The Eagles used the energy of a packed Lincoln Financial Field and a four-touchdown performance from Carson Wentz to defeat the Washington Redskins, 34-24, on Monday Night Football.
Wentz finished with 268 passing yards to go with his four scores — yet another tremendous effort from the sophomore quarterback.
A victory over the Redskins put the Birds at 6-1. They now hold the best record in the NFL after the Chiefs lost to the Raiders on Thursday night and a 2.5-game lead in the NFC East over the Cowboys, who sit at 3-3.
Now the Eagles shift their attention to the San Francisco 49ers, who are coming off of an embarrassing 40-10 loss to the Cowboys.
Before the Birds host the winless 49ers on Sunday afternoon, here's a roundup of where the Eagles landed in this week's national power rankings:
ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio: Up one spot to No. 1
Florio wrote, “Before they can be a Team of Density, they need to be sure that it’s not Carson Wentz‘s destiny to get injured while being reckless with his body.”
Last week, Florio expressed similar sentiments with Wentz and honestly, it is true. Yes, backup quarterback Nick Foles has had past success with the Eagles including a seven-touchdown game against the Raiders in 2013. But the fact of the matter is he isn’t Carson Wentz and there aren’t many like him in the entire NFL. As Wentz proved with his Houdini escape from what seemed to be a sure sack on Monday.
NFL.com's Elliot Harrison: Up one spot to No. 1
Harrison wrote, “There's a new No. 1, and it's not a familiar one. When was the last time the Eagles were the best team in pro football? Maybe in the first two months of the 2004 campaign.”
It is definitely an unfamiliar position for the Eagles because they are clearly the best team for the first time in a long time. The team owns the best record in the NFL, it has a commanding NFC East lead and hosts a winless 49ers team Sunday and then a reeling Broncos team. There is definitely a good chance for the Birds to enter their Week 10 bye at 8-1.
USA TODAY: Up one spot to No. 1
USA TODAY wrote, “Is Carson Wentz ready to follow Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson as second-year starters to lead the franchise on Super Bowl magic carpet ride?”
The last time the Eagles reached the Super Bowl was in the 2004 season, a 24-21 defeat to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX. That team included the likes of Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook, Terrell Owens, Tra Thomas, Jon Runyan, Jeremiah Trotter and Brian Dawkins. The team finished 13-3 and made the big game for the first time since the 1980 season. This team sure has the potential to get back to Super Sunday.
Yahoo! Sports' Frank Schwab: Up one spot to No. 1
Schwab wrote, “There should be as much excitement as possible about Carson Wentz, but the loss of left tackle Jason Peters is really tough. He’s going to be very hard to replace. Still, as the lone one-loss team remaining in the NFL, they deserve the top spot.”
Losing a future Hall of Famer in Peters for the season is a huge blow to the offensive line, but Wentz’s mobility helps in some senses. If he starts taking more hits and more sacks, there will definitely be a cause for concern.
CBS Sports' Pete Prisco: Up one spot to No. 1
Prisco wrote, “Carson Wentz has three straight games with at least three touchdown passes. The loss of left tackle Jason Peters with a leg injury will hurt in a big way.”
Wentz leads the NFL in touchdown passes with 17. His ability to deliver the ball down the field was evident on against the 'Skins with his 64-yard touchdown to Mack Hollins. No one on this team maybe other than Malcolm Jenkins is more valuable to the Birds than Wentz.
The Washington Post's Mark Maske: Down one spot to No. 2
Maske wrote, “QB Carson Wentz was terrific Monday night against the Redskins and is becoming very prominent in the race for the NFL’s MVP award. It wasn’t only his passing, it was his ability to escape the Washington pass rush and make something out of nothing.”
Last week, Maske had the guts to put the Birds at the top. This week, he moves them down a spot to No. 2 and I don’t understand it at all. The Eagles have the best record in the NFL and have won five consecutive games. He bumped them for a 5-2 Patriots team that beat up on a struggling Matt Ryan and the Falcons. Maybe Maske got cold feet but there isn’t any reason the Birds shouldn’t be No. 1.
ESPN: Stayed at No. 2
ESPN wrote, “Carson Wentz leads the NFL in passing touchdowns (17) and already has surpassed his TD total from last season (16). He also has led the Eagles to their best start since 2004 and has given them the best chance of winning the NFC East.”
Another interesting choice here. Just like Maske, ESPN places the Patriots ahead of the Eagles in its power rankings although the Birds have a better record. I think it is simple. The Patriots have proven they can get it done in the big moments and the Eagles haven’t.