The Philadelphia Eagles’ 8-0 start doesn’t guarantee a Super Bowl title

Jalen hurts

Jalen Hurts has led the Eagles to an unbeaten record so farImage: Getty Images

At Thursday Night Football, the Philadelphia Eagles won their eighth straight game, a 29-17 victory over the puny Houston Texans. While many people have claimed the Eagles were cheaters due to their lackluster schedule, it’s hard to deny how electric their offense looked and how strong their defense was. Regardless of the opponent, Nick Sirianni’s crew passes the eye test with flying colors, which is why so many pundits have Philly near or at the top of their NFL performance rankings.

Eight wins in a row at the start of the season are no easy task. While the regular season isn’t even half over for this team, people have started to look ahead and predict a potentially unbeaten season. Hell, even I did that. But what’s an undefeated regular season worth if you don’t win the chip?

The 1972 Dolphins have a ring. The Patriots of 2007 didn’t. Regular-season achievements are hollow if not followed by a winning postseason. Unfortunately for the Eagles, the story behind other teams starting the season 8-0 isn’t very flattering.

Since 2010, 11 teams have started the season with a record of 8-0 or better. Nobody won the Super Bowl. The youngest team to start with at least eight straight wins and win the Lombardi Trophy was the Drew Brees-led Saints in 2009. Since then, we’ve seen quarterbacks 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 playoff game. Now it’s Jalen Hurts turn to try to break the streak.

If we go further back than 2010, there is reason for optimism. There were 17 other teams in the Super Bowl era that started 8-0 or better. Eight of them won the Super Bowl, including back-to-back winners at the 1990 Giants and 1991 Redskins. But it’s been a meager pick since then.

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There is concern that the Eagles will suffer the same fate as most who have come before. Their flimsy schedule has many NFL fans thinking of the Steelers of 2020, who never looked dominant throughout their 11-game winning streak and dashed their hopes of a perfect season from a born-again Alex Smith. This loss opened the floodgates and Ls started piling up left and right. Pittsburgh has lost four of their last five games, with the only win being a four-point win over the Indianapolis Colts. The Steelers were so bad in the closing stages that they didn’t even get a bye in the first round.

Luckily for Philly fans, the Eagles don’t have to face teams as high-profile as the 2020 Bills or as favored by the football gods as the 2020 Washington Football Team. But that won’t help in the postseason when the masterful run defense of the 49ers comes to town. However, apart from them, I’m not sure if there is a team in the NFC that would be a good fit for the Eagles. The cowboys maybe? We know the Vikings don’t do that. Minnesota looked more like frail kids than Norse warriors during their Week 2 matchup with the Birds.

Basically, the Eagles looked good, but maybe not as good as we would like an 8-0 team to be. Still, the NFC seems about as easy as the Eastern Conference for most of LeBron James’ career, and that bodes well for Philly’s Super Bowl ambitions.