October 05, 2021
Are power rankings completely dumb and meaningless? Yes. Yes, they are. However, personally speaking, whenever I see them, I click. And now that I've sucked you in with promises of many power rankings, you'll read it and like it.
Here's where people around the country have the Eagles ranked heading into Week 5 of the 2021 regular season. Oh, and here's our version of these sellout rankings, too.
Biggest surprise: RB Miles Sanders' usage
Why it's a surprise: Sanders is the Eagles' lead back, yet only has 37 carries through four games -- which is tied for 33rd in the NFL with the Cowboys' No. 2 running back Tony Pollard and Jets rookie Michael Carter. He has nine rushes total in the past two weeks. Meanwhile, rookie Kenneth Gainwell (89 total yards and a TD vs. Chiefs) is heating up. Sanders and QB Jalen Hurts were expected to be a dynamic 1-2 punch out of the backfield, but it's been slow going for Sanders to start.
#JimmySays: Next offseason, there is going to be a debate whether the Eagles should sign Sanders to a big second contract. It'll be a pretty one-sided debate if his usage continues like this.
The Eagles rolled up over 450 yards of offense on the Chiefs and never had to send their punter on the field. It was another promising effort by the offense, but also another game filled with unforced errors that doomed Philly to its third straight loss. The Eagles had three touchdowns taken off the board by penalties in drives that eventually ended with field goals. Longtime NFL personnel man Mike Lombardi calls these instances "four-point plays" for the number of points you leave on the field by trading a touchdown/PAT for a field goal. The math ain't pretty: The Eagles had three "four-point plays" on Sunday in a game they lost by 12. Nick Sirianni's team needs to clean it up.
#JimmySays: They actually had two "four-point plays" and one "seven-point play" for a total of 15 points wiped off the board via penalties, further strengthening the point made above.
Also, I'm not sure I'm ready to credit Mike Lombardi for knowing that 7-3=4. I'm sure Galileo or someone like that figured out that equation in like 1590.
DeVonta Smith might be the brightest spot for the Eagles right now. He looks like the No. 1 receiver the team has been searching for. The optimism after the team’s season-opening win has faded, though, and the next stretch of games doesn’t offer much reprieve: Panthers, Bucs, Raiders.
#JimmySays: I wouldn't yet say that the Panthers are are scary opponent, but certainly the Eagles had/have a rough stretch from Week 3 to Week 7:
This week's matchup against the Panthers will be the most winnable game, anyway.
The Eagles remain in "The Muddled Middle," along with the following nine teams:
17. New England Patriots (1-3)
18. New Orleans Saints (2-2)
19. Washington Football Team (2-2)
20. Minnesota Vikings (1-3)
21. Chicago Bears (2-2)
22. Tennessee Titans (2-2)
23. Philadelphia Eagles (1-3)
24. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3)
25. New York Giants (1-3)
#JimmySays: Yeah, that looks about right.
Rookie WR DeVonta Smith is showing some signs of life, catching seven balls for 122 yards Sunday after totaling 11 for 115 in the first three weeks.
#JimmySays: I mean, the Eagles' leading wide receivers in receiving yards the last two seasons have been Travis Fulgham (539 yards in 2020) and Alshon Jeffery (490 yards in 2019).
Smith's 115 yards through the first three games would have put him on pace for 652, which would have basically made him Jerry Rice here.
In Week 1, the Philadelphia Eagles blasted the Falcons in Atlanta.
Things have gone downhill since.
Defensively, that slide has become an avalanche. After getting gouged for 471 yards and 42 points by Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, the Eagles have allowed over 40 points in back-to-back contests. The Eagles had three touchdowns nullified by penalties in Week 4 and were 3-of-6 in the red zone—mistakes that didn't sit well with first-year head coach Nick Sirianni.
"You're furious that you're 1-3," Sirianni told reporters. "The self-inflicted wounds have got to stop."
A bright spot Sunday was the play of second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts, who threw for a career-high 387 yards.
But things won't get any easier for Hurts and the reeling Eagles. After a trip to Charlotte to face the Panthers in Week 5, Philly hosts the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers on a short week before a trip to Las Vegas.
1-3 could be 1-6 before long.
#JimmySays: It won't get easier going from the Cowboys and Chiefs to the Panthers?
The Eagles' offensive day probably said more about the Chiefs' defense, but 387 passing yards from Jalen Hurts and 122 receiving yards from DeVonta Smith is a positive. The Eagles aren't a good team, particularly on defense, but their young offensive stars could be fun to watch.
#JimmySays: The only teams behind the Eagles here are the Falcons, Jets, Lions, Texans, and Jaguars.
At 1-3, they are quickly falling behind in the division race. Jalen Hurts did some really good things against the Chiefs, which gives them hope.
#JimmySays: CBS killin' it, as always.
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