Today we begin 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 my rankings.
13) Philadelphia Eagles - Lucky No. 13 for your Philadelphia Eagles. I’m bullish on the Birds as an above average team despite the fact they went 7-9 last year. The Eagles had the ninth best point differential in 2016 and they’re likely to take a step forward this year. The Eagles actually surrounded Carson Wentz with some weapons. As a result, the second-year passer looked great during training camp and the preseason games. On defense, Philadelphia’s pass rush figures to cause trouble for the offenses that they’ll face. This Eagles roster isn’t without concerns (see: the running game), but it’s improved from last year. The Eagles will push for a playoff spot this season.
18) (No explanation)
15) Carson Wentz has a lot more to work with this season thanks to the additions of Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith and LeGarrette Blount. Despite some positives in 2016, Wentz did finish with the 26th-best Total QBR, partially because of the Eagles' issues at wide receiver.
19) It's very possible that the Eagles can be one of the six new playoff teams the league averages every year. Last year, the Giants, Cowboys, Falcons, Lions, Raiders and Dolphins were newbies. Philadelphia should be able to hold its own against those squads. We saw it against Miami in the preseason. What we haven't seen enough of is a new-look first-string offense, which my colleague Brian Baldinger so aptly pointed out.
18) If Carson Wentz takes a big step forward, they will be much higher on this list at season's end. The division is a tough one, which hurts.
17) LeGarrette Blount this preseason: 13 carries for 36 yards and a 2.8-yard average. Maybe that’s just a veteran saving himself for when games count, but assume the Eagles are keeping a close eye on how he looks in September. A lot of players look worse when they leave the Patriots.
19) WRs Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith are shaping up to be transformative figures for the passing attack. CB Ronald Darby may prove to be one of the most important additions, however.
14) The Eagles have fortified the offense around their second-year QB, Carson Wentz, and they presumably will have tackle Lane Johnson available all season after he missed much of last season while on suspension. Assuming that Wentz is better, this offense will be better and the team should be better as a whole. But it still might be difficult to leapfrog the Giants and Cowboys in the division.
22) Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is a baller. He looked good as a rookie last season. He's looked even better through the preseason. Alshon Jeffery has been solid at wide receiver, but let's not get too hyped about the new-look Eagles receiving corps. When an aging Torrey Smith is your No. 2 wideout, there's room for improvement. At this stage in his career, he should be a No. 3 at best. Defensively, the Eagles have an impressive front seven. With guys like Fletcher Cox and Vinny Curry, there is a lot of talent on the defensive line. I absolutely love Mychal Kendricks playing linebacker behind it. I do have questions about the secondary. The Eagles have good safeties, but not a ton of cornerback talent. Ronald Darby is serviceable, but he's the only corner capable of playing man-to-man on a consistent basis. That's a problem against Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins, who have a ton of receiving threats.
17) The Eagles reloaded on offense during the offseason, bringing in Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith and LeGarrette Blount to aid Carson Wentz during his sophomore campaign. Questions remain on defense and whether free agent talent will translate into in-game points, but should the wheels of the cogs line up correctly, the Eagles could be in a good position to make the playoffs.
14) (No explanation)
9) (No explanation)
The rankings range from as high as 9 to as low as 22. 16.3 is the average ranking.
The way power rankings work is that the very top and the very bottom are very defined. Things start to get blurred in the middle. You can place most of those teams just about anywhere. That’s where the Eagles are right now.
A Week 1 win over the Redskins, who mostly rank above the Eagles, could put Philly in the top 10 ... or just outside of it.