Doug Pederson: Eagles win Super Bowl LII anyway if Carson Wentz isn't injured; Wentz MVP

Despite an impressive postseason that brought Philly its first Super Bowl title and netted him a Super Bowl MVP, Nick Foles is not as good as Carson Wentz. That's not a hot take and it's not even an insult to Nick Foles. Wentz was playing at an MVP level when he went down and the Eagles were right there at the top of the odds for Super Bowl contenders.

In fact, Doug Pederson believes the Eagles would have won the Super Bowl with Wentz healthy. Pederson was on the Rich Eisen Show and broke down the buzz/chatter/offseason yak that involves having two good quarterbacks and Wentz being criticized because Foles played well. 

"Listen, Carson Wentz was [in] the MVP talk of the league last year. And I truly believe if he's healthy, I still feel strongly we're probably in the Super Bowl and win the Super Bowl with Carson, and he's the MVP. That's just the way he played last year. He's a big reason -- he's not the only reason -- but he's a big reason why we were 11-2 at the time, playing the Rams and won the NFC East," Pederson said. "For me, being a former quarterback, to have two guys, really three guys, you throw Nate [Sudfeld] in there, you're talking about Nick and Carson, who, you just don't bat an eye with either one of these guys. They way they prepare, the way they study, their demeanor on the field, their leadership styles, it's a blessing to have two veteran guys like that and to have a Super Bowl MVP as your backup."

So, this is kind of a "duh" moment right? "Eagles coach believes Super Bowl champion Eagles win Super Bowl if better quarterback doesn't suffer season-ending injury."

But when you think about it, maybe it's a little bit crazier than it seems on its face. 

You could also spin the quote in a direction that it's a bit of a slight to Foles -- anyone could have won the title! -- but, as established, Wentz is better than Foles and Pederson goes on to heavily praise his backup quarterback. If we can be honest about Wentz as an upgrade over Foles, we can also be honest about Foles as a huge piece of the Super Bowl run and a very nice backup quarterback. 

But he is also a backup quarterback we all missed badly on. When Wentz went down, the assumption was the Eagles would go down with him, that they could not pull off some kind of miracle run to a Super Bowl win without their starting MVP-caliber quarterback.

The Eagles took that criticism and ran with it, embracing the underdog role that Vegas slapped on them. They were three-point dogs to the Falcons at home in the Divisional Round of the playoffs and shut Atlanta out in the second half of that game. They were three-point dogs to the Vikings in the NFC Championship game and blasted Minnesota out of the building. They were five-point dogs to the Patriots in the Super Bowl and Foles promptly hung punch-for-punch with Tom Brady in a historical outing from the GOAT en route to a 41-33 Eagles win.

If anyone claims there are not underdogs in the Super Bowl, don't believe them.

Philly players wore actual dog masks to let the world know how they felt about this treatment, and the anger at being counted out showed up in the playoffs on both the offensive and defensive line. 

And so this is my point on the Foles thing: do the Eagles win the Super Bowl without the extra juice that came along with being counted out? Wentz is a better quarterback, and they were going to get home-field advantage and they were going to probably win a playoff game. But it really does feel like Foles' incredible play during the final two games of the season went above and beyond just about anything even Wentz could do.

No matter who was under center, they weren't getting a much better performance than what they got from Foles against Minnesota and New England. 

Maybe the Eagles win regardless of quarterback, but the way 2018 played out felt pretty special -- Philly doesn't get the same chip on its shoulder with Wentz under center and things could have played out very differently. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories