NFL power rankings roundup: Eagles continue to lead the pack

USA Today Images

NFL power rankings roundup: Eagles continue to lead the pack

The Eagles were back at the Linc last Sunday afternoon for a matchup against the Chicago Bears, whose defense has been quite underrated this season. 

That didn’t prevent tight end Zach Ertz from turning in a 10-catch performance to help the Birds handily defeat the Bears, 31-3.

The Eagles still hold the best record in the NFL and have a chance to clinch the NFC East this week with a win or a Dallas loss or tie to the Redskins on Thursday night.

Now the Eagles shift their attention to the Seattle Seahawks for a Sunday night matchup in the Pacific Northwest. 

Here’s a roundup of where the Eagles landed in this week's national power rankings after Week 12:

ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio: Stayed at No. 1
Florio wrote, “They’re making it look too easy. At some point, it won’t be.”

The Eagles have been on cruise control since losing to former coach Andy Reid and the Chiefs in Week 2. They have now reeled off nine straight victories and it doesn’t seem like they are ready to slow down. Florio might be hinting that the Eagles’ West Coast trip coming up against Seattle and Los Angeles to play the Seahawks and the Rams might be the real test for them at this point (see story).'s Elliot Harrison: Stayed at No. 1
Harrison wrote, “The Eagles are rolling through the league right now — or electric sliding, if you happened to catch the late stages of their declawing of the Bears. Carson Wentz continues to be the talk of the league, but as my colleague Steve Mariucci pointed out this weekend, general manager Howie Roseman must be given credit for the depth he's acquired to bolster Doug Pederson's roster.”

The Eagles have been one of the most fun teams in the NFL this season (see story). The Birds have celebrated in many ways, whether it was hitting a home run or getting hit by a pitch. However, the choreographed Electric Slide after an interception by Corey Graham has to top the list. 

USA TODAY: Stayed at No. 1
USA TODAY wrote, “Peaking too soon? They've won past three games by 28 points apiece, which is why NFC East may be wrapped before three-game road trip starts Sunday.”

The Eagles could clinch the NFC East before even stepping on the field in Seattle. Something to consider here: In Week 17 last season, the Cowboys rested their key skill players in an effort to keep them fresh and healthy for the divisional round of the playoffs, a game they would lose to Green Bay. The Eagles might be in a similar situation coming down the stretch, which could be concerning. But with the Vikings, Saints, Panthers and Rams all within striking distance for a top-two seed and home-field advantage, the Eagles can't afford to step off the gas now.

Yahoo! Sports' Frank Schwab: Stayed at No. 1
Schwab wrote, “The Jay Ajayi trade looks peculiar three weeks into it. Ajayi has just 22 total touches in three games. He had just six touches on Sunday. It seems that rookie Corey Clement could have handled the role Ajayi has and it wouldn’t have cost the Eagles a draft pick.”

Ajayi seemed frustrated after the game against the Bears and you would be too if you fumbled at the goal line after breaking a long run (see story). He ended up with six total touches in Week 12 for a total of 33 yards. Ajayi has been the game-breaker for the Eagles in the run game, while LeGarrette Blount has been bulldozing defenses for short gains. Expect this running back by committee with Ajayi, Blount and Clement to continue.

CBS Sports' Pete Prisco: Stayed at No. 1
Prisco wrote, “They just keep right on rolling and Carson Wentz is getting better. They are the class of the NFC — by far.”

They are the class of the NFC without a doubt and the Patriots and Steelers are the same in the AFC. The Patriots and Steelers play in Week 15, so one of those teams will cement itself as the head of the conference after that matchup. There is a lot of football left, but the Eagles should be the class of the NFL right now, not just the NFC.

The Washington Post's Mark Maske: Stayed at No. 1
Maske wrote, “The Eagles’ last three wins have come by 28 points each. They haven’t had a single-digit margin of victory since a five-point triumph at Carolina on Oct. 12.”

The Eagles have been destroying every team in their path over the last 2½ months. They are the top-scoring offense in the league with an average of 32 points per game, two points better than any other team in the NFL. 

ESPN: Stayed at No. 1
ESPN wrote, “The Eagles have the best record in the NFL and are the most efficient team, according to FPI — and that's all thanks to balance. They've thrown for the most touchdowns, rushed for the most yards after contact, allowed the fewest rushing yards per game and allowed the second-fewest yards per pass attempt.”

This balance has been terrific for this offense and especially to take the pressure off of Wentz. Wentz’s ability to spread the football around only enhances the offensive prowess of this team. It also helps when the defense continues to dominate opponents (see story).

Villanova hits icy patch on road to Final Four


Villanova hits icy patch on road to Final Four

The Philadelphia area — Villanova is not located *in* Philly proper — is being blasted by a huge snowstorm on Wednesday.

Could it keep the Wildcats from getting off campus and out of Philadelphia for the big NCAA Tournament game on Friday against West Virginia up in Boston?

It could! Check out the footage of their bus getting caught on the ice:

But the answer to the above question is probably "no." Jay Wright said they made it out OK.

The key takeaway here? The road to the Final Four needs to be properly plowed and salted.

Allen Iverson raves about Ben Simmons playing beyond his years


Allen Iverson raves about Ben Simmons playing beyond his years

The voice of the Sixers, Marc Zumoff, hooked up with perhaps the most famous Sixer of all-time, Allen Iverson, to talk about Brett Brown's team that is poised to take Philly to the playoffs for the first time in years.

Iverson was a guest on Zoo's Views podcast this week and spoke about "his little dudes," his loving name for the current Sixers squad.

Ben Simmons is a guy who sticks out for not looking like a rookie.

"I see someone who is a great player far beyond his age," Iverson said. "You don't usually see a player with that mindset. The athletic ability, you see it all the time, but his mindset, he plays the game the right way."

"At times out there he looks like he's been in this league for years and he's a rookie. That's very unique for a guy to come in and be so unselfish, caring about the team, and having every aspect of his game getting better. You can tell he gets better all the time. You can see when people tries to take things from him, he still gets it done."

As for The Answer's advice for today's Sixers, it's all about sticking together.

"I think the sky is the limit for this team. We should want it now but if not my message to them would be to not get frustrated in the process. Understand that there will be some learning experiences. There will be some ups and downs. Stick together, believe in each other night in and night out. Win together, lose together, laugh together, and cry together. I'm looking forward to these coming playoffs. Win four games and we on to the next."

You can listen to the full conversation between Zoo and A.I. below or download and subscribe to Zoo's Views right here.

2:00 — Iverson’s thoughts on this year’s team?
3:00 — Big fan of Brett Brown ... Reminds him of Popovich ... And Larry Brown
5:00 — Ben Simmons plays like a veteran
8:00 — Embiid is great for Sixers and the NBA as a whole
9:30 — Would he have been big on social media if it existed during his career?
10:30 — How would a 30-year-old Allen Iverson fit in with this Sixers team?
12:00 — He would’ve been a better player with this roster
12:20 — Advice for this team