Once again — just as they have for all but two Super Bowl lead-ups — Eagles fans are watching the biggest sporting event on the planet with no real rooting interest.
In Super Bowl 51 in two weeks, there are more than a few Philly connections to acknowledge heading into the game. Here's a brief look at the most interesting ones:
Patriots have three former Eagles
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Those watching the Patriots' dismantling of the Steelers Sunday surely heard the name "Eric Rowe" more than a few times during the broadcast. The Eagles traded the second-year cornerback to the Pats for a draft pick before the season started and it appears as though he could wind up with a Super Bowl ring.
Two weeks ago, another former Eagle was making headlines in a playoff game in New England as Dion Lewis, a former Eagles running back, scored in the air, on the ground and on special teams against the Texans. A third Pats player, safety Patrick Chung, also had a stint in Philadelphia.
Matt Ryan is a Philly kid
The Falcons quarterback — and the front-runner for NFL MVP — was born in Exton, Pennsylvania, and went to William Penn Charter High School where he earned a variety of accolades. He stayed on the East Coast when he attended Boston College (reportedly turning down a scholarship offer from Temple).
Eagles have had big upset wins over Pats, Falcons in recent years
Interestingly, the Eagles — who missed the playoffs in each of the last two seasons — defeated both the Patriots (35-28 in 2015) and the Falcons (24-15 in 2016). Obviously in neither season was Philadelphia good enough to put together a winning record, but it is an intriguing fact. It will be interesting to see if the teams choose to follow the Eagles' winning blueprint from those upset victories.