No one really expected the Eagles to be this good this quickly. Not even Doug Pederson.
In his postgame press conference he leaned toward a calm, collected and “we all expected this” attitude, but walking off the field after Sunday’s explosive 34-3 win over arguably one of the three best teams in the NFL in Pittsburgh, the head coach was heard saying “wow.”
Wow is right.
Look how hyped up the entire team was, a galloping Pederson included, when they got back into the locker room:
“Team win tonight.”
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) September 26, 2016
The Eagles haven’t just won their first three games, they have dominated them. The squad leads all NFL teams in point differential, points allowed and is the only one without a turnover this season.
They came out of the gate ranked in most power rankings somewhere in the mid-to-low 20s, with a rookie head coach and surprise rookie starting quarterback. Now, at 3-0 and boasting the most impressive rookie QB in years, don’t be surprised when they’re ranked in the top five.
“We kind of enjoy flying under the radar,” Malcolm Jenkins, the Eagles’ defensive captain and safety who’s off to another Pro Bowl season said,”but I think obviously a win like this against a team like the Steelers will open some eyes around the league. For us, nothing is different. We’ll keep our preparation the same, stick our heads down and focus on the work day to day, and understand what has gotten us to 3-0.”
Ask players in the locker room and the cliches will fly by left and right. “It’s one game at a time.” “You have to go 1-0 each week.” “You can’t get comfortable.”
But whether or not the team is willing to verbalize their satisfaction, the team knows it’s exceeded expectations. As the old addage goes, “act as if.” The Eagles know they must act like winner to be winners. And every observable indication is that the team is doing just that.
“We understand that it’s only three games,” Connor Barwin said. “We have 13 weeks left, but it’s definitely the way you want to go into the bye week.”