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Power Rankings – What They’re Saying About the Eagles

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Power Rankings, you either love ‘em or you hate ‘em. Fact is, I try not to focus too much on what the outside media is saying about the Philadelphia Eagles. Covering all 32 teams in the NFL can leave you with blind spots, and at the end of the day, these rankings are a fluid situation and don’t impact Sunday performance in the least. However, they are fun to talk about and lead to deeper conversations about how a team stacks up against the competition.

I pulled data from six of the major sports outlets and calculated an aggregate score. Teams left outside of the top 10 by any of the outlets used were omitted, because as Eagles fans we’re really only concerned about the cream of the crop. Here are the results:

I also write for Breaking Football, here’s how the boys over there saw it.

The Eagles ended up with the most top rankings with only one dissenting voice pushing them to the second spot. We’ll get into that in a moment; first here is what the outlets that ranked the Eagles at the top had to say:

“They have the best record, have scored the most points, thrown the most passing touchdowns, have the best red zone efficiency, forced the third-most turnovers, allowed the second-lowest third-down conversion percentage … you get the point.” – ESPN

These are definitely valid points. With the Los Angeles Rams sputtering in their 24-7 loss to the Minnesota Vikings and the Eagles blowing out the Dallas Cowboys 37-9, the Eagles supplanted the Rams for the top scoring team with 32 points per game. They also lead the NFL in the last 3 games with a mind-blowing 40.3 points per game in that span.

Red zone production has a huge impact on the Eagles scoring boon, as they’ve punched it in for a touchdown on 90% of their drives in the last three games (1st in the league).

“Despite a slow start Sunday night, Carson Wentz showed not only that he is the top quarterback in a rich 2016 rookie class, but also that he is still the frontrunner for the MVP award.” – NFL.com

If you know me, you know how much I loathe the MVP debate as a whole, but it’s good to see our young Quarterback getting the national recognition he deserves.

“They basically locked up the division title by dominating the Cowboys Sunday night. Now they have to try and lock up the top seed.” – CBS

Unless the Eagles take a stumble in some very winnable games, there shouldn’t be much doubt that they are the heavy favorites to take the one seed and carry home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Before the season the second half of the schedule looked like a murderers’ row, with two games against the Cowboys, road games against the Seahawks/Rams, and a home game against the Raiders. A lot has happened to change that outlook.

“Given how well they’re playing in every area, if they can get the No. 1 seed it’s going to be very hard for an opponent to come into Philly and win in January.” – Yahoo!

This speaks to the point of how well rounded the Eagles are in every facet of the game. Their pass defense has been their biggest weakness, but even that has been mitigated by improved play from cornerbacks Jalen Mills and Patrick Robinson. This unit has only been bolstered further by the return of CB Ronald Darby, who had an excellent performance against the Cowboys which I wrote about HERE.

“Yes, I’m dropping the Eagles a spot after a convincing win over Dallas. This isn’t meant to slight Philadelphia; it’s more about the Patriots. Also, I need to see the Eagles deliver in the postseason before I’ll fully buy in… The defensive line is the best in the game, and I was impressed by the play of the secondary against Dallas. Simply put, the Eagles are awesome.” – Bleacher Report

The lone hold-out is Bleacher Report, citing concerns over the Eagles ability to win in January, which is entirely fair when you consider the team ranked above them. The Patriots have an un-matched pedigree in playoff games and we simply don’t know how the Eagles will respond to the pressure.

We do have clues though, as this team has faced slow starts, injuries, penalty ridden games, and occasional sloppy play, only to rise to the occasion many times over. This team has shown themselves to be resilient and mentally tough enough, which points to them having the right stuff come playoff time, Power Rankings be damned.

Michael is an NFL Draft enthusiast, aspiring scout, and grandson of longtime East Stroudsburg (Pa.) HS football coach John P. Kist. He hosts Locked On Eagles and writes for Inside the Pylon & Breaking Football.

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