These scrappy Eagles just won't go away, and as the fanbase slowly warms to Nick Sirianni's squad, so too have the experts realized that this... actually might be a halfway decent football team?
They're no world-beaters, but the Birds might be ticketed for a second-half playoff push built around the run game and an improving Jalen Hurts. It's an evolution I don't think many saw coming, but it's working.
Let's scour seven different national outlets to find out what they're saying about the Birds after their fourth road win of the year:
This week: 22
Last week: 23 (+1)
"The only realistic path to the playoffs is by securing a wild-card berth. Currently, the Eagles are one game back of the final slot. The Saints are one of the teams they're contending with. A win Sunday could give them an essential tiebreaker advantage over New Orleans if the teams both end up with the same record. Philly already owns the tiebreaker over the Panthers and Falcons after beating them earlier this season. They'd be positioned well for a late playoff push if they can find a way to register their first home win of the season against the Saints."
This week: 21
Last week: 26 (+5)
"If the Eagles go on to make a dash to the playoffs this season (not a pipe dream in the wide-open NFC Wild Card race), we might point to Darius Slay’s 83-yard fumble return as the season’s turning point. On the final play of the third quarter, Slay scooped up Melvin Gordon’s fumble, fumbled the ball himself, then recovered and dashed nearly untouched to the end zone to silence the fans at Mile High and send the Eagles to their fourth road victory in six tries. With a steadily improving Jalen Hurts under center, the Eagles have a chance to make some noise if their defense can continue to deliver impact plays like we saw from “Big Play Slay” on Sunday."
This week: 26
Last week: 25 (-1)
"They did a lot of good things winning at Denver. They got the running game going in a big way, which led to a dominant showing."
This week: 22
Last week: 26 (+4)
"The Eagles finally have decided to support Jalen Hurts' passing and running with a traditional rushing attack, and it's worked, to settle his arm and his feet. The defense is also responding well in complementary football and Nick Sirianni keeps figuring more out about his team."
This week: 20
Last week: 24
"This might be a “hot take,” but I don’t think this is necessarily a bad football team. Philadelphia’s losses are against Dallas, Kansas City, Tampa Bay, Las Vegas, and the Los Angeles Chargers.
"Recently, the Eagles showed they could employ multiple offensive game plans depending on the opponent. They’ve gone incredibly run-heavy at times and thrown the ball quite a bit at others.
"But it’s clear this offense has taken a step forward as they’ve leaned on allowing Jalen Hurts to play to his strength as a runner. Now, sustainability will always be a question, simply because you don’t want your QB getting hurt running 10+ times a game. However, as Hurts continues to progress as a passer, he gives them the ability to compete in games.
"Against a strong Broncos secondary, Hurts played well for the most part, aside from one decently unattractive interception when the game was already out of hand."
This week: 21
Last week: 25 (+4)
"The Philadelphia Eagles appear to have found a winning formula.
"In recent weeks, the Eagles have dedicated themselves to running the football. Against the Broncos in Denver on Sunday, Philly peeled off 40 carries for 214 yards for an average of 5.4 yards per tote. Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts told reporters after the game that it felt good for his squad to be the one dictating tempo on a weekly basis.
"'It seems like we're finding that groove. We're making that progress that we want to make as a football team and as an offense,' Hurts said. 'We want to go out there and be consistent in whatever way we decide to attack the defense. Whether it be running it 40 times, whatever it is, we want to be efficient as a football team and as an offense.'
"Despite winning two of three, the Eagles are still two games under .500 and well off the pace in the NFC East. But with five of their last seven games coming against teams that currently have a losing record, if the Eagles keep playing well, Philly might be able to get back into the wild-card conversation in the NFC."
This week: 24
Last week: 25 (+1)
"Jalen Hurts’s development this season has been a pleasant surprise, perhaps even for the Eagles themselves, who didn’t intend to start the second-round pick in his second season and quietly lurked on the QB market during this past offseason. But Hurts’s play the last three games, in wins against Detroit and Denver and a close loss to the Chargers, should at least earn him more consideration by the organization."
Overall, pretty good stuff! But I take issue with CBS Sports' rankings this week. Putting the Birds behind a slipping, sliding, three-win Seahawks team? An ugly Falcons squad that they already beat? The dang New York Giants and Miami Dolphins? That's bad power ranking. This is not a bottom-7 team in the league.
Otherwise I think folks gave them the appropriate respect after carving up a Vic Fangio defense on the road. Stifling Teddy Bridgewater isn't a huge feat, but the Birds looked good on Sunday. You have to give them that.
I'll be tracking the Eagles' average power rankings across these seven outlets all season long at the bottom of these posts.
Week 1: 20.57
Week 2: 21
Week 3: 22.66
Week 4: 25.28
Week 5: 22
Week 6: 24
Week 7: 26
Week 8: 24.71
Week 9: 24.85
Week 10: 22.28
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