When noted Philadelphia troll Colin Cowherd is praising the Eagles, you know the team is doing something right.
"That is a locker room full of tough guys," Cowherd said, not mentioning his long history of trolling the team, even as fellow FS1 hosts Nick Wright, Skip Bayless and Jason Whitlock all came around on the Eagles last season, albeit in varying degrees. "That final drive… five straight times — pound the ball, pound the ball, get the push, pound the ball, make the play. That's Philadelphia football."
He added: "If you need a yard or need to stop a team from getting a yard, I'm not sure there's a better roster in the NFL than Philadelphia."
Cowherd's praise of the team's toughness at the expense of the Falcons' flash is interesting, considering Cowherd once said Eagles fans weren't "cerebral" enough to appreciate former head coach Chip Kelly (who is 0-2 so far at UCLA). Regardless of the opportunistic flip-flop, Cowherd's new opinion about the team lines up with most NFL experts around the league, who have kept the Eagles near or at the top of their respective power rankings lists.
Here's how the national outlets rank the Eagles entering Week 2:
ESPN (Eagles rank No. 1 | Last week's rank No. 1)
"Michael Bennett wasn't a force in the box score in his debut (two tackles, zero sacks), but his versatility will help a deep Eagles defensive line throughout the season. He played 40 total snaps on Thursday, 19 at right end, 16 at left end, one at right defensive tackle and four at left defensive tackle. The Falcons gained 3.6 yards per play when he was on the field, and 6.3 yards per play when he was off the field." – Doug Clawson
Bleacher Report (Eagles rank No. 1 | Last week's rank No. 5)
"The Philadelphia Eagles beat an Atlanta Falcons team that has made the playoffs in each of the last two seasons. They did so without their starting quarterback, No. 1 wide receiver, a starting defensive tackle and a starting linebacker. In other words, the Eagles should be Super Bowl contenders yet again."
Washington Post (Eagles rank No. 1 | Last week's rank No. 3)
"From 'Philly Special' in the Super Bowl to 'Philly Philly' in Thursday's season opener, Coach Doug Pederson continues to push the right buttons. The defending champs did what it took to beat the Falcons, and the Eagles could have QB Carson Wentz back in the lineup in a few weeks."
Yahoo! Sports (Eagles rank No. 4 | Last week's rank No. 4)
"There's a lot of talk about Carson Wentz and Nick Foles, but it seems like that has overshadowed that the Eagles defense looks even better and might carry the team no matter who is at quarterback. Matt Ryan did look bad, but the Eagles defense had a ton to do with that."
USA Today (Eagles rank No. 1)
"Wasn't a pretty opener, but respect factor — and, yes, dominant defense — keeps reigning champs in pole position until further notice."
SB Nation (Eagles rank No. 3 | Last week's rank No. 1)