You might think NFL power rankings are dumb, and that’s very fair, because they are. And I’m someone who does them every week during the regular season, so what does that say about me?
But you know what isn’t dumb? Reminding everyone that the Philadelphia Eagles are defending Super Bowl champions. And that’s exactly what takes place in the offseason NFL power rankings that have the Eagles as the No. 1 team in the league. Let’s take a look.
1) The Super Bowl champs aren’t going to be chumps on the phone. That’s what we learned this past week when it came out that the Cardinals lobbed a call for Nick Foles. Howie Roseman laughs at your offer of a non-first-round pick. He scoffs. He doesn’t bite. He gleams. OK, that last one didn’t make sense, but you have to hand it to Eagles brass for the way they’ve managed their resources. Losing Patrick Robinson hurts, as he was one of the most underrated players last season. Retaining Nigel Bradham, on a don’t-wanna-move discount, helps. Still No. 1.
With P-Rob leaving in free agency, slot corner is indeed the biggest hole Philly needs to fill. The Eagles also lost some quality depth with LeGarrette Blount, Trey Burton, Beau Allen, and Vinny Curry gone. That’s the bad news.
The good news is they still have most of their starters from a Super Bowl winning team returning in 2018.
2) Michael Bennett’s right — Philadelphia’s defensive line really is the best in the NFL. Not only did the Eagles get Bennett from the Seahawks for a song, they also added Haloti Ngata on a one-year deal. They didn’t stop there. They swapped Torrey Smith, almost certain to be a cap casualty, to the Panthers for cornerback Daryl Worley, solid depth for the secondary. Linebacker Nigel Bradham got a five-year extension too.
The Eagles only finished second in SB Nation’s power rankings because they did theirs a little differently. Their power rankings were about “which teams have done the most to improve this spring, and not something like which teams are most apt to win the Super Bowl (see Browns, Cleveland).” So it’s the Browns at No. 1 and then the Eagles at No. 2. Since we all know the Eagles are way better than the Browns, the Birds are essentially No. 1 here as well.
1) Even without a healthy Carson Wentz, the Eagles won the first Super Bowl in franchise history thanks in large part to the dominance up front from arguably the premier offensive and defensive lines in the NFL ... And they added defensive end Michael Bennett to that mix in free agency. The Eagles return 21 of 22 starters from last year’s team, and after gaining a championship pedigree have a chance to be even better in 2018.
Yup, the Eagles are still very strong in the trenches. That bodes well for their chances as long as that’s the case.
It’s pretty crazy to think the team that generated the most pressure in the NFL by far last year is adding Michael Bennett to make their pass rush potentially even better.
Unlike the previous three power rankings, this one was posted right after the Eagles won the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 4.
2) The Eagles won the Super Bowl without Carson Wentz, proving just how deep this roster is beyond the quarterback. A few key contributors are pending free agents -- Patrick Robinson, Corey Graham and LeGarrette Blount -- but if Wentz returns and can continue to play at a high level (he led the league in Total QBR in 2017), the sky is the limit for Philly. Why No. 2? We need to see Wentz back healthy.
Second? Behind the Patriots? You mean, the team the Eagles beat in the Super Bowl? Without Wentz? Booooooooo.
It’s true that there’s no guarantee the 2018 Eagles will be as good as the 2017 Eagles. But the reigning champs are the team to beat until proven otherwise. They should be No. 1.
While we’re here, let’s check up on the other teams in the NFC East.
Might the Eagles be the first team to repeat as division winners since the early 2000’s?
Rankings: 21, 30, 13, 13
Rankings: 22, 26, 28, 22
New York Giants
Rankings: 29, 19, 22, 30