The Philadelphia Eagles are Super Bowl champs for the first time in history, narrowly defeating the legendary New England Patriots in a nail-biter of a contest. After the game the coach and top players publicly gave glory to God for the win.
Christian players expressing their faith isn't new in the NFL – it's the revival that swept through the Eagles locker room during the season that people just can't stop talking about.
In March of 2017, Tight End Zach Ertz committed his life to Christ.
"I was baptized in March, got married the next day. Our marriage has been built on that foundation from the Word and Jesus and it's changed my life. And just to have these guys hold me accountable on a daily basis has been phenomenal," Ertz told CBN Sports Reporter Shawn Brown.
Only a few months later wide receiver Marcus Johnson was baptized in a North Carolina swimming pool ahead of a game against the Carolina Panthers.
— Marcus D. Johnson (@Mojomdj) October 12, 2017
Five teammates — linebackers Jordan Hicks, Mychal Kendricks and Kamu Grugier-Hill, and wide receivers Paul Turner and David Watford — were baptized in the Philadelphia Eagles' recovery pool late last year, according to reports.
In an interview on the CBN News Daily Rundown podcast, Brown told host Caitlin Burke, that the strong Christian leadership of quarterback Carson Wentz made a huge difference for this team that's now known as one of the most spiritual in the league.
"They talked and said, 'Hey, we want to provide an opportunity for players to be baptized,' and they started off their season doing that," Brown said.
Wentz wasn't able to play in the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots because of a torn ACL in Week 14, but his backup quarterback Nick Foles shares his solid faith and made sure his brothers-in-Christ continued to make faith the focus.
"My faith in the Lord means everything. I'm a believer in Jesus Christ and that's first and foremost. That's everything. I wouldn't be able to do this game without Him, because I don't have the strength to go out and do this. This is supernatural," Foles told Brown.
This powerful testimony comes from a guy who had almost retired from football and at the beginning of the season didn't know where he was going to end up.
"He was going to quit the game, he was going to leave the game and get into something else. And the Lord's like, 'No, I've got something else for you.' He ends up going to the Eagles, he's all, 'OK I'm on the Eagles but I'm still a backup. Carson's here, Carson's great,' at a team that he used to play for, a team that he used to start for, he's back with this team again, they have a new starter who's rocking it out there and he has to wonder, 'Lord, what's the purpose for me here,'" Brown said.
But Foles stayed ready, and then everything suddenly shifted when Wentz was injured.
"The Lord gave him (Foles) a second chance, saying, 'Hey I'm going to put you on display here so you can show the world what you have, how I've blessed you," Brown continued.
Foles says that in the future, when it's time to hang up his cleats, he plans to focus even more on sharing his faith.
"I want to be a pastor in a high school," Foles said on Thursday before the Super Bowl. "It's on my heart. I took a leap of faith last year and signed up to take classes at seminary. I wanted to continue to learn and challenge my faith. It's a challenge because you are writing papers that are biblically correct. You want to impact people's hearts."
"When I speak to (students), that's such a time of young men and young women's lives that there's a lot of things that are thrown at them. So much temptation in this world, so much going on with social media and the internet that you want to talk to them and address it and share all the weaknesses I have because I've fallen many times," Foles said. "It's something I want to do. I can't play football forever. I've been blessed with an amazing platform and it's just a door God has opened, but I still have a lot of school left and a long journey."