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

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CNN
 — 

There had 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 report their eighth-straight victory of the season and stay the one undefeated crew within the NFL.

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

Although they’d a good season final 12 months, nobody may have predicted the Eagles would grow to be Super Bowl contenders behind an inexperienced quarterback and a second-year head coach.

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

So, how did we get right here?

Last 12 months was one in every 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 maintain 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 lead the crew.

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

But, paired with Sirianni, rookie broad receiver DeVonta Smith, dynamic operating again Miles Sanders and one of many league’s finest offensive traces, the Eagles confirmed indicators of a fast retooling.

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

Despite 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 crew as finest it may throughout the offseason.

The crew 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.

As properly as one other offseason to study the system, the offense acquired a serious enhance when the crew traded for Pro Bowl broad receiver A.J. Brown.

But even with all these additions, the start the crew made has taken everybody abruptly.

The crew has received each one in every of its eight common season video games, with Hurts taking the leap to a Pro Bowl quarterback having struck up an already deadly relationship with Brown by way 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, perhaps greater than each participant within the NFL,” Smith told reporters.

What has been most spectacular has been the steadiness of the crew. Although the crew has developed threatening passing assault, Hurts’ dynamism with his legs has allowed the crew to stay a potent operating crew, making them virtually undefendable at factors.

After Thursday’s victory over the Texans and setting a franchise-best start 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 at the least 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. Just take it day-to-day. We haven’t completed something but. It’s a day-by-day factor of us controlling issues we will, taking part in to our commonplace and making an attempt to develop day by day. I feel that’s really what it’s about.”

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

And in what has been a down 12 months for lots of the conventional huge groups within the NFC – the Los Angeles Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Green Bay Packers are all going by way 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 City 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.

Md Rashidul Hasan

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