The best known secret in the NFL is out – whoever plays the Philadelphia Eagles on their home opener gets to go all the way. At least that’s been the story for the past four seasons, which means that the San Diego Chargers, playing in Lincoln Financial Field on September 15, Week 2 of the 2013 NFL season, have been chosen by the football gods to go all the way and win their first ever Super Bowl title.
Last season, the Baltimore Ravens became the next link in a never ending chain of teams who use their meeting with the Eagles to get the right kind of boost early on in the season and win the Super Bowl. In all fairness, it doesn’t really mean anything, or shouldn’t, but it works. The Eagles actually beat the Ravens last season in week 2, 24-23 to begin the season 2-0 before hurdling into the NFC East’s abyss. The Eagles enjoyed a late game-winning drive by Michael Vick, who lucked out thanks to a bad call by the referees, giving him a late chance to score the clutch touchdown. Batlimore went on to beat the Colts, Broncos and Patriots before reaching the Super Bowl and winning against the San Francisco 49ers.
In 2011, the New York Giants played against the Eagles in week 3, beating them 29-16 as part of Philly’s 1-4 start to the season, ending it on an 8-8 record. Eli Manning had one of his best games of the last couple of seasons, throwing four touchdown passes, two of them to the emerging Victor Cruz, whose salsa dancing wasn’t as popular back then. The Giants went on a roller-coaster ride of a season before a strong finish led them into the playoffs, where they beat the Falcons, Packers and 49ers before knocking off the Patriots in the Super Bowl for a second time in five seasons.
In 2010, week 1; the Green Bay Packers open the season with a 27-20 win over the Eagles, despite Aaron Rodgers throwing for only 188 yards and getting intercepted twice. Michael Vick had a big day on the ground with over 100 yards, but eventually, a lot of Clay Matthews on defense began the 10-6 season for the Packers the right way, leading them into the postseason, where they beat the Eagles, followed by victories against the Falcons and the Bears. In the Super Bowl, one of the best in quite some time, they took down the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In 2009, week 2 of the season, the New Orleans Saints arrived with a gun-slinging and on-fire Drew Brees, throwing for 311 yards and three touchdown passes, while Kevin Kolb was intercepted three times along the way. The Saints were pretty hard to stop on the ground as well, rolling away with a 48-22, finishing the season at 13-3, going on to beat the Arizona Cardinals, Minnesota Vikings and finally the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl to win the franchise’s first title.