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November 20, 2017

What they're saying: Eagles are going to the Super Bowl (but Lombardi still won't give Pederson any credit)

Eagles NFL

Let's get this out of the way right now: The Eagles are the best team in the NFC and very well may be the best team in football.

Just don't tell former NFL GM Mike Lombardi that. Earlier this year, he said Doug Pederson was the least qualified coach he's seen in his 30 years of NFL experience. A few weeks back, he said Wentz was the reason they were winning, not Doug Pederson. Sure, Wentz is a big part of it, but so is the defense ... and SO IS DOUG BLEEPIN' PEDERSON!

Now that the Eagles are 9-1 and have the best record in football, Lombardi still doesn't seem ready to give the Birds coach any credit, even after they rolled over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night thanks in large part to a major halftime adjustment from Pederson.

If the Eagles keep winning, it's going to get pretty lonely on Lombardi island, if it hasn't already.

But as the number of doubters continues to dwindle, the number of believers continues to rise. As of Monday morning, we can count ESPN's Stephen A. Smith among those who think this Eagles team will be playing a game in Minnesota in February.

Follow their beatdown of Dallas on Sunday night, Smith is hardly the only one who sees the Eagles representing the NFC in Super Bowl LII. Here's a look at what they're saying about the Birds... 

Super Bowl bound?

Manish Mehta | New York Daily News

Up in New York, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News urges Eagles fans to sit back and enjoy the ride:

The hardened Philly fans need to wrap their heads around this warm and fuzzy reality: their Eagles are going to the Super Bowl.

This isn't hyperbole, hoopla or hot air. The data supports the hype around the league's only nine-win team. The eyes do too. Anyone blessed with the gift of sight can plainly observe that no NFC team possesses the diverse offensive and defensive weaponry quite like Doug Pederson's club.  []

A party unlike any other

Rob Tornoe |

If the Eagles make it to February and come back from Minnesota with the Lombardi Trophy, it's going to be unlike anything this city has ever seen. And Al Michaels wants in.

“They can win a Stanley Cup, which they’ve done. They can win a World Series, which they’ve done. They can win an NBA championship, and the way they’re playing right now, that may be sooner than later with the 76ers,” Michaels said of Philadelphia sports teams.

“But nothing, nothing would eclipse the Super Bowl champions and the Lombardi Trophy in the parade down Broad Street,” Michaels continued. “I’m flying in for that one.”  []

So ... what are the chances?

CBS Philly

After a big win against the arch rival Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles now have a 16 percent chance of winning the Super Bowl, according to many predictive models.

“Statistically speaking, [the Eagles are the] favorites to go to the Super Bowl. I can say that with a lot of confidence right now,” said assistant professor George Diemer, who teaches at Temple University’s School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management.  []

While those numbers are good, the ones Adam Schefter tweeted out about teams who start 9-1 are even better:

What does Vegas say?

According to Bovada, the Eagles currently have the second-best odds to win the Super Bowl, behind only the New England Patriots. Here's a look at the 10 teams with the best odds to win it all:

Patriots: +310
Eagles: +400
Steelers: +600
Saints: +800
Vikings: +1200
Seahawks: +1400
Rams: +1600
Chiefs: +1600
Panthers: +2200
Jaguars: +2200

Interestingly enough, Bovada didn't have odds listed for the NFC champion. However, you can see from the numbers above that the Eagles' odds of winning the Super Bowl are twice those of the next closest NFC team (the Saints), so they're probably pretty darn high.

America's team to watch

Aaron Kasinitz | PennLive

Maybe Carson Wentz can single-handedly save the NFL's slumping ratings... 

NBC's Sunday Night Football broadcast of the game drew a 13.5 household rating and a 22 share in metered market ratings, which marks a 14 percent increase from the Week 11 Sunday night contest last year between the Packers and Redskins, according to Deadline. Philly's victory produced the best rating for primetime game since Week 1 of this NFL season.

The SNF program also saw a 17 percent week-over-week ratings increase. The Patriots' blowout win over the Broncos on Nov. 12 failed to attract viewers as the game quickly spiraled away from Denver.  []

Carson > Dak (for now)

Tim McManus | ESPN

This was the battle everyone tuned in for, and it was pretty obvious who came away victories. As for the ongoing war between these two, it's safe to say that's far from over.

These quarterbacks can't be judged on results alone. The surrounding talent needs to be factored in. Last season, the Cowboys were 13-3, and the Eagles were 7-9, and the supporting cast for both squads had plenty to do with it.

Wentz has the better team this time around. But like Prescott, he's been dealt some blows in the personnel department... 

More than that, Wentz is excelling. He leads the NFL in touchdowns and entered the week third in quarterback rating. The Eagles are at the top of the league in points per game (32). They have scored 30-plus points in four straight, their longest such streak since 1953 -- a high level of play in imperfect conditions.

Prescott has fallen off considerably without key members of his supporting cast. He has no touchdowns and three interceptions over the past two games. The Cowboys have been outscored 64-16.  []

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