Nobody saw this coming. Nobody — admit it, not even the biggest Eagles homers around — saw this team starting the season 3-0. And yet, after destroying the cross-state-rival Pittsburgh Steelers 34-3 on Sunday, Doug Pederson and the Eagles are undefeated.
“I told the team way back in OTA, it just takes a little bit of belief,” Pederson told reporters after the win. “Believe in themselves. Trust the process. Coaches believing in one another. And that’s what they did tonight.
“Am I surprised? A little,” he answered. “But at the same time I know that locker room. I know those guys and I know what they’re building. By no means have we accomplished anything yet. But what they did tonight just proves they are coming together as a football team.”
This is the second time in three seasons the Eagles are unblemished after three games, but just the third time since 1993 the team has started the season without a loss in its first three contests. Moreover, Pederson is the first coach in Eagles history to start his coaching career with Philadelphia an undefeated 3-0.
Pederson is the 20th coach in franchise history to coach three or more games for the Eagles, and he is the first, ever, to start 3-0.
Pederson is also just the seventh Eagles coach to start his career with at least two wins in his first three games; a list that includes Bo McMillin, who started his coaching tenure with Philadelphia in 1951 an undefeated 2-0 before retiring from coaching for medical reasons.
And yet. After an absolute thrashing of the Steelers, in which the team put up 426 yards of offense, the great start isn’t the end-all, be-all to this becoming a great season. Chip Kelly started 1-2 in his first season but ended the season 10-6 and made the playoffs. Ray Rhodes started his first year 1-2 and, also, made the playoffs at 10-6. Marion Campbell started 2-1 in his first season and the Eagles finished the season 5-11 that year. So, surely, there is work to be done, but it’s one heckuva start for Pederson and the Eagles.
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