Here's the weekly roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles as they prepare for Sunday's showdown with the Giants:
On his NFL Matchup Show Sunday, Sal Paolantonio called LeSean McCoy, the second coming of Brian Westbrook, the Eagles' MVP. The Eagle-loving masses think Vick's not only the team MVP but also the NFL's. Cases can be made for both, I suppose. But then what is DeSean Jackson, other than the most exciting player right now in the NFL? Vick and Jackson, combined, are the greatest show on turf right now, the reformed (by all indications) quarterback and the receiver who's running hard for the playoffs and for a new contract.
King has the Eagles fifth in his Fine Fifteen:
Well, maybe they catch a break with the Giants not landing in Newark 'til 3ish Tuesday morning. I doubt that will be a factor Sunday in the Meadowlands.
SI.com's Don Banks has the Eagles sixth in his power rankings:
The Eagles finally got over the hump against the Cowboys, who beat them three times last season. Now here come the Giants, whom Philly has owned of late, winning five in a row against New York. A win and the NFC East virtually belongs to the Vick-men. But I can't help but remember last year at this time, when the Eagles went into Giants Stadium and won 45-38 in Week 14, looking like the most explosive team in the league. But all that offense disappeared shortly thereafter, as Dallas held Philadelphia to 14 points in back-to-back losses in Week 17 and the first round of the playoffs. Just a cautionary note, Eagles fans.
ESPN.com has the Eagles sixth in its power rankings:
Andy Reid could seal the deal for the NFC East if his Eagles can beat the Giants.
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has Michael Vick third in his MVP race:
Vick hasn't had a bad game all season, even though the occasional interception has crept into his game over the past few weeks. Let's not overlook his seven rushing TDs when considering how much Vick has helped his team. Vick needs three more passing TDs to match the career-high 20 he tossed with Atlanta during the 2006 season.
ESPN.com's Gene Wojciechowski compares the paths Vick and Ben Roethlisberger have taken to get to where they are:
They are so different, their personal histories so starkly in contrast. One is black, born and raised in the crime-ridden, East End projects of Newport News, Va. The other is white, raised in the quiet, midwest town of Findlay, Ohio. And yet, Michael Vick and Ben Roethlisberger find themselves Velcro'd together by a series of coincidences, by personal and professional redemption and maybe -- just maybe -- by forgiveness.
Adam Caplan of FoxSports.com has the Eagles sixth in his power rankings:
For many weeks the Eagles had been mostly injury-free, but now they are dealing with major issues on the defensive side of the ball. Their depth will be tested without starting MLB Stewart Bradley, likely out for the rest of the regular season. Rookie LB Jamar Chaney will get tested early and often by the solid Giants rushing attack this Sunday.
Clark Judge of CBSSports.com says Vick will likely give Tom Brady the biggest push for MVP:
He's not only having the best season of his career; he's having one of the most extraordinary seasons of anyone anywhere, and the numbers prove it. He's second only to Brady in passer rating. He has more than four times as many touchdowns (17) as interceptions (4). He leads all quarterbacks in rushing and has more yards running than backs like Joseph Addai, Beanie Wells, Marion Barber or Cadillac Williams. Most important, the Eagles are 7-1 when he starts and finishes, 2-3 when he doesn't. Michael Vick is carrying this club, and that's the definition of an MVP. For years, the knock on Vick was that he was a marvelous playmaker but a not-so-accurate passer. Well, this just in: He is now. In fact, he completes 63.6 percent of his passes, leads the NFC in fourth-quarter passing and third-down passing and is second only to Philip Rivers in yards per attempt. Check, please.
Both Judge and CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco go with the Giants in the NFC East. Here's Prisco's argument:
I'll take the Giants. I think they win this Sunday at home. That will give them a one-game lead with two to go. They have a tough game at Green Bay and then close at Washington after that, so it's not an easy road. The Eagles play home to the Vikings and home against Dallas. The schedule favors the Eagles, but I think the Giants might run the table. The way they are running the football and attacking the quarterback is a good formula for the close of the season on into the playoffs. I think their defensive front will get after Mike Vick this week. They do have to be careful next week at Green Bay, but they've won there before under Tom Coughlin in an important game (see 2007 NFC title game). The thing here is that the loser of the division might not make the playoffs. That's why Sunday's game is so important. It should be a good one, but I'll take the Giants and they will go on to win the division.
Prisco has the Eagles sixth in his power rankings:
The Eagles are riding high with that explosive offense and can pretty much lock up the division if they can beat the Giants on Sunday in New York.
Michael Silver of Yahoo Sports has the Eagles sixth:
Whatever your thoughts on DeSean Jackson’s showboating, how can a player be penalized for celebrating a touchdown that hasn’t yet occurred?
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has the Eagles sixth:
Forget about Super Bowl matchups - more than anything else, we want to see the Eagles face the Falcons in the playoffs.
Vic Carucci of NFL.com thinks LeSean McCoy could be the key to the Eagles' postseason run:
The dominance the Eagles showed on the ground against the Cowboys won't cause them to ponder, even for a second, a change in their offensive identity. They believe in being explosive, in taking deep shots, in scoring as quickly and as often as possible. They pass to set up the run, not the other way around. Consequently, McCoy and his linemen understand that each running play must be viewed as a golden opportunity to gain and keep Reid's attention.
Charles Davis of NFL Network likes the Giants to win Sunday and take the NFC East:
I can’t help but notice the New York Giants are looking better and better each time I take a look. Of course we have the big showdown in the NFC East this weekend with the high-flying Eagles, who just finished whacking the Cowboys and now have the Michael Vick Experience taking full root in the City of Brotherly Love hitting the road to take on the Giants. Not only do I see the Giants winning this game, they’re my pick to win the NFC East as well. That’s right. As Raheem Morris said a few weeks ago, "I said it."
Michael Vick still leads all players in Pro Bowl voting with 981,687 votes. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are second and third, respectively.
Football Outsiders' QB rankings for Week 15 have Vick ranked 23rd for his performance against Dallas:
Oh, this will go over well. How on earth is Brodie Croyle ahead of Michael Vick? Vick had those four big plays to DeSean Jackson, including passes of 60 and 91 yards. Obviously, those are very good. On the other hand, he threw two interceptions, although DVOA doesn't know about the tipped nature of the picks. He had just one successful pass play in seven chances inside the red zone. He scored on a one-yard plunge, but was stopped short as a runner on two other third downs and did not convert for a first down on either of his other runs. And while he ends up with -22 YAR on the day, opponent adjustments from the dismal Cowboys pass defense push him back into Croyle, while Croyle's -86 YAR get boosted up because he played the Chargers. Do I personally think that they played at roughly similar levels? No, I don't. But DYAR sees their productions as roughly similar.
Football Outsiders has the Eagles ranked third overall - third on offense, 14th on defense and 13th on special teams.
The Eagles play a rare Sunday, 1 p.m. game this week. Your announcers will be Joe Buck and Troy Aikman on Fox, with Pam Oliver roaming the sidelines.
And finally, philly.com colleagues Matt Mullin and Andrew O'Brien are running a Fanduel fantasy contest each week. All you have to do is pick a lineup for a chance to win. Check out the details here, along with their fantasy nuggets for Week 15.
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