. © Tyger Williams/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS Gianna Bowen celebrates the Eagles win over the 49ers Sunday night, sending the team to the Super Bowl.

Key Super Bowl LVII matchups to watch

// Timestamp 01/30/23 6:05pm

For several minutes, Jalen Hurts celebrated alone on Sunday evening from inside the Eagles locker room. After the 24-year-old quarterback directed the Eagles’ to a 31-7 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game, Hurts soaked in the winning feeling from the privacy of his locker stall at Lincoln Financial Field. He sported a crisp all-purple fit, a pair of black shades, a couple of large diamond pendants, and a victory cigar in hand.

“We put a lot of work in to have this opportunity and to be here, it’s a moment we want to enjoy as a team,” Hurts said.

Next stop for Hurts and the Eagles: Super Bowl LVII vs. the Kansas City Chiefs in Glendale, Ariz.

Let’s highlight a few key matchups ahead of the showdown in the desert.

Haason Reddick celebrates sack on 49ers quarterback Josh Johnson during Sunday's NFC championship game. © Yong Kim / Staff Photographer/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS Haason Reddick celebrates sack on 49ers quarterback Josh Johnson during Sunday's NFC championship game.

A pair of MVP candidates in Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes

Both quarterbacks are finalists for NFL MVP. If it weren’t for Hurts’ two-game absence toward the end of the regular season, he might’ve claimed the award away from Mahomes, already a two-time MVP winner.

Chris Jones vs. Eagles’ o-line

Jones is capable of wrecking a game at any moment. He leads all defensive tackles in pass rush win rate (21.5%), according to ESPN, and he finished the regular season with 15 1/2 sacks, which ranked fourth most in the NFL. The most impressive part? Jones was double-teamed at a league-high 69.2% rate of his pass rush attempts.

Big Game DeVonta Smith vs. Chiefs secondary

The Eagles typically prioritize their offensive game plan through two specific waves: No. 1, relying on their offensive line and run game; and No. 2, feeding their top three targets: Brown, Smith, and tight end Dallas Goedert. Based on his history in title games under the brightest lights, Smith’s Super Bowl-debut will be must-watch programming.

Eagles Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman with owner Jeff Lurie on Sunday at the Linc. © Yong Kim / Staff Photographer/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS Eagles Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman with owner Jeff Lurie on Sunday at the Linc.

— Josh Tolentino

49ers player thinks NFL conspired against team after Purdy got hurt

// Timestamp 01/30/23 5:52pm

On more than one occasion in Sunday’s NFC championship game, the 49ers beat themselves — whether it was multiple drive-extending penalties on the same drive, or a roughing the kicker on a punt, or dumb, late-hit penalties that fired up the crowd.

But at least one 49ers player believes it wasn’t a case of dumb mistakes from the visiting Niners, but rather a conspiracy at the highest levels to make sure the Eagles — and not the 49ers — advanced to the Super Bowl. Here’s more from Michael Silver’s story in he San Francisco Chronicle, which picks up right after Christian McCaffrey scored the Niners’ only points, tying the game at 7-7 in the second quarter. (Bold emphasis is my own.)

Whatever helps you sleep at night, anonymous 49ers player.

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts runs during the NFC championship game. © Yong Kim / Staff Photographer/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts runs during the NFC championship game.

— Matt Mullin

Jeffrey Lurie won’t reveal Eagles’ ‘secret sauce’

// Timestamp 01/30/23 5:42pm

Eagles mascot Swoop leads the team buses up South Broad Street as the 2018 Super Bowl victory approaches City Hall. © TOM GRALISH/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS Eagles mascot Swoop leads the team buses up South Broad Street as the 2018 Super Bowl victory approaches City Hall.

Jeffrey Lurie was basking, which was expected and, given the outcome of the NFC championship game, entirely appropriate. He was in the middle of the Eagles locker room Sunday, a semicircle of reporters around him, his team’s 31-7 victory over the 49ers still so fresh that the maintenance crews hadn’t yet disassembled the stage where Lurie had, for the third time, held up the George Halas Trophy for everyone at Lincoln Financial Field to see.

It wasn’t just that they’d advanced to the big game again. It was that they had done it with a different coach and quarterback than they had the last time. Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz/Nick Foles then, Nick Sirianni and Jalen Hurts now, just a half-decade apart.

It is a noteworthy achievement, to have a franchise go through so much change after winning a championship and position itself to win another in such a short time. And by firing Chip Kelly in late 2015 and Pederson in early 2021, Lurie himself had created that change, that upheaval. Those were thorny times — the power plays, the battles for control, the ash piles that remained, the rebuilding to be done. Yet in each situation, the team had reached the Super Bowl two years after Lurie decided that a man he had selected to coach the Eagles could no longer coach the Eagles.

Sixers guard Matisse Thybulle is confident about the Eagles — and his own team. © Yong Kim / Staff Photographer/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS Sixers guard Matisse Thybulle is confident about the Eagles — and his own team.

How does that happen?

“I don’t want to fully answer that because I think the secret sauce is involved in that evaluation of when your team is at a certain place,” he said. “What can you bring in terms of coaching leadership that will vault you to have a chance to play for another Super Bowl soon? That’s something I don’t want to talk about. But there are probably multiple variables, and Nick, Doug at the time, all fulfilled those variables.”

Jeffrey Lurie’s Eagles have made a habit of firing coaches and getting to the Super Bowl. How do they do it?

— Mike Sielski

Report: Brock Purdy tore elbow ligament in loss to Eagles

// Timestamp 01/30/23 5:08pm

Sixers: We’re next in Philly’s run of championship appearances

Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie shows off the trophy to the crowd at the end of the NFC championship game against the San Francisco 49ers. © David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie shows off the trophy to the crowd at the end of the NFC championship game against the San Francisco 49ers.

// Timestamp 01/30/23 4:42pm

The Phillies advanced to the World Series in October, the Union reached the MLS Cup in November, and Eagles will play the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl on Feb. 12.

So does that make it an NBA Finals-or-bust season for the 76ers?

“It’s funny that we are talking about that now, because we also were talking about it before the season was started,” Matisse Thybulle said. “The pressure for us to do well is always there because everything that happened was kind of manifested by the fans. Like everyone [said the Eagles advancing to the Super Bowl] was going to happen, and it did.”

As a result, Thybullle doesn’t think the expectations surrounding the Sixers have changed. He thinks it’s amazing that Philly professional teams are living up to their potential.

“And, I mean,” he said, “I think we’re just going to be the next ones up after the Eagles win the Super Bowl.”

The Sixers are cheering for the Eagles and hoping they become the next Philly team to reach the finals

— Keith Pompey

People already want to know when an Eagles parade might be

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni following Birds' win against the 49ers. © Monica Herndon/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni following Birds' win against the 49ers.

// Timestamp 01/30/23 3:51pm

Google trend data reveals that people are searching for Eagles Super Bowl parade details. But there’s one problem — the big game hasn’t even happened yet.

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts walks to the stage after Sunday night's win against the 49ers in the NFC championship game. The Eagles will face the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl. © David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts walks to the stage after Sunday night's win against the 49ers in the NFC championship game. The Eagles will face the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl.

On social media, fans discussed wanting to know the day of a potential parade in order to request off from work (respect, but let’s not jinx things!). Groups speculated that perhaps a celebration parade would take place mid-week, based on what happened the last time the Eagles won the Lombardi trophy.

In 2018, the Eagles’ Super Bowl parade took place on the Thursday after the game. City offices, courts, and schools were closed for the occasion. But factors that determine when the parade will happen include travel time and weather.

So what can we infer about a potential parade this year?

If they win, it will take place in the days following the Super Bowl on Feb. 12. If recent championships are any indication, a route would likely go up Broad Street, through Center City, and along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway like last time.

The formal celebration and parade in 2018 lasted about two hours. Several roads were closed and there was a steady heap of traffic delays — so even if you don’t take off from work, you may be late anyway.

When is the Eagles Super Bowl parade in 2023? We won’t know until they’ve won 🤞

— Emily Bloch

Revisiting Doc Rivers’ Eagles guarantee

// Timestamp 01/30/23 3:15pm

Earlier this month, 76ers head coach Doc Rivers made a bold prediction to reporters after the Eagles lost two straight games without an injured Jalen Hurts.

“Relax. They’re going to be in the Super Bowl. It’s a guarantee. It’s a guarantee,” Rivers said.

Of course, Rivers ended up being correct. A bunch of his starters — including Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, and Tyrese Maxey — were even at the Linc Sunday to watch the Eagles punch their ticket to the Super Bowl.

After the success of the Eagles, Phillies, and Union, the Sixers could be next. They’ve won 20 of their last 24 games, and are currently in second place in the Eastern Conference, just a couple games behind the Boston Celtics. The team hopes that streak will continue against the lowly Orlando Magic at the Wells Fargo Center.

— Rob Tornoe

Super Bowl history with Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes

// Timestamp 01/30/23 2:40pm

When the Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs face off in Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Ariz., Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes will become the first pair of Black starting quarterbacks to face off in football’s marquee game.

Hurts will also join a short list of Black quarterbacks to start in the Super Bowl. The club is an exclusive one — now only at eight players — that includes Hurts, Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick, Steve McNair, Donovan McNabb, and Doug Williams. Of those, Mahomes, Wilson and Williams have won the Super Bowl.

For context, the Super Bowl has been played 56 times and 64 different quarterbacks have taken the field.

The disparity in Black quarterbacks to appear in the Super Bowl and league at large is deeper than sports and can often be rooted in racism. Historically, Black athletes were steered away from the quarterback position, a spot many considered reserved for the smartest player on the field.

There is more representation at the position now — 11 players started the 2022 season as starters — but that element hasn’t been completely eliminated from the sport and being a Black signal-caller in 2023 still comes with its caveats.

On Feb. 12, however, the bright lights will shine on Hurts and Mahomes, two quarterbacks who took very different paths to reach the Super Bowl.

Hurts, only in his second season as a full-time starter, will be experiencing everything for the first time on a team hoping to cement what became a fairy tale season after their 8-0 start.

Mahomes, a former Super Bowl champion and MVP, is a grizzled veteran at only 27 years old. His Chiefs have appeared in three of the last four Super Bowls and captured three AFC championships since 2019.

But while they couldn’t be different as players, Hurts and Mahomes will forever be connected in NFL history.

— DeAntae Prince

Jalen Hurts takes pride in being the next in Eagles’ legacy of Black quarterbacks

Howie Roseman rightfully won Executive of the Year

// Timestamp 01/30/23 1:30pm

Before last offseason, the Eagles listed their needs from top to bottom, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, and how they had hoped to fill them. They wanted to address, first and foremost, holes on the defensive line. They wanted to upgrade their pass rush with a quick-twitch edge defender, they wanted to find a space-eating nose tackle to sure up their run defense, a complementary zone cornerback to Darius Slay, a playmaking safety who could wear different hats and a weak-side linebacker who could cover the flat in quarters, among other responsibilities.

That general manager Howie Roseman was able to accomplish all five objectives speaks to why he earned the second Executive of the Year award of his career. There were plenty more successful moves he made, most prominently trading for wide receiver A.J. Brown. But Roseman transformed the defense from one that struggled to stop the run and get to the quarterback last season, to arguably the best unit in the NFL.

Haason Reddick was the key addition and was his first free agent signing. The outside linebacker’s strip sack that knocked 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy from the game was the defining moment of the Eagles’ victory.

Roseman made a few questionable decisions in terms of personnel, notably deciding to bring back defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and defensive end Derek Barnett at seemingly higher rates than they would have gotten elsewhere. Barnett suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 1, but Cox adapted to a lesser role and has produced when the lights have shined the brightest, as has been his knack over an 11-year career with the Eagles.

The trade deadline acquisition of defensive end Robert Quinn for a fourth-round draft pick has proved to be a miscalculation, but Roseman’s masterful roster construction has offset the rare misfire. The 47-year-old GM has survived three coaching firings, the loss of many personnel lieutenants, a year in exile from football operations, and the occasional losing season. But Roseman’s record is as good or better than most of his contemporaries and he’s on the cusp of becoming the only current GM — who isn’t a coach (Bill Belichick) or owner (Jerry Jones) — to win two Super Bowls.

— Jeff McLane

Will Chiefs wide receiver Kadarius Toney play in the Super Bowl?

// Timestamp 01/30/23 12:40pm

Chiefs wide receiver Kadarius Toney was forced out of Sunday’s AFC championship game against the Cincinnati Bengals with a twisted ankle. He didn’t return to the game, and his status for the Super Bowl against the Eagles is uncertain.

As of early Monday afternoon, there haven’t been any reports on Toney’s condition. It unclear if Chiefs head coach Andy Reid will speak to reporters Monday afternoon.

The Chiefs also lost cornerback L’Jarius Sneed to the concussion protocol and linebacker Willie Gay Jr. to a shoulder injury.

— Rob Tornoe

Travis Kelce vs. the mayor of Cincinnati

// Timestamp 01/30/23 12:20pm

For the first time in Super Bowl history, two brothers — Eagles center Jason Kelce and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce — will face off for the Lombardi Trophy.

But on Monday, Travis Kelce had his sights set on another opponent: Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval.

Purveal drew the ire of Kelce and Chiefs fans after issuing a proclamation last week that referred to Arrowhead Stadium as “Burrowhead Stadium.” He also suggested Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow take a paternity test to determine if he’s Patrick Mahomes’ father.

“Cincinnati was a better city when Jerry Springer was the mayor,” Kelce told reporters late Sunday night. During the postgame celebration, Kelce also added, “I’ve got some wise words for that Cincinnati mayor: Know your role and shut your mouth, jabroni.”

Pureval appears to take the friendly trash talking in stride.

“Yeah. Deserved that,” Purveal wrote on Twitter, where he congratulated the Chiefs on “a well-fought win.”

— Rob Tornoe

New Yorkers unnecessarily worked up over Empire State Building

// Timestamp 01/30/23 11:00am

Many New Yorkers — including the editors of the New York Post — went into a meltdown Sunday night after the Empire State Building decided to display Eagles colors following the Birds victory in the NFC championship game.

“Bird Brains” is how the Post headlined the faux controversy on the front page of its newspaper Monday morning:

The Empire State Building’s decision to promote one of the city’s heated rivals confused and angered many New Yorkers, including New York City Council Members Keith Powers.

“As the representative for the Empire State Building, and a diehard Giants fan, let me be on the record saying that this is absolutely ridiculous,” Powers wrote on Twitter Sunday night.

Jets offensive lineman Nick Mangold addressed the building’s Twitter account and wrote, ”You are dead to me.” While Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson, a South Jersey native and lifelong Eagles fan, responded by writing, “Lol what.”

It might be hard to believe, but the move had nothing to do with the Eagles. The Empire State Building had already planned on displaying the colors of whichever team ended up winning Sunday’s NFC championship game. Had it been the 49ers who emerged victorious, the 92-year-old building would have been awash in red and gold.

It also wasn’t limited to the NFC. After the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC championship game, the building switched its lights to red and white. But that was after 10 p.m. at night, which was probably past the Post’s print deadline.

Empire State Building’s annual tradition leaves some New Yorkers spiraling

— Rob Tornoe

‘Mailata puts Bosa on his bosa’: Baldinger breaks down some Eagles-49ers plays

// Timestamp 01/30/23 10:27am

Haason Reddick sets new Eagles postseason record

// Timestamp 01/30/23 10:15am

Haason Reddick is breaking Eagles postseason records, and still has one game to go.

The Eagles linebacker, a Camden-born and Temple-made defender signed during the offseason, has recorded 3.5 sacks in two playoff games, the most in franchise history in a single postseason, according to ESPN. The previous high mark was set by Derrick Burgess during the 2004 playoffs, when he recorded three sacks in three games (the NFL didn’t record sacks prior to 1982).

Two of those sacks came Sunday against the 49ers, including a strip sack that knocked Niners quarterback Brock Purdy out of the game.

Reddick was not a finalist for the NFL’s defensive player of the year award, despite having recorded 16 sacks during the regular season. He spoke a bit to reporters about being snubbed following Sunday’s win.

“Hey, [shoot], I think my play said it today,” Reddick said when asked about the slight. “And that’s all I need to say on that.”

Eagles’ Haason Reddick overcomes snubs and knocks out Brock Purdy and the 49ers in the NFC championship

— Rob Tornoe

Philly mayor: I’ll spend ‘whatever they want’ on Super Bowl parade

// Timestamp 01/30/23 9:13am

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s time in the city’s top office will end later this year, as a crowded field of replacements run to replace him in this year’s mayoral election.

It appears he’s prepared to go out with a bang, if the Eagles manage to win their second Super Bowl in five years.

“We’ll blow the doors off this parade,” Kenney joked to reporters Sunday night. “I’m on the way out, so I’ll spend whatever they want.”

Kenney said compared to five years ago, Eagles fans were well-behaved Sunday night as they celebrated the Birds’ win over the 49ers, even those who climbed ineffectively greased poles outside City Hall.

“I saw young kids dancing with police officers at Broad and Federal,” Kenney said of Sunday’s celebrations. “I think we understand now how to win.”

Celebrations erupt as the Eagles head for the Super Bowl

— Rob Tornoe

The Eagles join the Phillies in making history. Well, sort of.

// Timestamp 01/30/23 8:40am

Believe it or not, this actually is the third time in the last five years that a city will have a team in both the World Series and the Super Bowl.

In 2020, Tampa Bay saw the Bucs beat the Chiefs and the Rays lose to the Dodgers. In 2018, the Red Sox beat the Dodgers in the World Series before the Patriots beat the Rams in the Super Bowl.

Of course, New England and Tampa Bay technically are regions and not cities. In which case, you have to go back to 2012, when San Francisco saw the Giants beat the Tigers in the World Series and the 49ers lose to the Ravens in the Super Bowl.

Three thoughts: Nick Sirianni’s fourth-down guts set the tone for the Super Bowl-bound Eagles

— David Murphy

Jalen Hurts and his cigar go viral

// Timestamp 01/30/23 7:30am

Jalen Hurts, pairing a lavender jacket with lavender pants, sat alone Sunday night at his locker in the corner of the Eagles locker room and puffed a cigar. His work — a year after his season ended with criticism and uncertainty — was finished. The Eagles are NFC champions. And Hurts had the smoke to prove it.

He had arrived in Philadelphia as a curiosity, a backup quarterback selected in the second round who was first used as a gadget player. He even said after Sunday’s 31-7 win over the 49ers that “they probably didn’t even want to draft me here.”

Less than three years later, he’s the fourth player to quarterback the Eagles to the Super Bowl. He completed 15 of his 25 passes, rushed for a game-sealing score in the final minute of the third quarter, and did not record a turnover.

Eagles’ Jalen Hurts went from unwanted to NFC champion. He has the cigar to prove it.

— Matt Breen

Eagles open up as Super Bowl favorites

// Timestamp 01/30/23 7:10am

The Super Bowl is set: the Philadelphia Eagles will play the Kansas City Chiefs in Arizona in two weekends. It’s the NFC’s top seed against the AFC’s top seed.

Oddsmakers are expecting the game to be tight.

The Chiefs opened as a 1.5-point favorite (and the total started at 50). But money must have poured in on the Eagles, who moved quickly to a 2-point favorite before going back down to -1.5.

Meanwhile, over at BetMGM, the Eagles were all the way up to 2.5-point favorites.

At Caesars Sportsbook, the game opened as a pick and moved quickly to Eagles -2.

In the first hour or so of the market being open, 24 bets of $10,000 or more had come in, according to a Caesars Sportsbook staffer. Of those 24 big bets, 21 were on the Eagles.

Eagles slight Super Bowl favorites over Chiefs after betting markets open

— Jeff Neiburg, The Action Network

Photos: Eagles fans storm Philly streets after Birds’ win

// Timestamp 01/30/23 7:05am

Celebrations erupt as the Eagles head for the Super Bowl

How to buy Super Bowl tickets

// Timestamp 01/30/23 7:00am

Now that the Eagles have defeated the San Francisco 49ers to earn a face-off against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl, the first thing on the mind of many Birds fans is: How do I purchase Super Bowl tickets?

The short answer is it’s not going to be easy, or cheap.

The face value of tickets for the Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12 is about $1,000 for the nosebleed section. But other than a few lucky season ticket holders, most fans will pay thousands of dollars more for a seat at the NFL’s biggest game.

In 2018, the Eagles held a lottery for season ticket holders, allowing a select few to have a chance to purchase seats at face value. Not all teams offer Super Bowl seats to season ticket holders, and it’s unclear if the Eagles will do something similar this season. The team hasn’t released any ticket information.

The NFL distributes 35% of the available Super Bowl tickets to the NFC and AFC champions, with each team getting 17.5%. But many of those tickets go to players, coaches, sponsors, and members of the team’s staff.

The Eagles and On Location are selling tickets and hospitality packages for Eagles fans starting around $5,000 per person, but that doesn’t include airfare or hotel accommodations. It does include an official Super Bowl LVII ticket and pregame hospitality, including an open bar and “elevated” tailgate fare.

Super Bowl tickets: How Eagles and Chiefs fans can buy them

— Rob Tornoe

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