Here's the Wednesday night/Thursday morning roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles.
SI.com's Don Banks has the Eagles ninth in his playoff power rankings:
Losing two home games at the end of the season, to the so-so Vikings and Cowboys no less, makes me think the Eagles are virtually repeating their late-season disappearance of 2009. A big win over the Giants last December prompted talk of how unstoppable the Eagles were with their big-play weapons, but that was really the high point for Andy Reid's club, rather than the start of something special. Sound familiar? The Eagles have too much boom-bust potential on offense to win consistently in the playoffs, and their defense has been injury-plagued and unimpressive all season.
ESPN.com's John Clayton offers up grades for every NFL team in 2010. He gives the Eagles an A:
Andy Reid provided one of the most exciting rides of the 2010 season. He traded Donovan McNabb, rebuilt Michael Vick, made the roster younger and won the NFC East. Thanks to Vick, the Eagles have become "Must See TV.''
Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com has the Eagles ninth in his playoff power rankings and thinks their secondary will be their downfall:
This isn’t your father’s (or older brother’s) Eagles secondary. Brian Dawkins is two years removed, standout rookie safety Nate Allen is injured and out for the playoffs and Asante Samuel hasn’t been the same player over the second half of the season. The Eagles have given up 31 passing touchdowns, ranking them 15th out of the 16 teams in the NFC. Sunday’s matchup with Green Bay, which will have Aaron Rodgers feasting on the likes of Kurt Coleman and Dimitri Patterson, doesn’t bode well for the Philly DBs. The Eagles’ offense is capable of winning a shootout. But with quarterbacks like Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Jay Cutler awaiting in the next rounds, how many shootouts can they escape? How many bullets do they have?
CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco predicts a 30-28 Packers win:
Mike Vick and the top-scoring offense in the NFC against the Packers and their top-scoring defense. Something has to give. The biggest issue is how well Vick handles the blitz. He didn't do a good job of that late in the season, so you know Dom Capers will come after him. Capers has some elaborate schemes that might pose problems for Vick. He also has two cover corners in Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson who can match up with the Eagles speed outside. On the other side of the ball, Green Bay has a nice passing game with Aaron Rodgers and a good group of receivers. The Packers don't run the ball well, which could be an issue. The Eagles have a good pass rush, led by Trent Cole. If the Packers don't run the ball, they could have problems on third down. Rodgers will get his shots and hit some of them. So that will mean Vick has to keep up. I think Capers slows him down and the Packers take it in an upset.
Clark Judge of CBSSports.com names Vick his 2010 Comeback Player of the Year:
It's impossible to ignore what the guy did on and off the field. Basically, he put himself back together as a person and as a player. He went into the season as a backup to Kevin Kolb and came out of it as one of the most dynamic -- and feared -- quarterbacks on the board. That's important to mention. Once upon a time, he was a playmaker, not a quarterback. Then this season happened, and he became both -- finishing as the league's fourth-ranked passer, completing 63 percent of his attempts and producing over three times as many touchdown passes (21) as interceptions (6). That's a testament to Vick, as well as offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. Both put in the hours of hard work, and both are reaping the rewards.
Judge also calls the Eagles' comeback win against the Giants the best moment of the year:
Philadelphia's Miracle at the Meadowlands, Part Deux. The Eagles were down by 21 points with 7½ minutes left, with only punctuation missing from their obituaries. Then something weird happened, and leave it to Vick to be involved. Most people want to blame this one on Giants punter Matt Dodge for punting the football to DeSean Jackson when common sense -- as well as his head coach -- said to kick it out of bounds. But this wasn't Dodge's fault. He never should have been in that position. Nope, this was all about a defense that blew a 21-point lead, and, in the process, blew the playoffs.
The Eagles finished fifth in Football Outsiders' final rankings. The offense ranked third; the defense 14th; and the special teams 13th.
Football Outsiders also says the Eagles have a 22.6 percent chance to make the NFC championship, an 11.4 percent chance to get to the Super Bowl and a 4.5 percent chance to win it. Their odds to make or win the NFC are behind only the Falcons and the Bears. And the Eagles' odds of winning the Super Bowl are behind Atlanta, Chicago, New England, Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
And don't forget to join our Fanduel playoff contest. Beat my colleagues Matt Mullin and Andrew O'Brien, and win cash. It's really that simple.
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