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Philadelphia Eagles: Jalen Hurts continues to defy the doubters as the NFL’s last remaining unbeaten team target a Super Bowl run

Philadelphia lead the NFL with 45 rushing TDs since Jalen Hurts became the team’s starting quarterback in Week 14 of the 2020 season; Houston have allowed a league-high 43 TDs over the same stretch; watch Eagles @ Texans live on Sky Sports NFL from 12.15am, Friday morning

Last Updated: 03/11/22 6:29pm


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A look at how the Philadelphia Eagles have gone 7-0 to sit as the NFL’s only undefeated team this season

A look at how the Philadelphia Eagles have gone 7-0 to sit as the NFL’s only undefeated team this season

The Philadelphia Eagles are just one win away from the first 8-0 start in the franchise’s history.

The Eagles are an NFL-best 7-0 so far this season – the league’s lone remaining undefeated team – and now look to make history with a visit to the one-win Houston Texans (1-5-1) on Thursday Night Football – live on Sky Sports NFL from 12.15am, Friday morning.

Philadelphia’s success certainly hasn’t shocked the watching world. It was well-known they had one of the strongest and deepest rosters in the NFL coming into the season, but to still be unbeaten at this stage is perhaps a surprise.

Who have the Philadelphia Eagles beaten in undefeated start?

Week Opponent Result
One @ Detroit Lions 38-35
Two vs Minnesota Vikings 24-7
Three @ Washington Commanders 24-8
Four vs Jacksonville Jaguars 29-21
Five @ Arizona Cardinals 20-17
Six vs Dallas Cowboys 26-17
Seven Bye Week
Eight vs Pittsburgh Steelers 35-13

The Eagles only just finished above .500 last year with a 9-8 record that saw them sneak into the playoffs as the No 7 seed in the NFC, before being trounced 31-15 in the Wild Card round by Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

It was expected this season that Brady’s Bucs, along with the new reigning champs, the Los Angeles Rams, as well as playoff regulars the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers would again reign in the NFC. While, over in the stacked AFC, the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals were widely considered to be among the league’s best, let alone the cream of the crop in their own conference.

A look at some of the biggest blunders from Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense during their struggles so far this season

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A look at some of the biggest blunders from Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense during their struggles so far this season

A look at some of the biggest blunders from Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense during their struggles so far this season

Yet, through eight weeks of the season, none of the Buccaneers (3-5), Rams (3-4), Packers (3-5), 49ers (4-4) or Bengals (4-4) sit above .500, with only the Bills (6-1) and Chiefs (5-2) currently coming anywhere close to laying a glove on the Eagles’ claim to being best in show.

The questions concerning Philadelphia coming into the season largely centred around their starting quarterback, with the falsely-held perception being that the second-round draft pick out of Oklahoma in 2020 wasn’t an elite enough thrower of the football to make the step up in the NFL.

Jalen Hurts had lost his starting job in college at Alabama to current Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa after being benched midway through their 2018 National Championship title win over Georgia. Hurts had started the game completing just three of eight throws for 21 yards.

Though he transferred to Oklahoma and enjoyed great success there in his final year of college, throwing 32 touchdown passes and finishing second only to current Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow in the Heisman Trophy voting, Hurts was considered a risk at NFL level – enough to see four other quarterbacks drafted ahead of him, including Burrow and Tagovailoa.

Philadelphia Eagles third-year quarterback Jalen Hurts has led the team to a 7-0 start to the season, throwing for 1,799 yards and 10 TDs

Philadelphia Eagles third-year quarterback Jalen Hurts has led the team to a 7-0 start to the season, throwing for 1,799 yards and 10 TDs

Hurts showed flashes in his rookie season in the NFL when relieving Carson Wentz as Philly’s starter down the stretch, and in his second year when steering the team to the playoffs, but doubts remained after his Wild Card showing against the Bucs where he was picked off twice and completed only a touch over 50 per cent of his passes.

Hurts has shown huge growth in year three. He has 1,799 passing yards through seven games, with 10 touchdown passes to only two interceptions. Add to that a further 303 yards on the ground and six rushing scores.

Admittedly, he isn’t doing it all on his own. Running back Miles Sanders has 563 rushing yards and five TDs, averaging a career-high 80.4 yards per game in 2022, while the Eagles lead the NFL in rushing touchdowns (45) since Hurts became the team’s starter in Week 14 of the 2020 season.

Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders finds a gap in the Jacksonville Jaguars defense for a touchdown in their Week Four clash

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Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders finds a gap in the Jacksonville Jaguars defense for a touchdown in their Week Four clash

Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders finds a gap in the Jacksonville Jaguars defense for a touchdown in their Week Four clash

They’re also second in rushing yards per game (156.9), behind only the Baltimore Ravens, over that same period and their opponents on Thursday night, the Texans, have allowed a league-high 43 TDs and 159.8 rush yards per game over the same stretch. Watch out!

“Philadelphia are a team that are thriving under the spotlight. They’re enjoying being the kings of the NFL. They’ve been nothing but business all year long. It doesn’t matter who they play; they usually come out on fire and dominate the game. This team is pretty special.”

Former NFL quarterback Chris Simms on the 8-0 Eagles

Star receiver A.J. Brown has also been a huge help to Hurts in the passing game after his trade from the Tennessee Titans in the offseason.

Brown’s 659 receiving yards is the most by an Eagles player through the first seven games of a season since Hall of Famer Terrell Owens’ 763 in the 2005 season, in which Philadelphia reached the Super Bowl.

Brown, as perfectly demonstrated with his 156 yards and three touchdowns off six catches in the Eagles’ latest win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, is a pure matchup nightmare for defenders.

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver AJ Brown scored three touchdowns in the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday

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Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver AJ Brown scored three touchdowns in the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver AJ Brown scored three touchdowns in the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday

The Steelers had him double-covered on the majority, if not all, of his scoring grabs, as he made sure to point out to them (literally!) as he counted up the number of players he beat in celebration of the final one of his touchdowns.

And, paired with explosive second-year wideout DeVonta Smith, the duo make for one of the most devastating receiver tandems in the league.

The Eagles currently rank third in the NFL in both total offense (395.4 yards per game) and defense (298.4 YPG allowed), while they also sit third in scoring on offense (28 points per game) and are only just nudged out into fourth on defense (16.9 PPG allowed).

Roquan Smith fought back tears and left his press conference when asked about former team-mate Robert Quinn, who was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles

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Roquan Smith fought back tears and left his press conference when asked about former team-mate Robert Quinn, who was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles

Roquan Smith fought back tears and left his press conference when asked about former team-mate Robert Quinn, who was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia have also tallied 23 sacks of the quarterbacks so far this season, an average of 3.3 per game sitting as the second-most in the league. It makes the addition of Pro Bowl defensive end Robert Quinn via trade from the Chicago Bears last week all the more remarkable. Quinn had 18.5 sacks last season, the second-highest number in the NFL.

It is just yet further indication that the Eagles are fully ‘all in’ on the 2022 season as they look to make a Super Bowl run.

Lasting the entire year undefeated may well be a stretch but, as their 7-0 start to the season has shown, this is an Eagles team that likes to defy the doubters. How much further can they go?

Watch the Philadelphia Eagles at the Houston Texans on Thursday Night Football, live on Sky Sports NFL from 12.15am on Friday



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