Nine weeks, and eight games in, and the Eagles are still undefeated. It is the best start in franchise history. Better than even the 2004 team that started 7-0, and better than the Super Bowl team that lost one game early. They are the only team that has scored at least 20 pts in every game. And they have held opposing teams’ offenses under 20pts in 7 straight games. You could argue they are the best team in the NFL and not just the NFC. But is that how the national media feels? Power Rankings are kind of useless, but it can still be interesting to see what outsiders think of us. So let’s look at where the Eagles fall in the power rankings in week 10.
NFL.com- Ranking- 1 (Last Week- 2)
“The Philadelphia Eagles were founded in 1933. They are 8-0 for the first time ever. Turns out there can still be happiness after the demise of the Phillies. The Iggles continued their perfect start with an imperfect but ultimately satisfactory throttling of the Texans on Thursday Night Football. Keep an eye on the defense without Jordan Davis: The absence of the standout defensive tackle — parked on injured reserve with a high ankle sprain — was apparent against Houston, as Texans RB Dameon Pierce regularly bullied his way to the second level in a 139-yard night. Suspect run defense might be the only perceptible flaw for the “new” best team in football.”
The run defense is a bit concerning, but it has yet to really hurt them. And in the modern era. if you are going to be weak somewhere, I suppose that is the place. This offense often gets them a big lead, so teams don’t have the luxury to really settle in with a run. But they are right it is something to keep an eye on.
ESPN- Ranking- 1 (Last Week- 1)
“Brown has been a game-changer for the Eagles offense. He is just the third Eagle since the 1970 merger to record 700-plus receiving yards and six-plus touchdowns through eight games, joining Terrell Owens (2004, 2005) and Jeremy Maclin (2014). Brown’s ability to create separation, make contested catches and produce after the catch has been critical to quarterback Jalen Hurts’ ascension as a passer. Hurts has tossed six touchdowns with no interceptions for a QBR of 91.4 when targeting Brown, who ranks sixth in the NFL in receiving yards (718) and is tied for the second-most receiving touchdowns (6).”
AJ Brown may be the best off-season acquisition in Howie Roseman’s career. He is doing for this team what T.O. did for the 2004 team. Jalen Hurts has taken a massive step forward, but having a WR like Brown goes a long way in helping him do that.
Yahoo Sports- Ranking- 1 (Last Week- 2)
“Why are so many people impatiently waiting for an Eagles slump that might never come? It seems like every time an Eagles opponent gets a first down, certain corners of social media act like that’s a sign that the defense is a fraud and the Eagles are being propped up by a bad schedule. The Eagles are good. No, they didn’t blow out the Texans. But ask the Bills, and even the Chiefs, if wins over big underdogs are easy.”
There has absolutely been a weird push by some to discredit the lone undefeated team in the league. Doing these round-ups exposed that for me. Where some writers will jump through hoops to find ways to cast doubt onto this team for some reason. Meanwhile, all the Eagles have done is continue to play at a high level on both sides of the ball. Thankfully this week with the Bills falling down, most of the National Media seemed to jump on the Eagles bandwagon. Though as the typical Philadelphian, having everyone on our side makes me a bit nervous.
The Athletic- Ranking-1 (Last Week- 2)
“Trade recall: First-round pick Micah Parsons and third-round pick Chauncey Golston for first-round pick DeVonta Smith (trade with Cowboys, April 2019)
Apologies to the die-hard Eagles fans still wanting to right the wrong of the Ryan Bates-for-Eli Harold trade in the summer of 2019, but you take the opportunity to add the best young defensive player in football when it retroactively comes along in an imaginary exercise. Because the Eagles are more active in the trade market than most teams, they have other options worth considering. Before the season, they might have been willing to reverse their 2018 draft-day trade that landed the Ravens Lamar Jackson, for instance, but there’s no need for that now with Jalen Hurts playing like an MVP front-runner.
The Athletic did a thing where they picked a past trade each team would like to recall. And yea, it would be great to have Micah Parsons on this team right now. But who is to say if the Eagles don’t make that trade, that the Cowboys don’t just take Parsons, the Giants take Devonta Smith, and the Eagles are left with none of them? I still think it was the right move, even if Parsons became one of the best players in the league.
USA Today- Ranking- 1 (Last Week- 1)
“The offseason acquisition of S C.J. Gardner-Johnson didn’t garner as much attention as those of WR A.J. Brown or CB James Bradberry, and understandably so. But Gardner-Johnson has become a valuable component of this secondary, picking off a pass in four consecutive games to give him a league-best total of five – which also doubled his career total after three seasons in New Orleans.”
Gardner-Johnson has been phenomenal. His tackling sometimes leaves a little to be desired. But you will take that in exchange for all the plays he is making. He leads all DBs in interceptions going into week 10. He is a big part of why they are undefeated.
The Ringer- Ranking- 1 (Last Week- 2)
“The undefeated Eagles are a runaway train in the NFC. Their odds to win the NFC have moved from +1100 before the season to +185 after Week 9’s Sunday games. According to SportsOddsHistory.com, no NFC team has had better than +200 odds to win the conference entering Week 10 since the Rams in 2018 (+125). They are the best team in football and have the easiest schedule remaining, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index. It’s Super Bowl or bust in Philly.”
Yea, at this point, losing to the 49ers in the NFC Championship game would be a disappointment. They have set expectations too high. And honestly, now is the best time to win it too. They have a lot of key players on one-year deals. Who knows if this defense will look the same a year from now without James Bradberry. they have put themselves in a position to win it all. That is what they need to do.
For the first time all season, every outlet had them at 1. They are the team to beat going into week 10.