Hey, a fluky Super Bowl win is still a Super Bowl win

For… some reason, Joe Goodberrya former sportswriter who heavily reps the Cincinnati Bengals, decided to conduct a Twitter poll to see which Super Bowl win over the last 25 years was the flukiest.

Sounds fun, right? Low stakes, no real pressure, why not? Pitting four teams versus each other, the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, the 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the 2012 Baltimore Ravensand the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles, Goodberry unleashed onto the Twitterverse a poll that garnered 6,725 votes and was quote tweeted 458 times.

The results? Philadelphia by a landslide.

That’s right, with a whopping 55 percent of the votes, a commanding majority of almost 3,700 votes, the Eagles ran away with the win for their win on the game’s biggest stage. But why? Did the Cincinnati-centric fans of Goodberry split the vote between two different Ravens teams and unintentionally cross them both out? Or did a conglomerate of Cowboys fans hijack the poll with their anti-Philly agenda?

Whatever the reason, a Super Bowl win’s a Super Bowl win, and that’s something both the Cincinnati Bengals and the Dallas Cowboys can’t say they’ve done in the past 25 years.

The Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl win will live forever

“Fluke” is kind of a loaded term. It implies that something isn’t quite earned and that the result deserves some sort of asterisk or “Mickey Mouse status,” as folks will say on Twitter.

On paper, does the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl victory fit that bill? Well, let’s try to find out based on Goodberry’s own qualifications.

Did the Birds win the Super Bowl without an elite quarterback? No… okay, yes, they did; I think having to rely on a veteran backup quarterback down the stretch and over the entire playoff run unquestionably fits that bill. Did they benefit from rare occurrences and play above expectations? More or less, yeah, that tracks too; starting-caliber running backs like Jay Ajayi don’t become available every year, and the team was largely able to overcome notable injuries to players like Jason Peters, Darren Sproles, and Jordan Hicks.

And last but not least, was the process easily replicable, and did that team make another Super Bowl appearance? Well, the latter question is an easy one to answer; no, the Eagles haven’t made it back to the Super Bowl since, and considering the core proponents of that team are gone, so if they do make it back to the big game, it likely wouldn’t qualify for Goodberry’s qualifications, see the 2000 Baltimore Ravens and the 2012 Baltimore Ravens.

The former part of the question, however, is much more open to debate. You see, even after the Eagles lost Carson Wentz for the season in 2017, the Eagles just kept on rolling because of the strength of their roster, their impressive depth, and their underdog mentality. While the team wasn’t as good in 2018 as in 2017 and was worse still in 2019, the Eagles still made it back to the playoffs in each subsequent season and won 54.3 percent of their games over that two season time period.

The 2000 and 2012 Ravens, by contrast, only made it to the playoffs in one of their next two seasons and had lower win percentages than the Eagles, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn’t make it back to the playoffs after their Super Bowl run until 2005, well after the window in question. If you want to call the Eagles’ win fluky, go for it, but it’s safe to say Howie Roseman put together a much deeper team than Rich McKay, Ozzie Newsome, or… Ozzie Newsome, again.

In the grand scheme of things, a lot of things had to break the Philadelphia Eagles’ way for the team to secure a Super Bowl win. Nick Foles had to play at a higher level than Tom Brady, Halapoulivaati Vaitai had to do his best Jason Peters impression, and the cornerback tandem of Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby had to play above their respective talent levels to become one of the better cornerback tandems the NFL playoffs had to offer. If you want to call that a fluke, that’s your call. I’d personally call it one of the most remarkable runs in NFL history – but to each their own.

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