Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni has only coached 37 games (including playoffs) so far in his brief NFL head coaching career. But on Sunday in Glendale, Arizona, his 38th game will mark an accomplishment that most other head coaches only dream about achieving: leading a team as it plays to win the Lombardi Trophy.
The 41-year-old second-year head coach is in charge of an Eagles team that was seemingly shot out of a cannon to begin the season, going 8-0 before a Monday night loss Nov. 14. After five more consecutive wins, Philly dropped two of its last three games, superstar quarterback Jalen Hurts missed some time due to injury, and many wondered whether the NFC’s No. 1 seed was limping into the playoffs.
Sirianni and his team quickly put a stop to those doubts, as they first pummeled the New York Giants, 38-7, then the San Francisco 49ers, 31-7, to advance to Super Bowl LVII.
“This is the biggest game in football. It’s the Super Bowl. The biggest game anybody will ever play in football. But when you start treating these games differently, that’s when mistakes happen. It’s about us being able to play with each other one more time.”
-Nick Sirianni pic.twitter.com/yqTCVvnEgX
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) January 31, 2023
Sirianni has put his mastery of NFL offenses on full display as Eagles head coach, taking a team that ranked near the bottom of the league in scoring offense before his arrival and turning it into one of the best this season. What’s more, Sirianni has taken Hurts under his wing, helping the QB develop from a rookie backup into the 2022-23 NFL MVP runner-up.
Yet, standing between Sirianni’s Eagles and a Super Bowl championship is Patrick Mahomes (who won the MVP) and the Kansas City Chiefs, one of only two teams who averaged more points per game (29.2) than Philadelphia (28.1) this season.
It’s a Chiefs franchise that Sirianni has history with.
Before his time as an offensive coordinator for the Colts and offensive position coach for the Chargers (where he was mentored by Frank Reich), Sirianni began his NFL coaching career with Kansas City from 2009-12. In fact, when current Chiefs and former Eagles head coach Andy Reid was hired by Kansas City in January 2013, he decided not to retain Sirianni, thus prompting Sirianni’s move to the Chargers.
Although Sirianni appreciates how Reid handled the situation, he admits it has been a motivator for him in the years since.
“Do you always have this little chip on your shoulder? Sure, yeah, you do,” Sirianni said earlier this week, according to ESPN. “But that’s who I am as a coach and as a person; I want to make sure I’m working my butt off to get as good as I possibly can. And sure, you hold on to some of those things.”
Sirianni explained how Reid brought him into his office and was gracious as he informed him of the difficult news.
“[Reid] was complimentary,” Sirianni said. “He knew I would be down, so he gave me strength when I was down. I appreciated that, and it sounds like that’s who he is as a person and a coach.”
Sirianni continued later, “In a sense, you thank God for the things you had to go through because it makes you who you are today. … God’s always put me in great positions and guided my paths.”
Sirianni also said this week that even though some things that happen in life are difficult in the moment, like getting replaced in Kansas City, God is at work in them to strengthen our trust in Him and lead us to where He wants us to be. Sometimes our trials result even in earthly blessings, like being the head coach of a Super Bowl team.
“I think about my journey as a coach and people have asked me about being let go in Kansas City. Like, ‘Did that hurt?’ And everything like that,” Sirianni said Monday night during Super Bowl Opening Night, via “Faith on the Field.” “But it led me on a path, and I didn’t much like it, but it led me on a path that led me to here. So God’s always done that for me and put me in the positions I need to be in — maybe sometimes I don’t want to be in, but the positions I need to be in. You don’t always see that when you’re going through the trial, and you may not always see it when you get out of the trial.
“… Faith is No. 1 for a reason. I’m very grateful to God for everything that I have. … There’s always time to pray and there’s always time to be grateful.”
Faith. Family. Football. Our @RobMaaddi asked #Eagles coach Nick Sirianni at #SBOpeningNight #SBLVII what his faith has meant to him. Listen to Nick’s sincere, personal response. pic.twitter.com/6k4zrG1cI3
— Faith On The Field (@FaithOnTheField) February 7, 2023
In an effort to live out and grow in his faith, Sirianni is an active attendee of Bible studies put on by Eagles chaplain Ted Winsley, who said his coaches study has grown to include up to 15 coaches since Sirianni took over as head coach.
As Sirianni and his team prepare to play the biggest game of his life, he will still seek out time to pray and thank God for the career difficulties in his life, all of which have brought glory to God and brought him to the Super Bowl.
The game is set for 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday at State Farm Stadium.
– Chiefs D-coordinator Steve Spagnuolo grateful to ‘have Jesus to fall back on’
– T.J. Edwards says ‘everything I do is for Him’ as breakout year helps Eagles to SB
– Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker: ‘I always pray for God’s will to be done’
– Haason Reddick led Eagles to Super Bowl, says he couldn’t ‘get here without God’
– Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes discusses his spiritual growth, being ‘fully in’ on God
– From cut to the Super Bowl, Eagles’ Brett Kern grateful ‘where God has brought me’
– Chiefs star Nick Bolton grateful for growth as ‘follower of Christ’ ahead of SB
– Eagles WR A.J. Brown aims to let God ‘direct my paths,’ is now in Super Bowl
– Dan Meers using role as Chiefs mascot to be ‘hands and feet of Jesus’
– Super Bowl-bound Eagles coach Nick Sirianni fueled by faith, family, football
– Owner Clark Hunt leads with faith in Christ as Chiefs prepare for Super Bowl
– QB Jalen Hurts leads Eagles to Super Bowl as he puts his trust in God’s hands
– Patrick Mahomes leads KC to Super Bowl, says God ‘healed my body this week’
– SS PODCAST: Eagles chaplain Ted Winsley on faith amid Super Bowl run
– SS PODCAST: Chiefs chaplain Marcellus Casey on faith amid Super Bowl run