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Philadelphia Eagles: How Eagles became Super Bowl contenders with franchise-best undefeated start to season


There have been glimpses final season, however nobody may have seen this coming.

On Thursday evening, the Philadelphia Eagles beat the lowly Houston Texans 29-17 to document their eighth-straight victory of the season and stay the one undefeated workforce within the NFL.

In doing so, the 2022 season turned the franchise’s finest opening to a season with a primary 8-0 begin.

Though they’d an honest season final 12 months, nobody may have predicted the Eagles would turn out to be Tremendous Bowl contenders behind an inexperienced quarterback and a second-year head coach.

However, towards the chances, Philadelphia has transitioned into the highest tier of NFL groups – apart from the Buffalo Payments and the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs – as many individuals’s favorites to be taking part in in February’s season finale.

So, how did we get right here?

Hurts celebrates as he walks off the field after defeating the Dallas Cowboys 26-17 at Lincoln Financial Field on October 16, 2022.

Final 12 months was one in every of rebuilding for the Eagles. The departure of beginning quarterback Carson Wentz and head coach Doug Pederson introduced a complete change for the group.

And whereas typically these years of reestablishing an identification is usually a powerful watch, for Eagles followers there have been positives to carry onto.

The arrival of Nick Sirianni as head coach provided a contemporary perspective from the sideline and a scheme change on the sector.

With no established quarterback on the roster, it was left to Jalen Hurts – the previous Oklahoma star who was drafted within the second spherical in 2020 – to guide the workforce.

Hurts had restricted expertise in his rookie 12 months, however what time he spent on the sector didn’t go nicely as he displayed the naivety first-year quarterbacks typically present.

However, paired with Sirianni, rookie extensive receiver DeVonta Smith, dynamic working again Miles Sanders and one of many league’s finest offensive strains, the Eagles confirmed indicators of a fast retooling.

After a sluggish begin to the season, the offense started to hum as video games glided by, with the workforce finally ending with an 8-7 document earlier than an eventual first-round playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Regardless of the disappointing finish to the season, there have been good indicators to go off for the 2017 Tremendous Bowl winners.

And, sensing foundations had been in place, Philadelphia’s entrance workplace went all out to enhance the workforce as finest it may in the course of the offseason.

The workforce made key additions to an already talent-rich protection – together with Haason Reddick, James Bradberry, C. J. Gardner-Johnson and, simply earlier than the commerce deadline, Robert Quinn – to make what has turn out to be a deadly set of defenders for opposing groups.

Gardner-Johnson celebrates an interception during the second half against the Texans.

In addition to one other offseason to study the system, the offense bought a serious increase when the workforce traded for Professional Bowl extensive receiver A.J. Brown.

However even with all these additions, the beginning the workforce made has taken everybody without warning.

The workforce has gained each one in every of its eight common season video games, with Hurts taking the leap to a Professional Bowl quarterback having struck up an already deadly relationship with Brown by means of 9 weeks of the NFL season – Brown has 5 touchdowns in his final three video games.

Hurts rise has been astronomic from a promising quarterback to one of many league’s finest. After Thursday’s sport, Texans head coach Lovie Smith praised the 24-year-old, calling him an “excellent participant.”

“I feel he’s improved extra, possibly greater than each participant within the NFL,” Smith told reporters.

What has been most spectacular has been the stability of the workforce. Though the workforce has developed threatening passing assault, Hurts’ dynamism together with his legs has allowed the workforce to stay a potent working workforce, making them virtually undefendable at factors.

After Thursday’s victory over the Texans and setting a franchise-best begin to the season, Hurts was in no temper for getting forward of himself.

“I do know it’s particular for town of Philadelphia,” Hurts, who has no less than thrown two touchdowns within the final three video games, told reporters.

“I imply, I’ve been 8-0 earlier than and misplaced the nationwide championship. Simply take it daily. We haven’t completed something but. It’s a day-by-day factor of us controlling issues we are able to, taking part in to our customary and making an attempt to develop day-after-day. I feel that’s really what it’s about.”

Hurts throws during the second half against the Texans.

After such a begin, many are penciling within the Eagles to come back out of the NFC convention and problem in Tremendous Bowl LVII in Arizona.

And in what has been a down 12 months for most of the conventional massive groups within the NFC – the Los Angeles Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Inexperienced Bay Packers are all going by means of difficult beginnings to the season – Philadelphia have given themselves the proper shot to seize a first-round playoff bye come January.

And within the Metropolis of Brotherly Love, Hurts shall be showered in adoration on his return because the Eagles proceed their endeavor for the group’s second Tremendous Bowl ring.

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