The Philadelphia Eagles have won all eight of the football games they’ve played this season. Another way to say it is, they have not lost yet here in 2022.
Yes, they’ve played nearly half a season (the 17-game schedule really wrecks narratives) and they haven’t lost a game yet. They’ve only really come close to losing once or twice and, even then, all it took was a long 4th-quarter drive to seal a victory they seemingly had in hand at halftime.
There’s been very little to complain about with regard to the Birds. Fans and the national media don’t quite know what to do with them. After weeks of sitting 3rd in most power rankings, losses by the Bills and Chiefs this week push the Eagles to No. 1, although I’d bet if Philadelphia were lined up to play Kansas City or Buffalo on a neutral field right now, oddsmakers would favor one of the two AFC powerhouses.
At the moment, no one seriously thinks the Eagles will go 17-0, although with each passing week, talk of a perfect record will grow louder. Nevertheless, the 1972 Miami Dolphins are likely safe, but the talk will only grow given their upcoming schedule.
This Monday night against the 4-5 Commanders, the Birds are once again double-digit favorites. They’ll be favored in Indianapolis against a Colts team that just fired their head coach and hired someone who has never coached football at any level above high school. They then host a 3-6 Packers team led by a QB in Aaron Rodgers that has given up on their season. They should be 11-0 when the Tennessee Titans host the Birds in a few weeks, with games in New York against the 6-2 Giants and in Dallas against the 6-2 Cowboys waiting in the weeks thereafter.
Again, it’s unlikely the Eagles will win their remaining nine games, but a narrative is out there being peddled by some NFL executives (whatever that means) that they would be “better off” if they did.
“I could see [the Eagles] being a one-and-done — they haven’t had to go 15 rounds with anybody yet,” an NFC exec said. “I just wonder if they are battle tested. I think a few late-season losses would actually help them.” Added an AFC executive: “They live in the RPO world with [Hurts], and that’s a good place to be. He has that system and a lot of talent around him and he should be able to handle the rest.” (via ESPN+).
It would be good for the Eagles to lose a game at some point this season rather than go undefeated, because if they win all their games, they won’t be battle tested?
Well, what if they play a hard-nosed, down-to-the-wire game against the Titans and win? What if they go into New York and beat a 6-2 Giants team? What if they go into Dallas, on Christmas Eve, and win that game, too? Wouldn’t it be better to win the battles that will test them in the coming weeks?
They’ve already beaten the 7-1 Vikings at home. To be more precise, they beat them down. How does losing a game down the stretch actually benefit the Eagles? What is the psychology behind that?
This team knows how to lose. They lost a bunch of games last year. Jalen Hurts lost in humiliating fashion to Tampa in the wild card round last year. That’s not battle-tested?
The fact they’ve gone on this run, having battled and struggled to reach the postseason last year, is a testament to the fact they have gone through some battles. Most of this 2022 Eagles squad is held over from last year. They know what it means to lose.
The Eagles need to need to beat the Titans, Giants, Cowboys, and everyone else on their schedule because it is in their benefit to do so. Sure, if it’s Week 17 and the Birds are somehow 15-0, should they rest their starters as the guaranteed No. 1 seed? Of course. I don’t think they’re going to feel pressure to go undefeated. Hurts and the front office know the ultimate goal is a Super Bowl.
The last thing Eagles fans, or anyone else, wants is for the Birds to go 17-0 and lose in the divisional round. But how does losing a game in the regular season make that less of a reality?
It doesn’t. Sometimes “important” people say things to make themselves seem smart, yet spout nonsense gibberish.
If the Eagles coast the rest of the way, if they do, somehow, go undefeated, it will have no effect on their ability to make a playoff run. Expectations have already been raised. Anything short of a Super Bowl appearance at this point would be a huge disappointment, whether they lose another game or not.