The Philadelphia Eagles are, unequivocally, the best team in football.
Honestly, when was the last time we could say that? Maybe 2004? That is the last time an Eagles team started the season with an 9-1 record.
Just think about how long ago that was. The iPhone was three years away from being invented. Facebook was just a thing for a bunch of Ivy League college kids. Myspace was about to become Facebook’s biggest competitor. And nobody would have even dreamed of things like Instagram or Snapchat. That was a really, really long time ago. There are a lot of Eagles fans enjoying this team’s success that are way too young to remember the last time they started off the season like this.
This goes without saying, but waiting 13 years has been tough. Andy Reid’s continual bumbling of the clock. Donovan McNabb throwing fastballs at his receiver’s feet. The free agent binge of 2011, leading to the so-called “Dream Team” that finished with an 8-8 record. Chip Kelly leading the team to a 10-6 record, then jettisoning LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, and Jeremy Maclin. Nick Foles throwing 27 touchdowns in 14 games, and then 23 touchdowns ever since (over the next four seasons). Chip Kelly’s firing before the season was over. Almost hiring Ben McAdoo as the Eagles head coach, before “settling” for Doug Pederson.
There have been plenty of bumps in the road for us Eagles fans. But like any great NFL fan base, we never gave up on this team. We still showed up to every single game, bleeding green and tormenting any opponent that came into Lincoln Financial Field regardless of the Eagles’ record.
That is what makes our 9-1 record so gratifying. After all these years of sticking with our team through all the losing, it is finally paying off.
And yet, whenever I am discussing the Eagles, I will inevitably run into fans that are quick to remind me of how the Eagles have let us all down so many times in the past, and how this year will probably be no different. I respectfully, but totally, disagree, and my counter-argument is two simple words:
That is all I need to say.
I do not need to talk about the fact that the Eagles have the #1 rushing defense in the NFL, anchored by the best pair of defensive tackles in the conference, holding entire teams to less than 67 yards rushing per game. I don’t need to remind them that we just acquired a Pro Bowl running back who ran for 1,272 yards last season for an absolute bargain of a deal, and that he will be running behind one of the best offensive lines in the league. I do not even need to mention that Zach Ertz has become the best tight end in the NFC, and Alshon Jeffrey might become our first receiver to break 1,000 yards receiving in three years.
No, all I need to tell them is to simply watch Carson Wenz, and recognize that with him under center, we have a chance to win every single game we play in. The only reason why I can be so confident in the Eagles is because we finally have an elite quarterback—something that all of our teams have lacked over the past decade-plus. Without question, Wentz and Tom Brady are atop the list of players most likely to win the MVP award at the end of the season.
The entire team deserves an enormous amount of credit for the 9-1 record, and the fact that they are a virtual lock to make the playoffs. So to all Eagles fans out there reading this: just relax, buckle up, and enjoy the ride. Instead of letting the failures of the past jade your current perception of this team, enjoy what is transpiring before our eyes. This type of success takes years to build; we Eagles fans know that firsthand.
It might have happened really quickly, but it happened.
Yes, we are 9-1. And we are for real.