Philadelphia Eagles: How Eagles grew to become Super Bowl contenders with franchise-best undefeated begin to season



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

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

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

Though they’d a good season final yr, nobody may have predicted the Eagles would grow to be Super 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?

Final yr was considered one of rebuilding for the Eagles. The departure of beginning quarterback Carson Wentz and head coach Doug Pederson offered a complete change for the group.

And whereas usually these years of reestablishing an id generally is a robust 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 sphere.

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 steer the workforce.

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

However, paired with Sirianni, rookie broad receiver DeVonta Smith, dynamic operating 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 ultimately ending with an 8-7 file 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 Super Bowl winners.

And, sensing foundations had been in place, Philadelphia’s entrance workplace went all out to enhance the workforce as finest it may throughout 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 grow 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 obtained a significant enhance when the workforce traded for Professional Bowl broad receiver A.J. Brown.

However even with all these additions, the beginning the workforce made has taken everybody abruptly.

The workforce has received each considered one 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 recreation, Texans head coach Lovie Smith praised the 24-year-old, calling him an “outstanding player.”

“I think he’s improved more, maybe more than every player in the NFL,” Smith instructed 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 operating workforce, making them nearly 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 know it’s special for the city of Philadelphia,” Hurts, who has at the least thrown two touchdowns within the final three video games, instructed reporters.

“I mean, I’ve been 8-0 before and lost the national championship. Just take it day by day. We haven’t accomplished anything yet. It’s a day-by-day thing of us controlling things we can, playing to our standard and trying to grow every day. I think that’s truly what it’s about.”

Hurts throws during the second half against the Texans.

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

And in what has been a down yr for lots 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 tough 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 might be showered in adoration on his return because the Eagles proceed their endeavor for the group’s second Super Bowl ring.