PHILADELPHIA – At the end of a forgettable game in a forgettable season, a Bears wide receiver made the only real headline that came out of the team’s final contest of 2016.
Oh, it didn’t happen during a loss to the Vikings in Minneapolis on New Year’s Day 2017. Alshon Jeffery did it after.
“I guarantee you we’ll win the Super Bowl next year,” the receiver said to a group of surprised reporters.
It was a bit odd for two reasons. First, the Bears were just coming off a 3-13 season with a likely change at quarterback. Second, Jeffery was likely out-of-town since his contract needs were not likely to be met by the team.
Yet a year and 22 days later, Jeffery’s prediction is one game from reality, this after a surprising performance from his new team in Sunday.
With backup quarterback Nick Foles at the top of his game and Jeffery enjoying a solid evening, the Eagles easily stomped the Vikings 38-7 in the NFC Championship to advance to Super Bowl LII. They’ll face the Patriots at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis in search of their first Super Bowl title.
Jeffery had a lot to do with the victory, which many didn’t see coming after the late season injury to starting quarterback Carson Wentz. The former Bears receiver caught five passes for 85 yards including a pair of touchdowns in the resounding win that sends the Eagles back to the title game for the first time since the 2004 season.
Coincidentally they’ll face the same team they did in Super Bowl XXXIX, the New England Patriots. They knocked off the Jaguars 24-20 at Gillette Stadium on Sunday for their 8th AFC Championship in the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era.
Their talent and experience will make it difficult, but at least Jeffery will get the shot to make that Super Bowl prediction come true in Minneapolis after making it there just a year earlier.