It seems there should be no debate that the 9-1 Eagles are the best team in the NFL after they crushed the Cowboys, 37-9, before a prime-time audience on Sunday Night Football.
NFL Network’s Elliot Harrison thinks “there can be absolutely no debate as to who the top team in the league is,” and ESPN’s Trey Wingo wrote that “the Eagles are the Super Bowl favorite in the NFC.” Even longtime NBC broadcaster Al Michaels is talking Super Bowl, saying Sunday that he would fly to Philadelphia to watch an Eagles parade down Broad Street.
But Bleacher Report’s Chris Simms doesn’t see it that way. Despite labeling the Eagles as the league’s top team for the past four weeks, the son of former Giants quarterback Phil Simms dropped the Birds down one peg to No. 2 in the site’s latest NFL power rankings.
“Yes, I’m dropping the Eagles a spot after a convincing win over Dallas,” Simms conceded, noting it wasn’t intended as a slight against Philadelphia, as he considers the Eagles and the Patriots the two best teams in the league.
But Simms also added, “I need to see the Eagles deliver in the postseason before I’ll fully buy in.”
It’s hard to argue against the Patriots when it comes to postseason success, and Tom Brady is certainly having a career year, leading the league with a 110.9 passer rating. But Simms also moved the Cowboys up two spots on his list to 13, a head-scratching decision considering they were crushed by the Eagles and are without star running back Ezekiel Elliott for four more weeks.
The only real question the Eagles face is at kicker, with the team hoping Jake Elliott can be cleared in time for Sunday’s matchup against the Chicago Bears at Lincoln Financial Field. But that’s hardly a reason to drop the Eagles down a peg after a 28-point win against a hated division rival.
Here’s how national outlets ranked the Eagles:
ESPN (Eagles ranked #1 | Last week’s rank, #1)
“The Eagles have had an OK season. They have the best record, have scored the most points, thrown the most passing touchdowns, have the best red zone efficiency, forced the third-most turnovers, allowed the second-lowest third-down conversion percentage … you get the point.”
NFL.com (Eagles ranked #1 | Last week’s rank, #1)
“There can be absolutely no debate as to who the top team in the league is after the Eagles trounced the Cowboys. Somewhere, Ron Jaworski, Wilbert Montgomery, Harold Carmichael, Mike Quick, Clyde Simmons and Wes Hopkins must’ve been smiling. Despite a slow start Sunday night, Carson Wentz showed not only that he is the top quarterback in a rich 2016 rookie class, but also that he is still the frontrunner for the MVP award. So what’s next? See if all three running backs can get 100 yards in one game? Actually, the immediate task is for the Eagles to not let this win go to their collective heads. They’ve got the pesky Bears in Week 12, then road trips to visit the Seahawks and Rams. Whoa.”
CBS Sports (Eagles ranked #1 | Last week’s rank, #1)
“They basically locked up the division title by dominating the Cowboys Sunday night. Now they have to try and lock up the top seed.”
NBC Sports (Eagles ranked #1 | Last week’s rank, #1)
“Step One for making the no-kicker strategy work? Get Carson Wentz to play quarterback.”
Washington Post (Eagles ranked #1 | Last week’s rank, #1)
“The Eagles have lapped the field in the NFC East, as their dominant second half Sunday night in Dallas demonstrated. It took them a half to shake off the rust from their bye week, but once they got things revved up, Philadelphia again looked very much like the league’s most complete team.”
Bleacher Report (Eagles ranked #2 | Last week’s rank, #1)
“It was a sluggish start for the Eagles in Week 11. They didn’t capitalize on turnovers and good field position — and that might be because of the bye-week hangover. In the second half, though, they stomped on the gas.
Carson Wentz once again showed why he’s the leading MVP candidate. The run game got going in a big way. Once the Eagles get a lead, they’re almost unstoppable because of that run game and defense.
The defensive line is the best in the game, and I was impressed by the play of the secondary against Dallas.
Simply put, the Eagles are awesome.”
Yahoo! Sports (Eagles ranked #1 | Last week’s rank, #1)
“The second half on Sunday night might be the most impressive half of football we’ll see this season. The Eagles outscored the Cowboys 30-0 after halftime on the road to virtually clinch the NFC East title. With the division all but clinched, the attention turns to getting home-field advantage through the playoffs. Given how well they’re playing in every area, if they can get the No. 1 seed it’s going to be very hard for an opponent to come into Philly and win in January.”
USA Today (Eagles ranked #1 | Last week’s rank, #1)
“‘I guarantee you we’ll win the Super Bowl next year.’ Alshon Jeffery made this proclamation in January … when he was a Bear. Does it still count?”
Sports Illustrated (Eagles ranked #1 | Last week’s rank, #1)
SB Nation (Eagles ranked #1 | Last week’s rank, #1)
“The Eagles ought to be thankful they have Carson Wentz in Philadelphia.”