The best record in football.
It feels so much better written down in front of you.
It doesn’t quite feel that way through the ups and downs of an NFL Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia. In the Eagles most recent game, the hapless Washington “Whatever-they-call-them-this-years’ had the entire Delaware Valley cursing at their screens in living room and bars. Cursing and screaming until the final whistle to the season’s seventh win in eight games.
A bit later, the spiraling 49ers lost their third straight game and the Super Bowl-champion Chiefs succumbed to their quarterback’s “cough due to cold” and the Broncos, respectively.
The Eagles are 7-1. Better than every other team in the league. Just like they’ve been since the first week of last season.
Last year, the Eagles were the last unbeaten team standing and ended up the top seed in the NFC before advancing to the Super Bowl.
This year, the Eagles were the last unbeaten team standing. Depending on their next six games, a return to the Super Bowl is not out of the question.
So why does this year feel different?
The simple answer is that it is different. Expectations certainly are. Even as the Eagles blitzed through the schedule leaving opposing defenses scattered in their wake, it took a while for fans to see just how dominant the 2022 Eagles were.
This season, the dominance has been a bit more subtle.
The Eagles aren’t blowing teams out. Ball security has been a concern. The Eagles aren’t getting takeaways, and turnovers are coming in bunches.
Against Washington, Kenny Gainwell fumbled on first-and-goal at the 3 and Jalen Hurts fumbled the ball away on the most dominant play in sports, “the Brotherly Shove.”
Most teams would swirl down the drain after two epic disasters like that, especially in a game in which the Eagles trailed by as many as 11 points up to the seven-minute mark of the fourth quarter.
The Eagles never wavered. Panic doesn’t have their cell number.
“You don’t ever have to worry about that with us,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said. “We’re not built that way. We’re built that every mistake we make, we correct. Every time we do something right, we praise. That’s accountability.”
That’s as simple an explanation as any. It’s also as big a reason why the Delaware Valley has embraced this team so completely.
The Eagles play the way we wish our neighbors could live, the way we wish we all could live.
With so much uncertainty in our everyday lives, we can count on the Eagles to count on each other the way Jalen Hurts counts on A.J. Brown.
The Eagles’ culture of accountability is the reason we can be sure the next six games — against a murderer’s row of Cowboys, Chiefs, Bills, 49ers, Cowboys and Seahawks — will be a fascinating roller coaster of joy, despair, failure and triumph. Through it all, we can be sure the Eagles will come out ready for another run toward a Super Bowl.
The next seven weeks won’t be easy, far from it. But the simple fact is this, none of those teams have what the Eagles have.
The best record in football.