There are a few roadblocks in recent Eagles history. Not many. A few.
The Eagles finally knocked off one of them two weeks ago, when they hung on to beat Dak Prescott for the first time since 2019 and beat a playoff-bound Cowboys team with its starting quarterback for the first time since 2014.
That was a monumental win for the Eagles for a lot of reasons. They had won just four of their previous 11 games against their fiercest rival, and two of those came with Ben DiNucci and Cooper Rush at quarterback. That 28-23 win carved out some space between the Eagles and Cowboys in the NFC East, solidified the Eagles’ hold on the No. 1 seed in the NFC and proved for the first time in nearly a decade that the Eagles could beat a good Cowboys team without a backup QB.
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Those sort of signature wins are so huge for a franchise. You can’t beat the Cowboys unless you believe you can beat the Cowboys, and there were so many moments in that game where Dallas was inches from making a play to take the lead or get the win, but each time the Eagles denied them.
The Chiefs aren’t in the NFC East or NFC, but they've clearly become one of the Eagles' biggest rivals. Obviously, there was the Super Bowl last year but also Andy Reid’s presence in Kansas City plus the fact that over the last three years these are the two-best teams in football. The Chiefs are 33-10, the Eagles are 31-12 and the only other team with 30 wins since opening day 2021 is the Cowboys. Four of the last six Super Bowls have featured either the Eagles or Chiefs.
So this might not be as significant as the last meeting, but it will determine who’s the best team in the NFL 11 weeks into the season.
What makes this even bigger is that the Chiefs have won four straight over the Eagles since Reid left Philly after the 2012 season and joined the Chiefs. The Eagles haven’t beaten the Chiefs since 2009, when Kevin Kolb threw TD passes to DeSean Jackson and Brent Celek and out-played Matt Cassel.
Another roadblock game.
Win this one, you’re slaying another dragon, you’re strengthening your position as the NFL’s best team, you’re finally beating the future Hall of Fame coach who left here 11 years ago, you're 2-0 in this brutal six-game stretch and in some small way you’re avenging the Super Bowl loss from just nine months ago.
There was a certain aura around the Cowboys until the Eagles toppled them two weeks ago and knocked off a little bit of that mystique. The Chiefs have that aura as well. Going to three Super Bowls in four years will do that. But I sense that this Eagles team has the confidence to get past this roadblock as well. We know they have the talent to do it, it’s just a matter of having that mental fortitude to overcome the loudest outdoor stadium in the NFL, to overcome one of the winningest coaches in history and to overcome a quarterback who may one day unseat Tom Brady as the GOAT. To beat the Chiefs, you have to believe you can beat the Chiefs. And the Eagles do.
And that third roadblock, that’s a few weeks away in Seattle. The Seahawks have been as hard on the Eagles as any team over the last couple decades. They’ve not only won seven straight against the Eagles, they’ve won them by an average of 11 points. What Eagles fan will ever forget the 38-0 beatdown at the Vet in the 1998 opener – Warren Moon over Bobby Hoying – or the 42-0 Monday night embarrassment at the Linc late in 2005 on the night the Eagles retired Reggie White’s No. 92?
The Cowboys, Chiefs and Seahawks have been thorns in the Eagles’ side for years.
But this team just feels different.
The No. 1 seed and a 1st-round bye are within the Eagles’ reach, and if they can get themselves to 11-3 going into that Giants-Cards-Giants stretch to end the season, nobody in the NFC is going to catch them.
To do that, they need to go 3-2 in these next five games vs. the Chiefs, Bills, 49ers, Cowboys and Seahawks.
This season already feels special. The Eagles are the first team to open a season 8-1 or better after losing the Super Bowl the previous year since the 2000 Titans. To find your way to 8-1 after losing a Super Bowl says a lot about the focus, determination, resilience and heart of a football team.
Which is why they beat the Cowboys. And why they could very well beat the Chiefs. And why games that used to feel like losses around here these days feel like wins. And why if all goes well these next few months, the Eagles will become a roadblock for everybody else.