Thursday night football saw the Philadelphia Eagles win their eighth game in a row, a 29-17 win over the miserable Houston Texans. While many consider the Eagles to be rogues due to their lackluster fixtures, it’s hard to deny what their offense looks like and how resilient their defense is. Regardless of the opponent, Nick Sirianni’s crew all pass the eye test with flying colors, hence why so many experts rank Philly near or at the top of their NFL power rankings.
8 consecutive wins to start the season is no easy task. While the regular season isn’t quite over yet for this team, people are already starting to look forward to a potentially undefeated season. Hell, even I did it. But how much is an undefeated season usually worth if you don’t win chips?
In 1972 the Dolphins got a ring. The 2007 Patriots did not. Regular season achievements will be meaningless if a post-win period doesn’t follow suit. Unfortunately for the Eagles, the history behind the other teams to start the season 8-0 wasn’t all that good.
Since 2010, 11 teams have started the season with a record of 8-0 or higher. No one went on to win the Super Bowl. The most recent team to start with at least eight straight wins and win the Lombardi Cup was Team Saints led by Drew Brees in 2009. Since then, we’ve seen full-backs like Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Alex Smith, Andy Dalton, Tom Brady (twice), Cam Newton, Jared Goff, Ben Roethlisberger and Jimmy Garoppolo all fell victim to the 8-0 curse. Only three of them – Garoppolo, Newton and Goff – made it to the Super Bowl. Of the other seven, five were eliminated in their first round playoffs. Now it’s Jalen Hurts’ turn to try to break the record.
If we go back further than 2010, there is reason to be optimistic. There were 17 other teams in the Super Bowl Era that started 8-0 or higher. Eight of them went on to win the Super Bowl, including two consecutive winners of the 1990 Giants and the ’91 Redskins. But since then, it has become flimsy.
There is some worry that the Eagles’ will suffer the same fate as most who have come before. Their weak schedule has lots of NFL fans thinking about the 2020 Steelers who never looked dominant during their 11-game win streak and had their hopes for a perfect season have been dashed smoke by a reincarnated Alex Smith. That loss ushered in the flood and L began to pile up left and right. Pittsburgh has lost four of its last five games, with the only win being a four-point win over the Indianapolis Colts. The Steelers were so bad they didn’t even get to say goodbye in the first half.
Luckily for Philly fans, the Eagles won’t have to play high-powered teams like the 2020 Bills or be favored by football gods like the Washington 2020 Team, but that won’t help in the interim. post-season when the 49ers’ superb defense came into town. Other than them, I’m not sure there’s a team in NFC that fits the Eagles well. Maybe the Cowboys? We know the Vikings don’t. Minnesota looked more like squishy kids than Nordic warriors in Week 2’s game against the Birds.
Basically, the Eagles looked good, but maybe not as great as we wanted an 8-0 team. That said, NFC has looked as easy as the Eastern Conference for most of LeBron James’ career, and that’s a good sign for Philly’s Super Bowl aspirations.