Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl History: The Franchise’s Past in the Big Game
Super Bowl 57 will kick off on February 12 between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs, but this will not be the first rodeo for either team on football’s biggest stage. The Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl History stretches across many decades, starting in 1981. And 2023 will mark its third appearance since 2005.
The Eagles had a long road in the post-merger world up until that first Super Bowl appearance in the 1980 season, as it had marked only the third time the team even made the playoffs in the 15 years since the AFL-NFL merger. It would mark the last time the team would make it to the Super Bowl until the 2004 season, and the team wouldn’t notch its first Super Bowl win in franchise history until their unbelievable run during the 2017 season with quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Nick Foles.
As we wait for the team’s possible second Lombardi trophy and fifth NFL Championship —they won three between the 1948 and 1960 seasons — let’s take a look at the full extent of the Eagles Super Bowl History.
Super Bowl XV – Philadelphia Eagles (10) @ Oakland Raiders (27)
- Date: January 25th, 1981
- Announcers: Dick Enberg, Merlin Olsen, John Brodie, and Len Dawson
- Coaches: Dick Vermeil (Eagles), Tom Flores (Raiders)
- Venue: Louisiana Superdome (New Orleans, Louisiana)
- Attendance: 76,135
- Super Bowl MVP: Raiders QB Jim Plunkett
The 1980 Philadelphia Eagles (12-4) sported a winning record for the third straight year, in stark contrast to the mind-blowing 11 prior years in which they had a .500-or-below record, failing to notch any playoff appearances throughout the entire stretch. Much of the newly found success in 1980 was due to the number-one scoring defense in the league and a massive 162-point differential throughout the regular season.
That vaunted defense was immediately put against the ropes as Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski’s first pass attempt went for a 17-yard interception return. Philadelphia struggled to move the ball consistently, and Jaworski would eventually throw two more interceptions; one in the third quarter down 21-3, and a final nail in the coffin as the fourth quarter winded down, this time with his final pass attempt of the game.
Philadelphia fans would have to wait over 20 years before they were allotted another chance to get that taste out of their mouths.
Super Bowl XXXIX – New England Patriots (24) @ Philadelphia Eagles (21)
- Date: February 6th, 2005
- Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Cris Collinsworth, Pam Oliver, and Chris Myers
- Coaches: Bill Belichick (Patriots), Andy Reid (Eagles)
- Venue: Alltel Stadium (Jacksonville, Florida)
- Attendance: 78,125
- Super Bowl MVP: Patriots WR Deion Branch
The Any Reid era in Philadelphia was one of the most successful regular season runs in NFL history. Still, the legacy of this head coach was marred by numerous NFC Championship game loses and, of course, this Super Bowl loss. During one stretch, the Reid-led Eagles would win 10+ games in eight-of-eleven seasons but found themselves in the Big Game once.
Super Bowl 39 would end up being a tail of two quarterbacks. While Tom Brady completed 70% of his passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns, it would take Donovan McNabb 51 pass attempts to earn his 357 yards, while throwing three interceptions and taking four sacks.
This would make the beginning of the end of future Hall of Famer Terrell Owens’ short time in Philadelphia, as he would call out McNabb’s “hungover” performance during the game, quipping, “Why would somebody lie, there were teammates that said he threw up in the huddle.”
Luckily for Eagles fans, they wouldn’t have to wait quite as long for a final redemption story, and it was all the more satisfying that it came against this same New England team.
Super Bowl LII – New England Patriots (33) @ Philadelphia Eagles (41)
- Date: February 4th, 2018
- Announcers: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, and Michele Tafoya
- Coaches: Bill Belichick (Patriots), Doug Pederson (Eagles)
- Venue: U.S. Bank Stadium, (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
- Attendance: 67,612
- Super Bowl MVP: Eagles QB Nick Foles
It would take the team three Super Bowl appearances before they could replicate their success in the franchise’s infancy, but hoisting the Lombardi Trophy is all that matters in the end. Thirteen years after their previous Super Bowl appearance, the Philadelphia Eagles were a completely different team, yet they were still staring across the gridiron at the infamous Bill Belichick/Tom Brady pairing as they were before.
Whether you were or are a fan of either team, it was one of the most exciting Super Bowl’s in the game’s illustrious history. The teams combined for a record 1,151 total yards, with Brady eclipsing 500 yards passing. Backup quarterback Nick Foles responded with 373 yards passing of his own and was the recipient of one of the most famous plays in NFL history; the Philly Special. After the Eagles defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX, Philadelphia has won one Super Bowl out of their three attempts and will look to build on those numbers during Super Bowl LVII.
How Did the Philadelphia Eagles Get Here?
The Eagles Super Bowl history will notch another chapter in February. Philadelphia made the entirety of the 2022 National Football League season look easy, finishing with 14 wins through the regular season, sending eight of their players to the Pro Bowl, including starting quarterback Jalen Hurts. This was the first time in team history that they have gotten to the 14-win mark, and the first time since 2017 that they have won 13 games, the year of their last Super Bowl appearance and subsequent Super Bowl Championship.
The playoffs didn’t prove to be any more difficult than the regular season, as they steamrolled the NFC East division rival New York Giants 38-7 in the Divisional Round, before replicating their success in a 31-7 win over the San Francisco 49ers in the Conference Championship. Super Bowl Sunday will mark four Eagles Super Bowl appearances, this time against another powerhouse offensive team.
The Kansas City Chiefs, led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, represent the NFL’s number one scoring and passing offense and will present the Eagles with just as difficult of a challenge as they had in their third Super Bowl appearance. Super Bowl 2023 sets up as just as exciting of a Big Game as the Eagles have ever had, and will build on the legacy of one of the NFL’s most storied franchises. There is a good chance that the finale of their 2023 NFL season will sit alongside the team’s 1948, 1949, and 1960 NFL Championships and the team’s first Lombardi Trophy from the Super Bowl in 2018.