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NFL Power Rankings Roundup Week 5: Eagles ranked as high as the top 3

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A look at what the experts are saying about the Birds.

NFL: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Today we continue our weekly roundup of how various media outlets have ranked the Philadelphia Eagles in their NFL power rankings. It’s always interesting to see how the Birds stack up from an outside perspective. But first, let's start by revisiting mine.

Bleeding Green Nation

8 - The Eagles aren’t without flaws. There are concerns about the secondary. With that said, the Birds are tied for first in the NFC and their sole loss came while playing on the road against the NFL’s only remaining undefeated team. In other words, the Eagles are a good football team. (LW: 11)

SB Nation

7 - No explanation (LW: 8)

ESPN

8 - The Eagles have allowed the fewest points in the first three quarters of games this season but have allowed the second-most in fourth quarters. Philadelphia has three wins, but the past two were by a combined five points. If the Eagles can tighten up in the fourth quarter, they could start winning more comfortably. (LW: 13)

NFL.com

3 - High ranking for the Eagles. However, with what we know at this point in the season, how can Philadelphia not be here? Doug Pederson's outfit is tied for the best record in the NFC, leads the East and seems to have fixed the glaring weakness that every fan, blog and LinkedIn piece was fixated on during the preseason: the ground attack. In Week 3, the Eagles ran the football 39 times -- the most in three years. Against the Chargers, Philadelphia eclipsed that total while piling up 214 yards rushing. Glad the coaching staff took my advice and actually started using Leggie Blount. (LW: 6)

CBS Sports

3 - They won a tough road game at Los Angeles with a bunch of injuries on defense. That's impressive. (LW: 5)

Yahoo! Sports

6 - The Eagles have a pretty deep offense. Three backs got 10 or more carries on Sunday. Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith had 38 yards combined, but Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor had solid games. The Eagles lead the defending NFC East champion Cowboys by a game, and it doesn’t seem like they’re going away anytime soon. (LW: 10)

Washington Post

5 - It was a nice bonus for the Eagles to have that home-away-from-home game at StubHub Center. They already have beaten the Redskins and Giants and are the early front-runner in the NFC East. Few expected that. But with the Giants winless and the Cowboys not living up to expectations, their chances cannot be discounted. (LW: 8)

Bleacher Report

8 - We're finally beginning to see what we've been waiting for with LeGarrette Blount and the Eagles' running game. Against the Chargers, we saw just what they can do when running downhill. There were concerns about Blount in the preseason, but he wasn't the problem. The scheme, which utilized a lot of runs to the outside, was the issue. Blount isn't that kind of runner. That downhill running against L.A. was big. The defense was missing Fletcher Cox and did give up some big yardage to Philip Rivers and the passing game. However, the defense also got some key stops, and that ground game helped the Eagles control the tempo when it did. If Philadelphia can continue running downhill like this, the team will be better for it. It will help keep a questionable secondary off the field, it will lessen the pressure on Carson Wentz and it will open up the play-action game. The Eagles need more play-action because they don't have receivers who can consistently win downfield on their own. (LW: 13)

USA Today

8 - Run game has improved every week, culminating with 214 yards Sunday. Looks like LeGarrette Blount has settled in after zero carries two weeks ago. (LW: 6)

[BLG Note: Somehow the Eagles got dropped two spots by USA Today.]

Reddit

7 - The Eagles made the best of their West Coast home field advantage, besting the Chargers with 242 yards in the air and 214 yards on the ground, including this beast mode run by LaGarrette Blount. What remains to be seen is whether a fourth 3-1 start in the past six years will actually translate into season-long success or become yet another playoff-missing implosion in the long October and November stretch. (LW: 11)

Sporting News

10 - Carson Wentz may get some help from a strong running game after all, as the combination of LeGarrette Blount and Wendell Smallwood look ideal. The Eagles will need to hold up somehow defensively as long as Fletcher Cox and Ronald Darby are out. (LW: 10)

Pro Football Talk

9 - It’s a good thing the Browns didn’t think Carson Wentz would be good. (LW: 13)

Sports Illustrated

8 - No explanation (LW: 11)

Football Outsiders

12 - No explanation (LW: 14)

numberFire

10 - No explanation (LW: 8)


Analysis

The rankings range from as high as 3 to as low as 12. The most common ranking is 8. The average ranking is 7.5, which is up more than two spots from last week’s average of 9.7.

The Eagles are in a pretty good spot after the first quarter of the 2017 NFL season. They sit first in the NFC East at 3-1 with a 2-0 division/conference record.

Carson Wentz looks good. The offensive line is playing at a very high level and, as a result, the running game has come to life recently.

Philadelphia’s defense has some issues, namely in the secondary, but their line is able to mitigate some of those concerns. Jim Schwartz’s unit will receive a boost when injured players such as Fletcher Cox and Ronald Darby are able to return.

The Eagles will be able to cement their position in the top 10 with a win over the Cardinals this week. Arizona looks pretty bad. If the Eagles can’t take care of business, that’ll be a big concern.