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Eagles start 8-0 for first time ever


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Eagles start 8-0 for first time ever


At the end of the season they don’t ask how. They ask how many.

And after Thursday night, through eight games, the Eagles can answer that question with eight equally important wins -- more than any other team in the NFL.

It wasn’t pretty vs. the Texans in the Eagles’ 29-17 win, but that doesn’t mean the win is any less important. The game on Thursday night was one plenty of good teams would lose. Going on the road, on a short week against an unfamiliar opponent is never easy, but to come away with a win despite some sloppy play could prove to be huge in the race for the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

Make no mistake about it — the Eagles did their best to make what should have been a comfortable win into a close one. They gave up uncharacteristically bad sacks. They really struggled to tackle on offense. They missed a field goal. They lost their first fumble of the season.

The main culprit on Thursday night was the run defense. There is one thing the Texans have done well this season and that is run the ball. The obvious plan coming in on defense was to stop rookie Dameon Pierce, the Texans best (and only good) player on offense.

The Eagles failed at that task miserably. Pierce ran all over the Eagles’ defense, running through tackles throughout the night. It was the only reason the Texans were able to stay in the game. The inability to stop the run put the Texans offense in advantageous passing downs, giving what is a terrible passing offense some life.

The poor play against the run is especially concerning considering it was the first game without Jordan Davis. The big defensive tackle has been improving throughout the season, but is now out at least four games after being placed on injured reserve. Without Davis in the middle the Texans ran right up the middle against the Eagles defense and the Eagles had no answer for it. Moving forward, for at least the next month, the Eagles are going to have to come up with a better plan to replace Davis and fix their run defense.

Despite all of that, they still leave Houston with a win. They won because of some big plays by the defense, starting with forcing a Texans punt after a Hurts fumble in the second quarter. They followed that up in the third quarter with an interception by Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, a turnover that gave the Eagles offense the ball just 17-yards from the end zone. A few plays later Jalen Hurts found AJ Brown for a 21-14 lead.

Finally, to ice the game, James Bradberry picked off Davis Mills inside the Eagles' 10-yard line with just over two minutes to play, ending any chance of a Texans comeback.

While many will leave the game on Thursday night feeling not great about the Eagles, the good news is that for now, all that matters is the win. Despite being undefeated the Eagles don’t have much breathing room in the NFC East. A loss on Thursday night and they would have been just one game ahead of the New York Giant and the Dallas Cowboys. The difference this year between winning the division and coming in second might be having a first-round bye or opening the playoffs on the road.

That is why, despite not getting any style points, the Eagles win was a crucial one. In the last five days the Eagles have collected two wins. They remain in a great position to win the No. 1 seed. A loss on Thursday night wouldn’t have ended their chances, but it would have been a lost opportunity against a bad team.

Instead, like they have each week this season, the Eagles didn’t waste the opportunity. They took it.

And as a result, they remain undefeated — despite how unpleasant the game might have been.


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