November 07, 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 around the country have the Eagles ranked after Week 9. Oh, and here's our version of these sellout rankings, too.
Philadelphia remains the class of the NFC -- and, for now, the league. Sunday's nail-biter win might have paved the road to the No. 1 seed in the conference and the bye that comes with it, but it also highlighted the luck factor. Dak Prescott sliced up the Eagles' embattled secondary. Luke Schoonmaker's fourth-down catch in the fourth quarter was inches from being a touchdown. Dallas scored on the subsequent drive, but Prescott's foot was out of bounds by about the same distance on a two-point conversion attempt. Philly fumbled three times and recovered the ball each time, including when D'Andre Swift coughed it up with a minute left. It felt like Dallas outplayed the Eagles over the course of 60 minutes, but Philly finished more effectively than the Cowboys -- an area where the Eagles have been better than Dallas all season. Perhaps that intangible skill is the their superpower.
#JimmySays: I've enjoyed the complaining about the Schoonmaker non-TD in the aftermath of this game. Chris Simms, notably, made this dumb point:
So how do we reconcile this: he wouldn’t be granted a catch until he survives the ground. So why is he ruled down once his knee hits (ball short of the goaline) before the he completes that act? Loophole @ProFootballTalk pic.twitter.com/xtsSBqNbfP— Chris Simms (@CSimmsQB) November 6, 2023
OK, so let's say this play happens in the back of the end zone instead of at the front of the end zone. Schoonmaker gets a knee down inbounds, but he completes the process of the catch out the back of the end zone. Does it no longer count as a catch at all? That seems to be what Simms wants here.
Non-QB MVP: WR A.J. Brown
Brown has been one of the league's most impactful players over the first half. He made history by becoming the first to go for 125-plus receiving yards in six consecutive games. He also set a new team mark for quickest player to 1,000 yards receiving (nine games). "He's on an unbelievable historic tear right now," said offensive coordinator Brian Johnson, "and it's a testament to him, who he is as a person, to how serious he is about perfecting his craft and making the most of his opportunities." -- Tim McManus
#JimmySays: ESPN picked "non-QB MVPs" for each team, and Brown is an easy choice for the Eagles, though it's probably also worth noting what happened to the Eagles' offense when Lane Johnson got hurt against the Jets.
Philadelphia fans are not going to be happy falling a spot after a win over the Cowboys. That’s fair, but the Eagles were outgained 406-292 by Dallas on Sunday, and there are a couple of areas of concern to monitor. The Eagles have averaged fewer than 100 rushing yards in their last four games (86.8), and they are 20th in the NFL in yards per play allowed (5.3). Big picture though, they are 24-5 dating to 2022 and have established themselves as the clear favorite in the NFC.
#JimmySays: The Eagles got outgained by Dallas partly because they went super conservative once they got a two-score lead. Of course, they should have kept their foot on the gas, and they almost lost because they didn't, but the disparity in yardage does not equate to Dallas outplaying them on Sunday, in my opinion.
I'll also take small issue with the stat that says they're "20th in the NFL in yards per play allowed." Opponents are passing against the Eagles on 71.0% of their plays, the highest percentage in the NFL by a wide margin (the Jaguars are No. 2, at 66.5%). Yards per pass attempt are always going to be way higher than yards per rushing attempt, so of course the Eagles aren't going to fare well in that metric when nobody runs on them. They're allowing 3.7 yards per rush (7th) and 6.4 yards per pass attempt (14th).
I do think the running game concerns are valid. The Eagles closed out wins with dominant second half rushing performances against the Vikings and Bucs earlier this season, but haven't since.
The league's only 8-1 team, and the first to replicate such a start in consecutive seasons since Peyton Manning's Indianapolis heyday in 2006. But with gimpy QB Jalen Hurts still dragging his leg around, the bye week has arrived at a perfect time – not to mention Philly has Kansas City, Buffalo, San Francisco, Dallas and Seattle in succession on the other side of the break. Though perhaps no worry, Hurts matching Manning's mark (2008-10) with 12 consecutive regular-season wins against opponents with winning records.
#JimmySays: I'm always confused by what that stat means. Does "opponents with winning records" mean (a) at the time they played them, or (b) their final records at the end of the season / what they are right now (if the current season isn't complete)?
In my opinion, using (a) doesn't make any sense, so let's use (b).
• Hurts has beaten three teams this season with winning records (as in, right now) — the Vikings, Dolphins, and Cowboys.
• Last year he beat the Lions, Vikings, Jaguars, Cowboys, Steelers, Giants, and Giants.
• In 2021, looking in reverse chronological order, he beat the Saints.
So I have Hurts down for 11 straight regular season wins against winning teams. Still pretty good!
Josh Sweat is having a great season for the Eagles. He has had at least a half-sack in six of Philadelphia's nine games. His 6.5 sacks are second on the Eagles behind Haason Reddick at 7.5. He had 11 sacks last season and is better this season. Sweat's sack on Dak Prescott in the final 30 seconds Sunday was a massive play in a huge win. Sweat was a fourth-round draft pick in 2018 and has been an absolute steal.
#JimmySays: Sweat getting overdue love nationally.
They beat the Cowboys, but they have to be concerned about their defense. It's having issues stopping teams. Jalen Hurts is also limited by his knee injury.
#JimmySays: CBS with the fire🔥 analysis as always.
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