With Week 3 of the NFL season in the books, it’s time look at how various media outlets have ranked the reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles in their NFL power rankings. It’s always interesting to see how the Eagles stack up from an outside perspective. But first, let’s start by revisiting mine.
3 - Philadelphia Eagles - Forget the ugliness of the win, Carson Wentz is back and that’s great news for the outlook of the reigning Super Bowl champions. Philadelphia’s defensive success at home is also going to make the team tough to beat for at least eight games. (LW: 7)
4 - The Colts lost a close game to the Eagles in Carson Wentz’s return. (LW: 7)
3 - The Eagles’ average field position is their own 23-yard line, which ranks 30th in the NFL. They have scored a TD or FG on 28.6 percent of their drives, which ranks 25th in the NFL, something they ranked seventh in last season. (LW: 5)
3 - The world champs are back up, but this time with more staying power. Carson Wentz wasn’t flawless in the Eagles’ 20-16 win over the Colts. His presence was more than felt, however, and the rest of the league should take notice. My colleague Judy Battista certainly did, embarking on a deep dive of Wentz’s first action -- and first drive -- post-knee surgery. Also remember that the almost-2017 MVP was leading an offense sans Alshon Jeffery, Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles. Look out next week, everybody. Power Rankings side note: The passing of Tommy McDonald this week is important. While there are so many fans and media covering the game who don’t acknowledge anything pre- Super Bowl era, football was indeed played before the late 1960s. As the passing side of the NFL grew in the late 1950s and early ‘60s (especially with the advent of the AFL), no player was as prolific at getting in the end zone as McDonald. The Hall of Famer scored 66 touchdowns in his first seven seasons (all of which were spent with the Eagles), despite the first four of those years featuring 12 games per season. That’s incredible. The next-closest guy over that same span didn’t even produce 50. Think about that. You know, they used to say about another Eagles receiver that “all he does is catch touchdowns.” Consider McDonald an early-day Cris Carter, but more of a vertical threat. He owned a wicked sense of humor, too. One last note here: McDonald was a bona fide star on the Philadelphia squad that won the NFL title in 1960. Yes, the Eagles were once champs before Nick Foles. (LW: 8)
3 - They got Carson Wentz back and he was good enough to win his first start. Now with the rust off, can he build on it? (LW: 10)
3 - Carson Wentz is still Carson Wentz. (LW: 5)
3 - For a first game back, that was just fine for Carson Wentz. He went 25-of-37 for 255 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He moved around well and the Eagles have to feel like it will only get better. “Overall I thought he did some nice things, extended some drives for us whether he was running escaping the pocket or making plays downfield,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said, according to Philly.com. (LW: 6)
3 - Carson Wentz’s return wasn’t great, but it wasn’t terrible, either. The Eagles won Sunday with Wentz back at QB and he should only get better from here. (LW: 8)
3 - Good teams figure out a way to win even when they aren’t at 100 percent. And make no mistake: Right now, the defending Super Bowl champions are not close to 100 percent. In a game where Carson Wentz made his return but did so without both his top tailback (Jay Ajayi) and No. 1 wide receiver (Alshon Jeffery), the Eagles offense sputtered at times. Wentz committed a pair of turnovers—both in Eagles territory. With the passing game struggling a bit, the Eagles ground game picked things up. Using a committee attack, the Eagles rushed for 152 yards on 35 carries in the rain. The defense was stout as well, holding the Colts to only 209 total yards. Philly didn’t pile up style points. Or many points period. But when the final gun sounded, a banged-up Eagles team had four more than Indianapolis. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters. (LW: 6)
3 - We now see the Eagles start to move towards their end of year lofty perch. Carson Wentz showed that there wasn’t a whole hell of a lot of rust, and he’s picking up where he left off, which is music to all their fans’ ears. (LW: 13)
3 - We warned you early this year things wouldn’t be easy for them. (LW: 6)
5 - Carson Wentz’s return was a bit rusty, but he did enough to help the Eagles grind out a victory. Things will only get better as they get healthier, namely Jay Ajayi and Alshon Jeffery. (LW: 7)
3 - Carson Wentz is back. 9 months and 10 days into a rehab process that was projected by some to take a full year, the Eagles’ star signal-caller proved his persistence and dedication in making it back this quickly. Wentz looked like his vintage self on Sunday and surely will round into form over the next few weeks, especially when top target Alshon Jeffrey rejoins the ranks of the healthy. (LW: 6)
3 - No explanation (LW: 3)
The rankings range from as high as 3 to as low as 5. The most common ranking is 3. The average ranking is 3.2, which is up four spots from last week’s average of 7.2.
Everyone is back on board with the Eagles despite an ugly win. Carson Wentz being back certainly helps Philadelphia’s case. So does the fact that a lot of teams near the top suffered bad losses in Week 3 (Vikings, Packers, Patriots, etc.).
The Rams and the Chiefs (in some order) are the only teams consistently ranked above the Eagles. Both teams have looked impressive on their way to 3-0. The Eagles won’t be able to jump them until those teams suffer a loss. The Rams are set to host Minnesota on Thursday Night Football this week while the Chiefs will travel to Denver to take on the Broncos in a Monday Night Football matchup.
At the very least, the Eagles can maintain their top three status by beating the Titans this weekend.