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The Hypothetical Steelers vs Eagles 2004 Super Bowl

In 2004, the Steelers and Eagles were the two best teams in the NFL (other than the Patriots). The Steelers were 15-1 and had the best in the AFC. The Eagles were 13-3 and had the best record in the NFC. Seeing the two teams from Pennsylvania battle it out in the Super Bowl would’ve made for a historical matchup.

2004 Eagles Summary

The Eagles were the team of destiny in 2004. After losing 3-straight NFC Championships, Eagles fans were desperate for a trip to the Super Bowl. The Eagles started 7-0 and suffered their first loss in Pittsburgh in Week 9. The Eagles won their next six games and clinched the 1-seed in the NFC with a 13-1 record. The Eagles lost their final two regular season games as they rested their starters.

2004 Steelers Summary

After a 6-10 record in 2003 during Tommy Maddox’s injury, Steelers fans didn’t know what to expect in 2004. Entering the season, Pittsburgh had +3000 odds to win the Super Bowl and had a 7.5-win total over/under. The Steelers started out the season with a narrow victory over the Raiders and then a blowout loss to the Ravens. Big Ben was inserted as the starting QB for Week 3 and never looked back. Pittsburgh won out the rest of the way with big home wins over the Patriots and Eagles.

Eagles-Steelers Regular Season Game

The Eagles were undefeated at 7-0 and traveled west to face Pittsburgh and silence some of the hype surrounding Ben Roethlisberger. The upstart Steelers were 6-1 themselves and came off a game in which they ended the Patriots record 18-game winning streak. The Pittsburgh defense swarmed Donovan McNabb and Big Ben threw two touchdowns for the 27-3 victory.

The 2004 Playoffs

Both the Steelers and Eagles entered the playoffs as their conference’s 1-seed. All each team had to do was win two games and they’d face off in the Super Bowl. For the Steelers, they almost lost in the Divisional Round even after being 9-point favorites over the Jets and having a 10-0 lead. Big Ben threw two interceptions that advanced the Jets into scoring position. Thankfully for Pittsburgh, Doug Brien’s two missed field goals late in the 4th quarter bailed them out. The Steelers found a way to win in overtime 20-17.The Eagles had a much less dramatic win in the Divisional round as they cruised past the Vikings 27-14.

In the Conference Championship, the Eagles made light work of Michael Vick and the Falcons. The Eagles won 27-10 and had control for the entire game. The Steelers on the other hand met their match against the Patriots. Big Ben was still in the midst of his playoff slump and the Steelers came out flat offensively. Late in the 2nd quarter, the Steelers were down 17-3, but drove into the Patriots red zone. Big Ben threw a pick six to Rodney Harrison, which gave the Patriots a 24-3 lead and seemingly ended the game. The final score ended in a 41-27 loss.

The Eagles and Patriots matched up for Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville. The Eagles drew first blood with a 7-0 lead, but the Patriots later took over and systematically held control of the game to win 24-21. The Patriots solidified their dynasty with a third Super Bowl at the displeasure of the Eagles.

The Steelers-Eagles 2004 Super Bowl would’ve had some interesting storylines. How can Donovan McNabb handle the Steelers defense a second time around? Can Big Ben break his playoff slump on the grand stage? Will Bill Cowher rectify his many playoff disappointments? Or will it be Andy Reid?

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