Count Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting middle linebacker Shelton Quarles among those who are rooting against the Philadelphia Eagles in their NFC Championship Game meeting with the visiting Atlanta Falcons. Quarles bashed the Eagles on the “Movin’ the Chains Show” with Bob Papa and Tim Ryan on SIRIUS NFL Radio on Thursday, January 20.
Quarles said he hoped the Eagles would be the first team in NFL history to lose four straight NFC Championship Games. Philly lost at St. Louis in 2001, and was defeated at home by Tampa Bay in 2002 and Carolina in 2003.
“Hopefully it will be a repeat performance for them,” Quarles said. “The Bills lost four in a row, and this is the fourth time Philly will be there (in the NFC Championship Game). Hopefully the same thing will happen to them. And (I hope) it will progress into them going down hill the way Buffalo did after the four Super Bowl losses. I think it’s going to be a tough game for them, especially with the history of what has gone on with them in NFC Championship games. Right now they’ve turned in to the Buffalo Bills of the NFC Championship.”
Quarles has some friends to root for in the NFC Championship Game, such as former Buccaneers teammate Warrick Dunn, but it’s not like he’s rooting for the NFC South rival Falcons – he’s rooting against the Eagles.
“I’m not a real big Philly fan,” Quarles said. “Every time we’ve come into town they’ve done a lot of nasty things to us. From Donovan McNabb, being behind center, laughing at us because he knew what defenses we were going to run. That’s the relationship we have. There are certain teams that you definitely don’t like and Philadelphia’s one of the teams.
“I’m not really a big fan of their defense. I’m not really sure why some of their players are representing the NFC in the Pro Bowl.”
The bad blood between the Bucs and Eagles started when Philadelphia won four straight games against Tampa Bay, including the 2000 Wild Card game in Philly, a 2001 regular season contest at Raymond James Stadium and the 2001 Wild Card game the following week at Veterans Stadium and a regular season game in Philly in 2002.
The rivalry between the two teams really began to heat up when the Bucs upset the Eagles in the 2002 NFC Championship Game, which closed down the famous Veterans Stadium with a horrific loss, and beat Philly again to open the new Lincoln Financial Field in the 2003 season opener.
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