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Javon Hargrave Makes First Super Bowl as Eagles Punch Ticket



Javon Hargrave

The Philadelphia Eagles and Javon Hargrave punched their ticket to Super Bowl LVII by defeating the San Francisco 49ers, 31-7, in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles will appear in their first Super Bowl since the 2017 season, when they defeated the New England Patriots, 41-33, in Super Bowl LII.

The turning point of the NFC title game came in the first quarter when Haason Reddick knocked 49ers rookie quarterback Brock Purdy out with a right elbow injury. The 49ers quarterback situation was shaky to begin with, and Purdy’s injury was just too much for San Francisco to overcome. They essentially had no passing game.

Journeyman backup Josh Johnson replaced Purdy, and as expected for a fourth-stringer, was not impressive. Late in the second quarter, Johnson fumbled a perfect shotgun snap, and Reddick recovered the loose ball at the 49ers’ 30-yard line. Three plays later, Boston Scott rushed for a 10-yard touchdown to enhance the Eagles’ lead to 21-7.

Purdy returned in the third quarter after Johnson suffered a concussion, but he was unable to push the ball down the field due to his elbow injury. The Eagles-49ers matchup looked great on paper, but the Purdy injury really took the life out of the game. The Eagles could have possibly had the easiest route to a Super Bowl in NFL history with defeating a mediocre New York Giants team and a 49ers squad with an injured Purdy. Philadelphia out-scored New York and San Francisco, 69-14.

Hargrave is the only former Steelers player on the Eagles roster. It will be Hargrave’s first Super Bowl appearance. Likewise for running back Miles Sanders, who is a Woodland Hills and Penn State product, and former Pitt cornerback Avonte Maddox. Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni also has Pittsburgh roots and his brother, Mike, is the head football coach at Washington & Jefferson, a Division III school about 30 miles south of Pittsburgh. Former Steelers pro scouting coordinator Brandon Hunt joined the Eagles in the 2022 offseason as their director of scouting. Prior to his arrival in Philadelphia, Hunt spent 12 seasons (2010-21) in Pittsburgh.

In just his second year, Sirianni led the Eagles to a 14-3 regular-season record and a No. 1 overall seed in the NFC. While Sirianni has done wonders in developing quarterback Jalen Hurts, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman also deserves a lot of credit for building a juggernaut in Philadelphia. The Eagles have a loaded roster and will even have a top-10 pick in 2023, thanks to a trade with the New Orleans Saints during the 2022 NFL Draft.

Steelers assistant general manager Andy Weidl, who was formerly with the Eagles as their vice president of player personal, also played an integral role in building the Eagles’ Super Bowl LII roster and their current team. The Eagles are especially talented in the trenches on both sides of the ball, which has been a priority for Philadelphia dating back to Andy Reid. It will be interesting to see if Weidl brings the same philosophy to the Steelers.

The Eagles will play in their fourth Super Bowl in franchise history. They appeared in the Super Bowl in 1980 and 2004, and won in the aforementioned 2017 Super Bowl. Philadelphia will play either the Kansas City Chiefs or Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.





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