Philadelphia Eagles: The NFC Championship was won in March

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Eagles may have defeated the Minnesota Vikings, but most of the heavy lifting can be attributed to Howie Roseman’s magical March.

 Quite often the team that makes the most offseason noise, does not deliver the best results when the regular season and playoffs come around. However, the Philadelphia Eagles went against the curve.

The front office was one of the busiest, and most effective, around the league during free agency. There was little question that they were adding talent. The question became how would these players mesh with the current locker room and could the plethora of changes prove to have a negative effect.

Over 19 days in March, Howie Roseman added a crowd of players that would make a huge impact on the field and quickly silence any concerns. The positive influence of that group was on full display Sunday as the Eagles routed the Minnesota Vikings on their way to the Super Bowl.

Let’s take a look at just how a few moves made over the course of a few weeks in March sealed the Conference Championship for the Birds.

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Philadelphia Eagles
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

March 9: Signed WR Torrey Smith, LB Najee Goode, and WR Alshon Jeffery

The Eagles struggled to get Torrey Smith involved all season long. They rarely connected on one of Smith’s signature long touchdowns and for whatever reason Smith was ineffective in all other aspects of the passing game. It looked to be more of the same for him when he dropped a deep throw on the first drive of the game Sunday. However, Smith bounced back and successfully caught five passes for 69 yards and a touchdown. To cap his exceptional day. Smith was the recipient of a phenomenal flea-flicker throw from Nick Foles, a play of the year candidate.

Najee Goode, while only starting in three, played all 16 games for the Eagles this year. After Dannell Ellerbe injured himself last weekend, Goode was announced as the starter this week. Goode only produced two tackles but did his job. After giving up the Vikings lone touchdown of the game on a trick play to tight end Kyle Rudolph, the sixth year linebacker settled down and did his job in the team’s base defense.

Alshon Jeffery is the man, and the elite pass-catcher Philly fans have been clamoring for.

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Jeffery turned in one of his best performances when it mattered most, catching five passes for 89 yards and cashed in two touchdowns. “Big Al” stretched the field for a 53-yard touchdown dart that put the Vikings in a huge hole and ignited the Linc. His red zone presence helped the Eagles become one of the best red zone offenses in the league and yesterday was no different, as he caught a touchdown on third and goal.

Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles /

March 10: Signed G/C Stefen Wisniewski

Heading into the playoffs, the left side of the offensive line was a major concern. With Jason Peters out, the left side never found a rhythm. The postseason has been a different tale.

Stefen Wisniewski, the left guard, contained a ferocious Minnesota defensive front while committing no holds. He limited the prolific pass rush that allowed Foles to get comfortable and helped him deliver a 141.1 passer rating. The left side of this line, especially Wisniewski, silenced the doubters and helped the Eagles romp Minnesota.

After being signed to essentially serve as a flexible interior swingman, Wisniewski has quietly surpassed both Chance Warmack and Isaac Seumalo to become the Eagles starting guard, a trend that will likely cross over into next season.

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

March 13: Agree to terms with QB Nick Foles, and release QB Chase Daniel

The Eagles’ decision to move on from backup quarterback Chase Daniel and bring back Foles may be the best decision they made in March.

We all know the story by now, Carson Wentz goes down and Foles steps in. Foles struggles the rest of the season but leads an ugly win against Atlanta in the divisional round. Then, the NFC Championship happened. I’ll let the stats speak for themselves. 26-33 through the air for 352 yards, three touchdowns, and no turnovers.

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Foles picked apart the “best defense in the league” for a 95.8 QBR and 141.1 passer rating. Foles looked poised all day and took on the challenge with ease on his way to clinching a 2018 Super Bowl berth.

Philadelphia Eagles
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

March 28: Signed DE Chris Long and CB Patrick Robinson

These two, Chris Long and Patrick Robinson, teamed up for the electric play that sparked the Eagles. Long rushed Case Keenum and disrupted his throw so that it would land perfectly in the hands of Robinson. Robinson preceded to take the ball back 50 yards into the end zone to even the score at seven. Robinson kept the Viking s’ interior receivers in check all day and did not allow them any space to connect on a big play. Long’s part in the turnovers was not done.

After Derek Barnett stripped Keenum, Long recovered the ball to clinch the change of possession. These were the clear defensive game-changing plays of the day and these March acquisitions had a hand in both of them.

As you can see, the players with the biggest impact yesterday were signed in those exceptional 19 days. This is incredibly special and telling of the front office’s success. I think we all, myself included, owe Roseman an apology for some things we might have said years ago. He is as responsible for the run as any of the players.

Next: Philadelphia Eagles: Resigning Patrick Robinson must be a priority

Simply put, Howie Roseman should win Executive of the Year. It’s rare that a team can add this many new pieces at crucial positions across the field and remain competitive, but Roseman has seemingly cracked the code, and the Eagles have almost immediately reaped the rewards of his off-season work. So whenever someone tries to tell you the off-season doesn’t mean anything, show them this game.