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NFL Power Rankings Week 16 Roundup: Eagles keep hope alive

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A look at what the experts are saying about the reigning Super Bowl champs.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams Robert Hanashiro-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 we’ll start by revisiting mine.

Bleeding Green Nation

15 - The Eagles were 13-point underdogs heading into Los Angeles. A complete team effort allowed the reigning Super Bowl champs to shock the world and keep their season alive. Philadelphia has a viable path to making the playoffs. (LW: 18)

SB Nation

15 - Nick Foles is back, so I guess they’re going to the Super Bowl. (LW: 17)

ESPN

15 - Biggest breakthrough: RB Wendell Smallwood. The third-year pro had a pair of touchdowns in the team’s biggest victory of the season against the Rams on Sunday. On the roster’s fringe heading into 2018, he has made the most of his opportunity since injuries hit the position. (LW: 15)

NFL.com

15 - They’re lurking. The defending champs looked the part Sunday night, perhaps for the first time all season. Was it due to Nick Foles? The backup-turned-starter-turned-backup received his latest turn in the rotation, with winning results. Even when he didn’t make fine throws, all came up roses. Consider his deep ball to Alshon Jeffery in the third quarter, which was definitely underthrown -- but Jeffery and Nelson Agholor were so open, they were practically flailing their arms for a fair catch, so it didn’t matter that the toss was short. Foles’ lone turnover was not of heavy consequence, despite being deep in Rams territory, as Philadelphia’s defense eventually halted the ensuing L.A. drive in the red zone. That Rams possession led to a field goal in what was then a 30-13 game, but it ate up a large chunk of the fourth quarter in the process -- time that would become precious in the waning moments. Please, no annoying quarterback-controversy jazz. Enjoy the win responsibly. (LW: 18)

CBS Sports

15 - Nick Foles to the rescue again. They still can make the playoffs and maybe Foles can make another magical run. (LW: 17)

Pro Football Talk

15 - Break out the dog masks and grease the light poles, Philly. (LW: 16)

Yahoo! Sports

16 - That was a monster win for the Eagles on Sunday night. I’m not sure Nick Foles is ready to lead the Eagles to the playoffs, but it’s not impossible. All of a sudden the Eagles’ home game against the Texans next Sunday is really interesting. (LW: 17)

Washington Post

14 - It’s December, and Nick Foles is again a starting quarterback. Sound familiar? These Eagles, of course, are not last season’s Eagles. That has been evident all season. But at least Foles and the Eagles are keeping things interesting entering their matchup Sunday with the Texans in Philadelphia. (LW: 18)

Bleacher Report

16 - The Philadelphia Eagles just won’t die. The reigning Super Bowl champions headed to Los Angeles a game under .500 and with Carson Wentz sidelined by a back injury. That meant Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles taking over at quarterback once again. And just like last year, Foles had some magic in him Sunday night. It’s not that his numbers were great, mind you—270 passing yards, no touchdowns and an interception. But the whole team appeared infused with new life. The running game piled up 111 yards. The defense forced three turnovers and played one of its best games of the season. The team looked like the Eagles we expected in 2018, instead of the ones we got. At 7-7, Philly’s only half a game out of the playoff race as it prepares to host the rolling Houston Texans in Week 16. If Foles gets a win there and somehow leads this team to the postseason again, it’s going to be a wild offseason in Philly. (LW: 19)

Sporting News

15 - What was that? It was more of Super Nick Foles and a suddenly jacked-up running game, plus Alshon Jeffery throwing it back to the good vibes of last January. Maybe the defense can save them yet, too. (LW: 19)

USA Today

15 - Shoulda known Nick Foles would ride to rescue at L.A. Memorial Coliseum. But he probably doesn’t have enough time to save Philly’s playoff bacon this year. (LW: 19)

Talk of Fame Network

15 - Philadelphia’s injury-riddled secondary has faced 54 passes each of the last two weekends. Dak Prescott threw 54 times against the Eagles on Dec. 9, then Jared Goff fired 54 passes last weekend. The two quarterbacks combined for 79 completions, 794 yards and three touchdowns. But the Eagles also intercepted four passes and split the two games to stay alive in the playoff chase at 7-7. (LW: 18)

Reddit

15 - Nick Foles started in lieu of the injured Carson Wentz and led the Eagles to an improbable win over the Rams on Sunday Night Football. Next up, a must-win against Houston to keep their playoff hopes alive. (LW: 16)

Mile High Report

17 - Will Nick Foles catch fire late in the year like he did last season? And if he did, does it even matter? (LW: 17)

Sports Illustrated

12 - No explanation. (LW: 12)

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ANALYSIS

The rankings range from as high as 12 to as low as 17. The most common ranking is 15. The average ranking is 15.0, which is up from last week’s average of 16.6.

The Eagles’ big win over the Rams has them ranked in the top half of the league. Hope is alive in Philadelphia. Beating the Texans at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday will continue to keep the Eagles in the NFC playoff picture. It’ll also move them closer to the top 10 in the rankings.