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Eagles Land In Top Five: Crunching The Numbers Week 10

Where do the Eagles stand now after their impressive primetime win over the Carolina Panthers?

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The balance of power is starting to shift away from the west in the NFC. San Francisco and Seattle are nowhere near as dominant as they were last year, the Cardinals just lost their starting quarterback for the season, and Green Bay, Philadelphia, and Dallas all had big wins over bad teams. The Lions, who have the league's best defense, cannot be discounted either. Overall it makes for an exciting NFC playoff race, which seems to be slightly more intriguing than the AFC where Denver and New England appear to be a class above the rest this year. The AFC North is a storyline within itself, with the upstart Browns in first place and all teams above .500. There's a lot going on in the NFL, so what can the numbers add to our speculation?

Crunching The Numbers Rank Index, Week 10

1. Denver (21.522): The Broncos had an early-game scare versus the Raiders when Peyton Manning threw two picks. They then proceeded to score 35 unanswered points against Oakland. Denver is not only playing well, but their defense is much improved. Now, if they could just beat New England... Last Week: 1, 18.736

2. New England (17.486): The Patriots retained the same score during their bye week and lost ground to the Broncos in the process. They'll have their hands full this week against the Colts as Denver has a relatively easy matchup versus the Rams.  Last Week: 2, 17.486

3. Green Bay (16.837): No team looked more impressive last week than the Packers. Their dominating win in primetime over Chicago might have been enough to make them the new NFC favorite. They could be in trouble if someone establishes the run against them, however (8.3 rushing first downs/game allowed). Last Week: 8, 11.743

4. Philadelphia (16.613): In terms of score, the Eagles are nipping at the heels of the Packers with their also-impressive win against the Panthers on Monday. With Green Bay looming, the opportunity for a statement win is there if they can walk out of Lambeau victorious. It's a tall task, but they have the personnel to attack that aforementioned weak rushing defense. Last Week: 6, 13.604

5. Baltimore (16.270): The Ravens stopped the bleeding with a mildly uninspiring win against the hapless Titans. The team has shown flashes, but with the way the AFC North is shaping up the only way they can win it will be through division games, which they have been losing. Last Week: 5, 15.200

6. Indianapolis (15.958): Andrew Luck rested this week, which means that Jon Gruden had to scramble for commentary and made a smoothie instead. Anyway, the Colts kept the same score but lost two spots because the Eagles and Packers both walloped their opponents. Last Week: 4, 15.958

7. Cleveland (14.235): The Browns seem to have put that loss against the Jaguars squarely in their rearview mirror and are now in the driver's seat in the AFC North. Their schedule is manageable, but that last game against the Ravens could be very meaningful depending on how things play out. Last Week: 14, 10.226

8. Miami (14.210): The Dolphins crashed back down to earth (water?) this week against the Lions, even though they almost pulled it out in Detroit. While I was sure they were not the third-best team in the league, I'm a little more confident saying that they might be the eighth best team. Last Week: 3, 16.347

9. Arizona (13.080): The Cardinals are having a hard time moving up, even when they manage to improve their score. It'll be interesting to see how that holds up with Drew Stanton under center from here on out. Last Week: 9, 11.695

10. Seattle (12.973): Russell Wilson and Co. have clawed their way back into the top ten after bottoming out in the middle of the pack earlier this season. They appeared to have righted the ship with a dominant second-half performance on Sunday, even if the Giants are terrible this year. They still have the majority of their all-important division games to play yet, which will most likely make or break their playoff bid. Last Week: 12, 10.444

11. Kansas City (12.900): Big Red's Chiefs only lost a small step in their close road win over the Bills, but it cost them a whopping five spots. In a league where every team seems to set the pace, you either dominate or fall behind. Last Week: 7, 13.430

12. Dallas (12.110): The Cowboys may have risked another injury to Romo, but it paid off against the Jaguars as they routed them in London. With a bye coming up, the stage will be setting for a Thanksgiving clash for first place in the NFC East against the Eagles. Last Week: 13, 10.271

13. New Orleans (10.058): An NFC South team couldn't even crack the top ten. That's a testament to how terrible that division is. I would say the Saints should coast to a division title, but they look bad too - even at home. It's pathetic, really. Last Week: 11, 11.192

14. Detroit (9.780): The Lions keep winning, but don't really move up. It's mostly because they've just been squeaking by against weaker competition (although you could probably call the Dolphins game a quality win). They'll truly be tested at the end of the season when they play the Packers again. Last Week: 16, 9.645

15. Pittsburgh (8.052): What did I say about the Steelers last week? That the numbers weren't taking stock in them, so I wasn't either? And didn't they go and lay a huge egg against a horrible Jets team? If that isn't the definition of validation, I don't know what is. Last Week: 15, 9.907

16. San Diego (7.634): Yet another team on their bye week, so no change in score. They'll have to kick it into high gear the rest of the season if they want to challenge the Chiefs and the AFC North for a playoff spot. Last Week: 17, 7.634

17. Cincinnati (7.302): Once upon a team the Bengals were the top ranked team here, propped up by a strong defense and offensive line. Now both of those strengths are gone and Cincy is limping along to stay competitive in their division. Last Week: 10, 11.656

18. Buffalo (7.188): The Bills are consistent, but consistently mediocre. Doug Marrone has done a good enough job with limited talent to retain his job, in my opinion. But these next few drafts will be crucial, starting with the quarterback position. Last Week: 18, 7.621

19. Houston (7.072): The Texans suffered a home defeat at the hands of the Eagles heading into their bye and decided that a quarterback change would provide the boost needed to lift this 4-5 team into playoff contention. O'Brien wasn't exactly known for his bye week prowess at Penn State, so it'll be interesting to see how they fare here. Last Week: 19, 7.072

20. San Francisco (5.868): This was a must-win game for the 49ers, as will all of their games be from here on out. With the injuries piling up and alleged discontent in the locker room, whether or not they can persevere will tell us more about the state of this franchise than any news report. Last Week: 20, 5.105

21. Atlanta (3.017): Another NFC South team rears its ugly head! Amazingly, the Falcons are only one game out of the division lead at 3-6. They handily beat an even more terrible Bucs team, but it honestly doesn't matter what they do. Whatever team wins this division is just losing in the first round of the playoffs anyway. Last Week: 22, 0.737

22. Washington (0.034): The Redskins moved up one place during their bye. Even though their season is effectively over, we'll at least get a good look at how RGIII really performs in Jay Gruden's offense down the stretch. That is, until he gets hurt again, of course. Last Week: 23, 0.034

23. New York Giants (-0.098): The Giants gave us some hope for a half when they were leading the Seahawks in the third quarter. Then Eli Manning became the Eli Manning we all (usually) know and love and threw a pick in the end zone. Add in a defense that has gone from mediocre to terrible, and you'll get a blowout. For the third straight season, the Giants are done and will be golfing in January.  Last Week: 21, 1.966

24. Minnesota (-0.546): A bye week for the Vikes. Same score, same rank, same awful team. Last Week: 24, -0.546

25. Carolina (-5.026): The Panthers' score dropped almost three points after their horrible loss to the Eagles, but because of relativity they moved up a spot. Even though they are still alive in their division, I think I can say pretty confidently that they won't be going anywhere. They are just playing too poorly to overcome their recent slide. Last Week: 26, -2.290

26. Tennessee (-5.082): It must suck when the highlight of your season occurs in Week 1. With a team that is under-performing across the board, it'll be interesting to see how they draft with their reasonably high pick in April.  Last Week: 27, -3.819

27. Chicago (-5.964): The Marc Trestman experiment in Chicago seems to have been an abject failure. The Bears look utterly uninspired when they play football and have not won a home game yet this year. The league's oldest rivalry looked like a joke on Sunday night. Last Week: 25, -0.911

28. New York Jets (-7.529): All aboard the Mike Vick hype train! I was actually watching this game Sunday and was more bewildered to hear the announcers call the name of Jaiquawn Jarrett, who is apparently still in the league. Last Week: 31, -10.278

29. St. Louis (-7.899): The Titans stuck with Fisher through thick and thin for as long as they could. Jeff Fisher is a program builder, so it wouldn't surprise me to see the Rams do the same. Last Week: 28, -6.667

30. Oakland (-9.925): How will the Raiders offseason play out? Will Reggie McKenzie get the axe? Will they manage to hire a competent head coach? Lots of intrigue in Oakland - just not about their season. Last Week: 29, -8.362

31. Tampa Bay (-9.927): The Buccaneers can't even beat their NFC South opponents, which is saying a lot about how bad this team is. Last Week: 30, -9.764

32. Jacksonville (-11.050): They are the only double-digit negative team, which puts the Jaguars comfortably in the basement after their crushing defeat in the UK at the hands of the Cowboys. Once upon a time we were all excited about the idea of their head coach being our head coach. My, how times change. Last Week: 32, -10.374

What do you think? Which teams are too high? Too low? What about the Eagles? Sound off in the comments below!

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