Now that the season is back, it’s time for our weekly roundup of how various media outlets view the Philadelphia Eagles in their NFL power rankings. It’s always interesting to see how the Birds stack up from an outside perspective.
5 - The Eagles have ranked very highly in this poll, dating back to before last season. Our voters clearly expect them to be better than the injury-depleted squad we watched last year.
6 - The Eagles’ offensive line is a question mark for the first time in a long time. Philadelphia lost its second starter to injury this offseason when left tackle Andre Dillard went down with a torn biceps in training camp. He joins standout guard Brandon Brooks (Achilles) on the sideline. They got good news this week when Jason Peters, 38, told the team he would move from right guard back to his old post on Wentz’s blind side. While that is the best solution for now, it’s fair to wonder whether Peters will hold up for the full 16-game slate. Wentz had his season cut short each of the past three years, and he needs the front to hold up.
7 - The Eagles belong in the NFC heavyweight conversation, too. Carson Wentz is looking for another fully healthy season, with the promise of healthier support despite a breakout of injuries. Defensively, their front is stronger with Javon Hargrave and their secondary is solid with Darius Slay.
8 - I think many are sleeping on this team. They were a playoff team in 2019, despite a brutal injury list. Carson Wentz will get back to playing at an MVP level.
9 - When factoring in the final win/loss percentage of all of Philadelphia’s opponents in 2019, only the Giants faced a more manageable schedule than the Eagles.
9 - The foundation of Doug Pederson, Carson Wentz and Jim Schwartz gives the Eagles a high floor. They are probably one more injury away on offense from being in big trouble. But if DeSean Jackson stays healthy or if Jalen Reagor can make an impact as a rookie, they can be a lot better than last year. Defensively, the line has a chance to be special with Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Javon Hargrave, Derek Barnett and Malik Jackson. Pederson has gotten the most out of his talent over the last three seasons. The Eagles have holes in the secondary and at linebacker, but this is a team that should get back to the postseason for the fourth straight year.
11 - Philadelphia Eagles - A healthy DeSean Jackson could make a really big difference for the Eagles, who’ve sorely lacked a viable deep passing game the past two seasons. Carson Wentz should have more skill player support than he did last year, although the offensive line is now a much bigger concern than before. There’s reason to believe Philly’s defense could improve after a 12th ranked DVOA finish last year. Will it be good enough to allow the Birds to stop Dallas from overtaking them as division champions?
12 - We make fun, but if Carson Wentz is good, injuries aside this team is going to be a problem. They took a gamble on Darius Slay and whether or not it pays off is going to be what defines them.
13 - The Philadelphia Eagles have enjoyed plenty of success under head coach Doug Pederson. They won the NFC East last year and brought home the franchise’s first championship with a win over the Patriots in Super Bowl LII. However, injuries could upend them in 2020. “The Eagles usually find ways to overcome every situation since Doug Pederson became the head coach, but left tackle Andre Dillard’s season-ending biceps injury adds uncertainty along a usually reliable offensive front,” Sobleski said. “Now, the team has to hope aging veteran Jason Peters has one more good year left in him after he was originally set to move to guard in 2020.” It isn’t just Dillard, either. Rookie wide receiver Jalen Reagor won’t be ready for the start of the regular season after suffering a labrum injury. Neither will veteran wideout Alshon Jeffery. Running back Miles Sanders appears to be a go for Week 1, but he’s missed practice time as well. The Eagles are banged up along the defensive line, and both the linebacker corps and secondary (outside of Darius Slay) are shaky. Oh, and oft-injured quarterback Carson Wentz already missed practice time with a soft-tissue injury. All of that is working against the Eagles before the season even starts.
13 - The Eagles needed speed on the flank and thought they addressed the problem by signing Marquise Goodwin in free agency and drafting Jalen Reagor. But Goodwin has already opted out of the season with COVID concerns and Reagor will miss much of the opening month with a shoulder injury. Losing LT Andre Dillard for the season with a torn biceps was yet another summer setback.
[BLG Note: Reagor reportedly might be ready by Week 2.]
14 - Vulnerability continues to be a trait connected to the wide receivers room. Alshon Jeffery avoided the PUP list, but stands a good chance of missing the first month of the season as he recovers from foot surgery. The now obligatory summer praise aside, DeSean Jackson (33) has passed the stage where he can be trusted to stay on the field. First-round pick Jalen Reagor is sidelined after suffering a slight tear in his shoulder in the last week of camp. It will be on the likes of J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Greg Ward to keep this group competent and allow Carson Wentz to make this offense go. We remain a tad skeptical.
14 - I probably would’ve had the Eagles higher on this list a few weeks ago but a series of preseason injuries—left tackle Andre Dillard and guard Brandon Brooks both suffered season-ending injuries, and receiver Jalen Reagor and running back Miles Sanders are both nicked up heading into Week 1—has me tempering expectations a bit, at least early on in the season. Overall, though, I’m optimistic that quarterback Carson Wentz will have his best statistical showing since his MVP-caliber 2017 campaign. And I love that the team has made it a major focus to add speed to that offense, adding Reagor, John Hightower, Quez Watkins (also on IR for now), and Jason Huntley over the offseason.
14 - Who isn’t injured on the Eagles’ offense? The injury to first-round pick Jalen Reagor, who suffered a shoulder injury and could miss September, was particularly bad because Philadelphia is perilously thin at receiver. It feels like Carson Wentz is starting off the season just like last season: having to carry a skeleton crew around him.
14 - Way too many injuries have happened, and they haven’t even faced an opponent yet.
14 - The Eagles got unlikely contributions from unheralded young players in their run to the playoffs last season. That could bode well for Coach Doug Pederson’s supporting cast around QB Carson Wentz.
14 - The Eagles entered the off-season needing to address both their secondary and receiving corp, both of which were at or near worst in the NFL last year. Major upgrades were made across both units, and the Eagles fanbase is hopeful this year won’t be a repeat of last, especially with the NFC East in dismal shape. Everything is predicated on Carson Wentz now, who needs a healthy year to detract naysayers.
18 - Offensive line already in disarray and receivers banged up, too. Good luck with all that, Carson ... (and, FWIW, Wentz has also missed practice).
18 - Yet another year removed from their title run, the Eagles are older in key spots and need quarterback Carson Wentz to deliver in a big way.
The rankings range from as high as 5 to as low as 18. The most common ranking is 14. The average ranking is 11.8.
There’s clearly no real consensus on the 2020 Eagles. Everyone mostly agrees that they’re at least an above average team ... but by how much is up for debate.
The feeling here is that the Eagles don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt when it comes to being considered a top 10 team. They still have much to prove.
The Birds can get off to a good start in that regard by taking care of business against the Washington Football Team in Week 1.