January 10, 2023
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 have the Birds ranked after the conclusion of the NFL regular season. Oh, and here's our version of these sellout rankings, too. To note, it seems a few of the websites we aggregate for this weekly post stopped publishing power rankings for the season, so there are only five entries below.
The Eagles did what they needed to do Sunday, beating a Giants team resting all their key starters and finally clinching the No. 1 seed in the NFC. It sounds like Philadelphia needs all the extra rest it can get ahead of the Divisional Round of the playoffs. Jalen Hurts returned after a two-week absence and made it through the game, though postgame comments from Nick Sirianni were a bit alarming. "We didn't feel like there was more risk [of further injury] but I know he was hurting, and he was hurting bad," the coach acknowledged. If Hurts was "hurting bad" after two weeks off, is there any promise he'll be significantly better on the other side of the bye? The Eagles' Super Bowl hopes might rest on their quarterback's ability to attack defenses without reservations.
#JimmySays: I do think there should be a reasonable expectation of Hurts feeling significantly better after two more weeks of rest and rehabilitation. Obviously, his ability to perform at or near his highest potential would be a much bigger concern if the Eagles didn't have that first-round bye.
(Preseason rank: 10)
The Eagles were extremely cautious with Hurts in his return from an injured shoulder, as the quarterback got rid of the ball quicker than he had in all but one game this season and, for the first time in his career, went the entire game without a called run (not including quarterback sneaks). He played like he was under orders to be cautious, too, which was the smart thing to do! Now, the Eagles have a week off for Hurts, Lane Johnson, Josh Sweat and Avonte Maddox to continue resting while they prepare for what they hope will be back-to-back games at home. If Hurts is himself in two weeks, the Eagles should be considered NFC favorites.
Up next: Healing
#Jimmy Says: I agree with Bo that the Eagles are clear favorites if Hurts is fully healthy. If they can also get Johnson, Sweat, and Maddox back at full strength (or close enough to it), there's an argument to make that they are also favorites to win the Super Bowl, but I'm less confident in that trio's collective health.
There’s a case to be made that the best three teams in the playoffs are in the AFC. But I still look at the Eagles and see a team with a complete and deep roster and elite coaching from head coach Nick Sirianni and coordinators Shane Steichen and Jonathan Gannon, and I can’t drop them from the top spot. When Hurts was healthy in the first 15 weeks of the season, the Eagles were 13-1 with the first-ranked scoring offense and sixth-ranked scoring defense. Two weeks of Gardner Minshew shouldn’t distract us from the fact that this was the best team in football the majority of the season, and now they have the bye week and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
#JimmySays: You know that this wasn't written by a Philadelphian if they're calling Gannon "elite."
The Eagles set an NFL record with four players with double-digit sack totals: Haason Reddick (16), Brandon Graham (11), Javon Hargrave (11) and Josh Sweat (11). Fletcher Cox came close with seven. Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has been great the past couple years and understood one thing very well: You can never have enough pass rushers.
#JimmySays: Credit Andy Reid for instilling that philosophy into Howie.
They are the top seed in the NFC, which means they get a bye. Jalen Hurts was a little off in his return last week, but he gets two weeks to get even healthier.
#JimmySays: CBS with the 🔥 analysis, as always.
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