Pa Martin Rogers
FOX sports commentator

Numbers don’t lie, but they can be mischievous and insidious. So much so that sometimes we take a long, cold look at unexpected data before deciding whether to believe what we’re being told.

Such is the case with Philadelphia Eaglesproud and deserving holders of the last unblemished record in the entire league, standing tall at 4-0 and with a “no worries” attitude about anyone wanting to shed their status as an early-season anomaly.

Not many envisioned the Eagles as the pace setter in 2022. Not at this level, remaining perfect long after Bills and Chiefs and Packers and Buccaneers and Rams — and every other team — has fallen victim to the reality that sooner or later this unpredictable league will find a way to cut you at the knees.

But here it is; Momentum in Philly is starting to build and faith is sprouting anew. Not because things have been going smoothly so far. But because they didn’t, the wins kept coming regardless.

“I don’t think anybody can beat us right now,” running back Miles Sanders said the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Everyone can be beat, but if we lose, we beat ourselves.”

Philly’s many ways to win contributed to their sense of invincibility. It was a celebration of the run on Sunday, with Sanders having a career day with 134 yards and a pair of scores. Other times it was all about Jalen Hurts writing about it with fearlessness and poise en route to NFC Offensive Player of the Month honors. Or defensive determination. Or gaming moments of inspiration.

Next Sunday visit to Arizona Cardinals (4:25 PM ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app) would provide the final test of Sanders’ theory, but you can understand why he felt that way. The Eagles had an early hiccup, but unlike everyone else, they didn’t let themselves be thrown out of sorts.

A win for Philadelphia above Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday didn’t have the usual afternoon outing that many have enjoyed against Jacksonville the past couple of years.

Under the sideways rain, is treating a number of injuries led by a star cornerback Darius Slay and a pair of kickers, the Eagles were two touchdowns behind the Jaguars, whose coach Doug Pederson quite rightly had to prove his case because of his history in Philly.

The revival was neither violent, nor spectacular, nor even worthy of special attention. It was calm, thorough and inevitable, a slow turn of defensive pressure that caused many mistakes, a poised lead from Hurts that paid respect to the muddy conditions.

“That’s the mentality we have as a football team no matter the circumstances,” Hurts said afterward. “Control as much as you can, do your job, execute, you tend to do good things. This team didn’t flinch, we persevered. We found a way. We were steadfast in the way we played. Nothing could deny us.

“That’s our goal is to be efficient in everything we can do. I think we’ve learned a lot about this football team in terms of being consistent and controlling what we (can) do.”

It’s possible that time will tell that the Eagles aren’t the best team in the NFL, and their results aren’t the most accurate reflection of how things are going. They may have caught some opponents low. Maybe luck happened along the way. And, yes, the kickoff schedule in Detroit, Minnesota, Washington and Jacksonville is undeniably soft.

But Philly coach Nick Siriani’s priority is building a resilient team that can avoid the usual bumps in the road and bounce back.

He gave Hurts ample chances to shine, accepting that in his third season, the 24-year-old will still make some mistakes. Siriani believes the good will outweigh the bad if Hurts gets the proper support, and it shows.

Siriani’s composure has drawn comparisons to former coach Pederson, who led the team to a Super Bowl title in 2017 and remains a beloved figure in Philly, where rarely is any member of the opposition greeted with anything other than boos. Pederson was received with warmth, gratitude and joy.

“Back in Philadelphia, Doug Pederson got the welcome and recognition he deserved, only to have his old team take the final and most impressive step toward what he’s accomplished,” wrote the Inquirer’s Mike Silsky . “Then a hell of a run. Now a hell of a shot.”

Something is happening in Philadelphia, but despite the local optimism, the carriage is not exactly full of passengers. Philly is a place that fully embraces an “us-against-the-world” mentality, which means it’s never liked the national media. Any minor appearance is readily and enthusiastically pounced upon.

Take that as you will. Four weeks is too small a sample size with too many variables to confidently say that any team is the best in the league, even if their records are far superior to everyone else’s.

But we can state this without fear of looking stupid – “Eagles” are the strongest and most collected football club at the moment. The numbers don’t lie here. They just, as always, do not tell everything.

Martin Rogers is a FOX Sports columnist and contributor to the FOX Sports Insider newsletter. Follow him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the daily newsletterp.


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