If you are inclined to discount wins over the Cleveland Browns and the Chicago Bears, then the Philadelphia Eagles are still an emphatic 1-0 after demolishing the Pittsburgh Steelers, handing them their worst defeat, in terms of margin, since the Steelers lost 51-0 to the Cleveland Browns back in 1989. (Yes, the last time the Steelers had a day that bad, the Browns were good. Look it up in the history books, kids.)
The Eagles battered and harassed Ben Roethlisberger all day, sacking him 4 times, forcing two fumbles, intercepting him, and holding the Steelers to just a field goal.
It’s time to take this team seriously in Doug Pederson’s first season. Carson Wentz went from the quarterback who was supposed to be the talented project, not yet ready, to immediately starting after the Sam Bradford trade to Minnesota. He has played like a pro bowl veteran, completing 65% of his passes, leading the team to a league-topping 30.7 points a game, and committing no turnovers.
Just as importantly, the team is leading the league in scoring defense after three weeks, and has yet to allow a team to get to 300 yards of total offense.
While the expectations may not have been there, the results suggest a team you should very much take seriously as a contender.
The Philadelphia Eagles have won every game by at least 15 points.
The Eagles are just the 13th team to start the season with three consecutive wins by 14 or more points each, in a 16-game season. Consider that of the previous 12:
- They averaged 11.8 wins for the season;
- 11 made the playoffs;
- all 11 of those had double digit wins;
- 7 of those reached the Super Bowl.
Some were established veteran teams of whom greatness was expected (2007 Patriots, 1996 Packers, 2013 Broncos) but others were surprises who rolled some weak competition and were still being doubted heading into the second month, like the 1999 Rams and the 1980 Eagles.
These Eagles maybe a surprise, but continue to doubt them at your own risk.