Offseason moves by Eagles GM Howie Roseman set up 8-0 start

Nov 3, 2022, 2:59 PM | Updated: Nov 4, 2022, 3:02 am
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) reacts after defeating the Houston Texans in an NFL...

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) reacts after defeating the Houston Texans in an NFL football game in Houston, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022. The Eagles won 29-17. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

(AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

              Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni reacts to an official in the second half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Houston, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022. The Eagles won 29-17. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
            
              Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni greets fans as he walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Houston, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022. The Eagles won 29-17. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
            
              Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) passes in the first half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Houston, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022. The Eagles won 29-17. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

When the Philadelphia Eagles left Tampa Bay following a playoff loss last January, they looked like they didn’t belong on the field with the Buccaneers and the NFL’s elite teams.

Now, they’re the only unbeaten club in football.

The Eagles have followed up general manager Howie Roseman’s impressive offseason with an even better performance on the field through eight games. They’re 8-0 for the first time in franchise history after beating the Houston Texans 29-17 on Thursday night.

Jalen Hurts has taken a giant leap this season, proving he’s a quarterback the team can build around for the future.

Nick Sirianni has pushed all the right buttons in his second season as a head coach and is finding ways to maximize the talent on the team.

Defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon has taken a revamped unit and turned it into one of the league’s best.

It started with Roseman making all the right decisions to build the roster after Philadelphia overcame a poor start in 2021, finished 9-8 and earned a wild-card playoff berth in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year.

A 31-15 loss to Tom Brady and the Buccaneers that wasn’t even as close as the final score made it clear the Eagles had a long way to go to become a championship contender.

Nobody expected it to happen this quickly.

But Roseman went to work and acquired wide receiver A.J. Brown from Tennessee for a first-round pick. He signed edge rusher Haason Reddick, linebacker Kyzir White and cornerback James Bradberry in free agency, and traded for safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson.

Brown has been a difference-maker on offense, helping Hurts go from being a playmaker who is best when he’s on the run to a guy who can stay in the pocket and pick defenses apart with his arm.

Brown’s presence has taken pressure off 2021 first-round pick DeVonta Smith and allowed him to settle into the No. 2 wide receiver role.

Roseman’s strategy of emphasizing the offensive and defensive lines in the draft has produced solid, deep units on both sides of the ball.

Still, there’s room for improvement.

“There’s a lot to reflect on and look at the things we did well but there’s also a lot of things we can improve on,” Hurts said. “We have a standard of play and we want to play to that at all times.”

Hurts doesn’t ever seem satisfied after wins. He knows the team can perform at an even higher level.

“It’s a learning experience for us. It’s a formative experience that will only build us up,” Hurts said. “I truly think the only direction is to rise. … I think the job is still not done. I talk about there never being an arrival, there only being a journey. That’s something that I embrace, it’s something that this football team embraces. The journey of what’s ahead. The journey of daily deposits and daily improvement and daily efforts to be the best football team we can be. That’s the only thing we want to do. It’s all about the standard, playing to that standard, then raising the standard.”

Looking ahead at Philadelphia’s schedule, it’s hard to predict their first loss. The Eagles host the Washington Commanders (4-4) on Monday night Nov. 14. They visit Indianapolis (3-4-1) and then host Green Bay (3-5) and Tennessee (5-2). They’ll face the Giants (6-2) and Cowboys (6-2) three times in the final five games.

“It’s not easy to win in this league,” running back Miles Sanders said. “We’re happy to have eight out of the way but we’re on to bigger and better things. Still trying to take it one game at a time. It’s still a long rest of the season and a division game coming up and we got a lot of stuff to focus on more than being 8-0.”

The 1972 Miami Dolphins are the only NFL team to have a perfect season. The 2007 New England Patriots won the most games before losing, going 18-0 until losing in the Super Bowl.

The Eagles are a long way from entering that conversation but even being at this point seemed improbable at at the end of last season.

___

AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Ghana's Mohammed Kudus celebrates after scoring his side's third goal during the World Cup group H ...
Associated Press

Kudus scores 2, Ghana beats South Korea 3-2 at World Cup

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — Mohammed Kudus scored twice, including the go-ahead goal after South Korea evened the match in the second half, and Ghana staved off elimination at the World Cup with a 3-2 victory on Monday. Mohammed Salisu also scored for the Black Stars, who lost their opening match against Portugal and were […]
1 day ago
Brazil's Fred, left, and Rafinha laugh during a training session at the Continassa sporting center,...
Associated Press

Neymar gets treatment at hotel as Brazil plays at World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Neymar stayed at the team hotel for physiotherapy treatment on his right ankle Monday as the Brazil squad played Switzerland at the World Cup. The Brazil striker was the only player who did not go to Stadium 974 for the team’s second match in Qatar. Danilo, who also missed the game […]
1 day ago
FILE - New York Knicks guard Kemba Walker (8) dribbles up the court during the second half of an NB...
Associated Press

AP source: Mavs close to deal with 4-time All-Star Walker

The Dallas Mavericks are close to a deal with four-time All-Star guard Kemba Walker, a person with knowledge of the agreement told The Associated Press on Monday. Walker’s career has been on hold because of knee injuries, but the 32-year-old could give superstar Luka Doncic some much-needed backcourt help for the struggling Mavericks. The person […]
1 day ago
Germany's Leon Gorentzka steps on the right shin of Spain's Gavi during the World Cup group E socce...
Associated Press

Gavi misses Spain practice at World Cup because of injury

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Teenager Gavi did not practice with Spain on Monday, a day after the team’s draw with Germany at the World Cup. Gavi was nursing a minor injury sustained in the 1-1 draw at Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday. The 18-year-old midfielder was substituted in the 66th minute against Germany, shortly after […]
1 day ago
Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the World Cup grou...
Associated Press

Canelo slams Messi over Mexico team World Cup jersey

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — In one corner, Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez. In the other, Lionel Messi. The Argentina star may have gotten into trouble with the wrong person after moving the Mexican national team jersey with his foot while celebrating his team’s much-needed World Cup win against Mexico on Saturday. The Mexican boxer said on Twitter […]
1 day ago
Serbia's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, left, and Cameroon's Pierre Kunde battle for the ball during the ...
Associated Press

Aboubakar saves Cameroon in 3-3 tie with Serbia at World Cup

AL WAKRAH, Qatar (AP) — Substitute Vincent Aboubakar scored one goal and created another as Cameroon rallied from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 with Serbia at the World Cup on Monday. He lobbed goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic in the 64th minute and then set up striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting two minutes later. The thrilling draw was […]
1 day ago
Offseason moves by Eagles GM Howie Roseman set up 8-0 start