HOUSTON — The last time the Eagles were 8-0…well, they were never 8-0.
That’s where they are now after beating the Houston Texans 29-14 at NRG Stadium, breaking free from a 14-14 halftime tie with a second-half push that saw Jalen Hurts throwing two touchdown passes, the defense intercepting two passes and Javon Hargrave collecting two of his three sacks, a career high.
Since its birth in 1933, the best any Eagles team could do was start 7-0, and only one team had done that until this version of the Eagles arrived. This team was in 2004, which ended up in the Super Bowl.
To get to 8-0, the Eagles had to hit the NFL curveball out of the park. That curveball being those Thursday night specials, with just four days off between games.
“Those Thursday night games are always tough,” said head coach Nick Sirianni. “However, you have to do it, you have to go and do it. Our guys played hard, played physically.
And speaking of getting out of the park, it was a weird game to cover because of what was going on with the baseball teams that represent those two respective cities – the Phillies and the Astros.
Game 5 of the World Series was being played 1,500 miles from what locals call H-town.
A reporter had the match on a screen next to his laptop in the press row.
Then, when the locker room opened, Brandon Graham asked a reporter, “What’s the score of the game?”
Players everywhere started watching the television showing the game. It was the bottom of the eight and the Phillies were threatening, trailing 3-2.
Jason Kelce and Fletcher Cox stood nearby and wondered why you don’t see teams using a safety pressure or a suicide pressure anymore.
Then Kelce said, “I’m not leaving until this game is over.”
The Phillies lost and now trail the series 3-2 as it returns to H-town, with the Astros needing one more win to wrap it up.
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As fans raced down the escalators and flocked to the exits, they cheered wildly, jubilant that their baseball team had won. It didn’t matter to them that their football team fell to 1-6-1.
The Eagles, well, they’re 8-0 and out 11 days until Monday Night Football on Nov. 14 against the Commanders.
“I know this is special for the city of Philadelphia,” said Hurts, who is now 11-0 in his last regular season games, a new team record.
“I mean, I was 8-0 before and lost a national championship. Take it day by day. Take it day by day. We haven’t accomplished anything yet. It’s a day-to-day thing where we control the things we can, playing to our standards, trying to grow every day. I think that’s really what it’s all about.
There’s a big, ugly wart on the tip of these Eagles’ noses that seemed to grow three times bigger than it was, and that’s run defense.
Dameon Pierce notched it for 139 and the Texans won 168. As a team, the Texans didn’t go easy.
“It’s the NFL,” Hargrave said. “We preach it every day, any day can be anyone’s day. Everyone can play good football and everyone can win in this league.
A fight like the Texans can only help strengthen the team’s resolve.
In other words, it was necessary.
“We won a lot,” passing thrower Haason Reddick said. “Some games we tested some we didn’t. Against a team like this we knew they could run the ball well, it was good to pass that test because now we know, OK, we have to bring this part of our game together, and I have no doubt that we will.
“I’m glad the game ended the way it did and I’m grateful we were able to come away with a win to continue that streak.”
No one knows how long that streak may last, but 8-0 is 8-0 and it’s something that hasn’t been done before by any Eagles team in 89 years.
Ed Kracz is SI.com’s Fan Nation Eagles Today editor and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles Where www.eaglesmaven.com and follow him on Twitter: @kracze.