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 we’ll start by revisiting mine.
1 - Nine wins in a row. The Eagles rank first overall in point differential at +160. The next closest team is 37 points away. Dominance. (LW: 1)
1 - Jerry Jones thinks the Cowboys can turn things around, but with the Eagles so far ahead in the NFC East and a bunch of teams doing well in the NFC Wild Card race, he’s wrong. It’s over for Dallas in 2017. (LW: 1)
1 - The Eagles have the best record in the NFL and are the most efficient team, according to FPI -- and that's all thanks to balance. They've thrown for the most touchdowns, rushed for the most yards after contact, allowed the fewest rushing yards per game and allowed the second-fewest yards per pass attempt. (LW: 1)
1 - The Eagles are rolling through the league right now -- or electric sliding, if you happened to catch the late stages of their declawing of the Bears. Carson Wentz continues to be the talk of the league, but as my colleague Steve Mariucci pointed out this weekend, general manager Howie Roseman must be given credit for the depth he's acquired to bolster Doug Pederson's roster. Is this group stronger than the 2004 Philly team that made the Super Bowl with Terrell Owens? Or Dick Vermeil's boys in 1980, the first Super Bowl squad in franchise history? If you're really old school, maybe Wentz can equal Norm Van Brocklin, the last Eagle to win MVP, in 1960 -- then really earn some kudos by winning the championship, like Van Brocklin's team that year. Exciting times in Eastern PA. (LW: 1)
1 - They just keep right on rolling and Carson Wentz is getting better. They are the class of the NFC - by far. (LW: 1)
1 - The Jay Ajayi trade looks peculiar three weeks into it. Ajayi has just 22 total touches in three games. He had just six touches on Sunday. It seems that rookie Corey Clement could have handled the role Ajayi has and it wouldn’t have cost the Eagles a draft pick. However, Philadelphia will be playing deep into January, and perhaps Ajayi becomes more of a factor later in the season. (LW: 1)
[BLG Note: Ajayi is still getting familiar with the offense and the trade wasn’t just for this year.]
1 - The Eagles’ last three wins have come by 28 points each. They haven’t had a single-digit margin of victory since a five-point triumph at Carolina on Oct. 12. Will their lack of experience in close games come back to plague them at some point? Perhaps. But if that’s your biggest problem, you don’t have many problems. (LW: 1)
2 - I view the Patriots as the top team in football, but I don't think it would be unfair for them to share the No. 1 spot with the Eagles. Carson Wentz finds new ways to use different players each week. It's getting to the point where the Philadelphia offense is nearly as hard to defend as New England's because you don't know who to try to stop. Now, I still think too much of the offense is on Wentz's shoulders because this isn't a scheme that just gets guys open. It's more Wentz throwing into tight windows or escaping pressure and making plays on the run. Still, it's hard to argue with the results. When Philadelphia gets a lead, the Eagles are almost impossible to beat. It gives them the chance to lean on a physical run game. It also allows the defense to unleash the pass rush, which is one of the best in football. The Eagles are Super Bowl contenders. (LW: 2)
[BLG Note: This is still so dumb.]
1 - Peaking too soon? They've won past three games by 28 points apiece, which is why NFC East may be wrapped before three-game road trip starts Sunday. (LW: 1)
[BLG Note: Ah, yes, peaking too soon. If only the Eagles were playing worse, that’d be better!]
1 - Fun facts: the Eagles have won their last four games by an average of 27 points and allowed their opponents 3 offensive touchdowns during that span - total. The Bears entered Sunday's match-up averaging 132 yards rushing per game for the season and exited with 14 carries for 6 yards on the day. The Eagles defense gave up 1 touchdown during November, equal to 1/13th the amount the Dallas Cowboys defense gave up during the same month. (LW: 1)
1 - Too bad they can't be ranked higher than this after three consecutive 28-point victories. Carson Wentz and the defense have kept them rolling. They'll get some good tests with back-to-back long road trips to the NFC West. (LW: 1)
1 - They’re making it look too easy. At some point, it won’t be. (LW: 1)
1 - Alshon Jeffery’s scoring binge continued with another touchdown against the Bears, his former team, in Week 12. Jeffery, who extended his scoring streak to four games on Sunday, already has more touchdowns this season (seven) than he had in his previous two years combined (six). Jay Ajayi was expected to work as the featured back upon his arrival in Philly, but instead LeGarrette Blount has out-touched him 37-22 over the last three games. (LW: 1)
1 - No explanation (LW: 1)
2 - The sixth-best offense and the fourth-best defense in our rating system have provided great balance for what is the clear frontrunner in the NFC through 12 weeks. There are concerns that the Philadelphia Eagles haven’t beaten anyone, but road wins against the Panthers and the Chargers (especially in hindsight) suggest otherwise. Carson Wentz faces a substantial test this week against a Seahawks defense that has a player of the year candidate in Bobby Wagner (98.5). We have a feeling that the fifth-highest rated passer when under pressure (81.6) and when clean (111.8) has the goods to continue his hot streak and move the Eagles closer to a first-round bye. (LW: 2)
2 - The fourth of the dominant NFC teams is Philadelphia, of course, which currently owns the league's best record at 10-1. The Rams may be back in the top spot this week but it's just barely over the Eagles, by one-tenth of a percentage point, and the Eagles are still No. 1 in Weighted DVOA which drops the strength of September games. The Eagles have not yet clinched a postseason berth but they only miss the playoffs in ONE of our 50,000 playoff odds simulations this week. (LW: 1)
1 - No explanation (LW: 2)
The rankings range from as high as 1 to as low as 2. The most common ranking is 1. The average ranking is 1.18, which is identical to last week’s average of 1.18.
The Eagles are in pretty good shape right now. Perhaps a win over the Seahawks in Seattle would convince the people who have Philly at No. 2 (looking at you, B/R). New England has to play the Bills in Buffalo this week, so a loss there would certainly help move Philly up as well.
It’s silly that the Eagles aren’t the No. 1 consensus. They’re clearly the best team in the league. But now they’ll be facing some of their biggest tests of the season. If they leave this West Coast road trip against the Seahawks and Rams with two wins, I don’t know how anyone can have any doubts about them.