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 - The Eagles did NOT look very good at home against a bad Oakland team. Nick Foles was downright incompetent against an inept defense. Speaking of defense, at least Jim Schwartz’s unit bounced back. So there’s that. And hey, the Eagles are the No. 1 seed in the NFC! Not that many people actually feel great about that. But to their credit, the Eagles have found ways to keep winning. So I’m keeping them here for now. You can also bet I’m leaving the Eagles here in part to spite the haters. Feel free to flame me in the comments. (LW: 1)
9 - This is the first time I’ve put a team that won in the “low spirits” section, but that Monday night win was awful. All the Eagles had to do was beat an already-eliminated Raiders team in Philadelphia to clinch home field, and they barely got it done. Philadelphia is hopeful that Nick Foles can step into the shoes of Carson Wentz and take the team to the Super Bowl, but it’s getting difficult to believe in him when he can lead the Eagles to just 216 total yards against the Raiders. The Eagles still have a free pass to the Divisional round, but can the team score enough points to beat strong NFL competition like the Vikings, Saints, or Rams? It’s looking doubtful, and Philadelphia is as unconvincing as 13-2 teams ever come. (LW: 5)
5 - 8.5 wins: It took Philadelphia 10 games to pass its preseason projection. But now without Carson Wentz, who knows what will happen, but Philly is 2-0 since Nick Foles has taken over. Even accounting for Foles at quarterback, FPI rates Philadelphia as a top-three team. (LW: 3)
6 - Home-field secure, worry for sure. The Eagles won Monday night on the strength of an opportunistic defense. Jake Elliott's clutch quadricep helped, too. Not sure anyone -- and especially fans in Philadelphia -- knows what to think of Nick Foles at this stage. How much of his abysmal play was due to the conditions? How much was due to his receivers' inability to get open? A week after the Eagles procured four scores through the air, they couldn't muster 40 passing yards in the second half against the Raiders. Foles' errant toss to Zach Ertz that fluttered into Reggie Nelson's mitts darn near lost the game. Soo, ??? (LW: 4)
3 - They beat the Raiders Monday night, but they just don't look like a Super team anymore. They aren't winning a title with Nick Foles. (LW: 3)
4 - Now what do we make of the Eagles’ offense? One very good game with Nick Foles, and one really bad one on Monday night. Coach Doug Pederson has the option to rest his starters in Week 17, with the No. 1 seed clinched, but he needs to get the starters some work in the finale and let them regain some confidence. (LW: 2)
6 - The Eagles clinched the NFC’s top seed with the triumph Monday night over the Raiders. But they looked like anything but a Super Bowl team. The defense was much improved after struggling so badly against the Giants, but fill-in QB Nick Foles was shaky and the offense was unimpressive. The Eagles appear extremely vulnerable heading into the postseason. (LW: 7)
8 - Well, this was the first time the reality that Carson Wentz is out came to the forefront. Last week, the offense was put in good situations, and Nick Foles took advantage. An ugly game like this, though, called for a quarterback who can create plays on his own. Foles is a competent signal-caller, but he cannot create plays with his arm and his legs the way Wentz can. I still wish the Eagles would run downhill more with their stable of running backs behind this powerful offensive line. The encouraging thing is we saw the defense look more like the dominant unit from earlier in the season—other than cornerbacks still biting on the double move. The Eagles are good and are going to be tough to beat, but they don't look Super Bowl-caliber right now. (LW: 8)
6 - In what might have been their worst game of football in 2017, the Eagles managed to win through sheer power of will on defense. Despite locking up the #1 seed, the Eagles' faithful remain on edge as there is precious little time remaining to get Nick Foles and the offense ready for playoff football. (LW: 5)
4 - The Eagles saw their defense struggle against the Giants. Then it was Nick Foles and the offense struggling against the Raiders. They’re still winning, but it’s suddenly getting too close for comfort. (LW: 3)
2 - Has there even been a weaker No. 1 seed? (LW: 2)
2 - The Eagles locked up home-field advantage with a win over Oakland on Monday night, but they didn’t make it look easy. Alshon Jeffery was held without a catch while Nick Foles threw an interception, ending his streak of 170 straight passes without a pick. On the plus side, the Eagles still haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher this year. In fact, the last player to rush for 100 yards on Philadelphia was Matt Jones in Week 6 of 2016. Jay Ajayi’s receiving touchdown on Monday was the first of his career. (LW: 4)
7 - No explanation (LW: 7)
3 - While they managed to win against the Raiders on Christmas night, the Eagles have a ways to go before they’re going to generate the kind of confidence that is warranted traditionally by No. 1 seeds. Nick Foles has handled pressure (which has occurred on a third of his dropbacks) far worse than Carson Wentz had, generating a 40.4 passer rating on said dropbacks (against Wentz’s 81.7). While running the football is not the way to win over the long haul, it might be the way the Eagles have to do it over the next month and a half, having gained 2,045 yards (with 1,464 after contact) on 455 carries through 16 weeks. (LW: 2)
4 - No explanation (LW: 3)
1 - No explanation (LW: 2)
The rankings range from as high as 1 to as low as 9. The most common rankings are 4 and 6. The average ranking is 4.4, which is down from last week’s average of 3.625.
There’s no real consensus when it comes to the Eagles’ ranking. People don’t know what to do with them, which isn’t surprising. On one hand, they’re 13-2 and the No. 1 seed in the NFC. That’s not nothing. On the other hand, they just haven’t looked like a very good team since Carson Wentz got hurt. PFT raising the question of them being “the weakest No. 1 seed ever” is not uncalled for and it’s just very depressing.