10-1. The Eagles are 10-1, have the best record in Football, and are the best team in Football. They walked all over the Chicago Bears to the tune of 31-3. And that was with Nick Foles closing out the game. One more Cowboys loss or Eagles win, will clinch the NFC East for them, But at this point, that is a given. What the Eagles are more concerned about, is clinching the number one seed in the NFC. The first-week bye and the playoffs, as well as home-field advantage, would be a huge boost to the Eagles road to the Superbowl. There is not much negative to say about the Eagles right now. When prepping for this article, I racked my brain for some negatives but did not think of much. They are doing almost everything well right now. Sure, it isn’t against the best of competition, but you can say the same thing about a lot of teams. I’ve never liked knocking teams for weak schedules. The Eagles are dominating against bad teams, and when they did play decent teams, like the Chargers, Washington, and one very good team in the Panthers, they still won. They are doing everything they have to do. You can say the same thing about the Saints, who beat up on weak teams and then lost to the Rams, Vikings, and Patriots. You can say similar things about the Vikings, Patriots, etc. The fact is, there are very few tough teams in the league, and most of the best teams have had easy schedules. Eagles handle their business week in and week out. They do not lose to bad teams like the Steelers and Panthers have. When they do play decent teams, they beat them, unlike the Saints. Let’s take a look at exactly what is going so right for the Eagles.
+Defense is elite
Eagles defense, from top to bottom, has been one of the best in the league. The pass rush is relentless. The rush defense is an impenetrable wall. The pass defense gives up nothing over 15 yards. They do pretty much everything well. Some might point to them being in the bottom half in passing yards per game, but as I have explained, that is all volume, since they are top 10 in passing yards per attempt. The Defensive line is without a doubt the heart of this defense. Fletcher Cox, Timmy Jernigan, Vinny Curry, Brandon Graham, Chirs Long, Derek Barnett, and Beau Allen, are the best D line group in the league. They may not lead the league in sacks, but they are consistently disruptive and are the best against the run. There is a reason that the Eagles are top 10 in points allowed, and it is the fact this defense is playing well at all 11 positions.
+So is the offense
On the other side, the Eagles offense is clicking on all cylinders. They are the most efficient team on third down, and in the red zone. They lead the league in scoring. They are second in the league in rushing yards. They are near the top in time of possession. They are capable of scoring quick or having a long drive to wind down the clock. They are scoring on the ground, they are scoring through the air. Their offensive line is playing great. Everything works.
Before this game, the Eagles were winning despite no players racking up more than 100 receiving yards in a game. This isn’t because they do not have good talent to catch the ball, in fact, multiple players on this team are capable of earning 100 yards if they are the primary target. But they have so much talent, they do not need to lean on any one player. The same goes for many positions. They have four RBs who share carries. They have 3 TEs. 4 WRS’s. On defense, they have 5 CBs, 3 safeties, 4 DTs, and 4 DEs that regularly contribute. This team is deep. That depth could be huge in January and the Eagles players with their lighter workload will be fresher than players on some other teams who have to carry more weight.
+Carson Wentz…of course
I don’t even have to explain much. Wentz is the favorite to win the MVP. He leads the NFL in passing touchdowns, he is 4th in passer rating. He is 3rd in QBR. He only has 5 interceptions to his 28 TDs. He can run when he has to. Carson Wentz is simply amazing.
IT is probably only a one-game issue but is worth noting the Eagle fumbled the ball 4 times against the Bears, and lost 3 of those. In a 31-3 win, it really doesn’t matter, but if it happens again in future games, it could hurt them. It is not a pressing issue, but something to keep an eye on.
+Only one two-loss team left in the NFC
The Saints lost to the Rams, putting both teams at 8-3. Now the Vikings are the only two-loss team. The Eagles have a very good shot at claiming the number one seed. The Vikings, Rams, Saints, and Panthers are their primary competition. There are 5 games left, and they have a two-game lead over the Rams, Saints, and Panthers. They also have a win over the Panthers, so it is more like a 3 game lead over them, so the Panthers are out. They get to play the Rams, and if they beat the Rams, that will be essentially a 4 game lead over them. The Vikings, like the Eagles, have tough two-game stretch. They play the Falcons, and then the Panthers. The Saints still have to play the Panthers, and the Falcons twice. The Eagles statistically have the easiest schedule, although this west coast road trip will be tough. The Eagles are favorites to get the number 1 seed at this point. A Vikings loss would make them more comfortable though.
-Will Wentz’s and Pederson’s lack of experience bite them in the offseason?
I do not think it will be an issue, but it is something to think about. The Rams, and Vikings, also have no playoff experience. However, both the Saints and Panthers have played in a Superbowl. I think the whole experience thing is over rated. But I was desperate to come up with a second negative.