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NFL power rankings roundup: Eagles among elite after Week 4

NFL power rankings roundup: Eagles among elite after Week 4

After defeating a winless Giants team in Week 3 on a 61-yard Jake Elliott field goal, the Eagles traveled to the West Coast for a matchup with the winless Chargers. The Birds used strong efforts from LeGarrette Blount and Carson Wentz to prevail, 26-24, last Sunday.

A victory over the Chargers puts the Birds at 3-1. They now hold the top spot in the division with a one-game lead over the Cowboys and Redskins, both at 2-2.

Now the Eagles shift their attention to a 2-2 Cardinals team coming off of an overtime victory against the 49ers.

Before the Birds return to Lincoln Financial Field for a Sunday afternoon tilt with the Cardinals, here's a roundup of where the Eagles landed in this week's national power rankings:

ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio: Up four spots to No. 9
“It’s a good thing the Browns didn’t think Carson Wentz would be good," Florio wrote.

NFL.com's Elliot Harrison: Up three spots to No. 3
“High ranking for the Eagles. However, with what we know at this point in the season, how can Philadelphia not be here,” Harrison wrote. “Doug Pederson's outfit is tied for the best record in the NFC, leads the East and seems to have fixed the glaring weakness that every fan, blog and LinkedIn piece was fixated on during the preseason: the ground attack."

USA TODAY: Down two spots to No. 8
“Run game has improved every week, culminating with 214 yards Sunday," USA TODAY  wrote. "Looks like LeGarrette Blount has settled in after zero carries two weeks ago.”

Yahoo! Sports' Frank Schwab: Up four spots to No. 6
“The Eagles have a pretty deep offense. Three backs got 10 or more carries on Sunday,” Schwab wrote. “Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith had 38 yards combined, but Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor had solid games. The Eagles lead the defending NFC East champion Cowboys by a game, and it doesn’t seem like they’re going away anytime soon.”

CBS Sports' Pete Prisco: Up two spots to No. 3
“They won a tough road game at Los Angeles with a bunch of injuries on defense,” Prisco wrote. “That's impressive.”

The Washington Post's Mark Maske: Up three spots to No. 5
“It was a nice bonus for the Eagles to have that home-away-from-home game at StubHub Center,” Maske wrote. “They already have beaten the Redskins and Giants and are the early front-runner in the NFC East. Few expected that. But with the Giants winless and the Cowboys not living up to expectations, their chances cannot be discounted.”

ESPN: Up five spots to No. 8
“The Eagles have allowed the fewest points in the first three quarters of games this season but have allowed the second-most in fourth quarters," ESPN wrote. "Philadelphia has three wins, but the past two were by a combined five points. If the Eagles can tighten up in the fourth quarter, they could start winning more comfortably.”

Watch Eagles roast Jay Ajayi after 71-yard run for getting caught

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Watch Eagles roast Jay Ajayi after 71-yard run for getting caught

It's not everyday you see an Eagles player take the ball and run for 71 yards. So Philadelphia fans understandably went bonkers when Jay Ajayi did just that in the Birds' win over the Cowboys on Sunday.

It's also not that frequent that you see a dude get chased down from behind on such a play.

Sadly, the latter happened to Ajayi and his teammates let him hear it on the sidelines after. The fantastic Inside the NFL gave us an up-close look at the roasting.

You almost feel bad for Ajayi, like Kenjon Barner is laying it on a little too thick.

"You slow as $#@!," one player tells him.

"They're gonna lower my speed on Madden," Ajayi says.

Chip Kelly is going back where he belongs

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USA Today Images

Chip Kelly is going back where he belongs

After spending the year out of football, former Eagles coach Chip Kelly is returning to the sideline — and might be aligning with ex-Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman in the process.

According to reports, Kelly is expected to accept a head coaching job at one of two college football programs. The decision is down to Florida and UCLA, and he is rumored to have already turned away other high-profile programs such as Nebraska and Tennessee.

UCLA may be Kelly's most likely landing spot at this point, with alumnus Aikman putting on a "full-court press," says ESPN's Mark Schlabach, and Florida supposedly wanting an answer ASAP.

Wherever Kelly winds up going, that should end his unsuccessful foray into the NFL once and for all. Consider this an obituary of sorts.

The move will cement Kelly as a "college coach," if his pro tenure hadn't accomplished that already. After guiding the Eagles to the playoffs and being named Coach of the Year in his first season, he missed the postseason the next two years and was fired. Kelly got the hook again after one miserable season with the 49ers, bottoming out with a 2-14 record.

There are no shortage of excuses for why Kelly flamed out in the NFL. Lack of talent — specifically under center — was certainly a factor, though his failed stint as the chief talent evaluator in his final season with the Eagles certainly contributed to that.

The simple truth is not everything that works in college translates at the next level, and Kelly never adjusted.

Kelly only turns 54 this week, so a return to the professional ranks years down the road isn't completely out of the question. After his last two trainwreck seasons in the league, it's difficult to imagine what an organization would still see.

Employing schemes that aren't suited to the team's personnel, calling the same 10 to 15 plays every game, eliminating the quarterback's ability to call an audible or even something as small as never using a snap count may work at university. Those concepts are fundamentally opposed to what has been successful in the NFL.

Honestly, it's kind of too bad. The Eagles could use that easy W on the schedule periodically.

Perhaps the Eagles should just be grateful to have survived Kelly's radical changes without overhauling the entire roster again, and somehow coming out better off for everything. After releasing DeSean Jackson, trading away LeSean McCoy, trading for Sam Bradford, and spending huge sums of money on the likes of DeMarco Murray and Byron Maxwell -- to name a few, and all in the span of a year -- the franchise easily could've wound up in the tank.

There's no denying Kelly looked like a genius while at Oregon, racking up 46-7 record and three top-five finishes in four seasons as head coach. Yet like so many college coaches before him, and many bound to come after, he was never destined for sustained success in the NFL.