With Week 5 of the NFL season in the books, it’s time look at how various media outlets have ranked the reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles in their NFL power rankings. It’s always interesting to see how the Eagles stack up from an outside perspective. But first, let’s start by revisiting mine.
16 – This Eagles team just can’t get out of their own way. The reigning Super Bowl champs continue to shoot themselves in the foot at key moments. (LW: 13)
9 – Rest-of-season SOS ranking: 6th. The Eagles’ toughest remaining game, according to FPI, comes in Week 15 when they travel to Los Angeles to play the Rams. FPI gives the Eagles a 20 percent chance to win, and it is part of a stretch in which the Eagles are not favored to win three of four games. (LW: 6)
15 – Sure, maybe Alshon Jeffery could’ve held onto that Carson Wentz ball to convert third-and-20. But that, at least to this spectator, was not the key moment of the game. (Not to mention: Jeffery was decidedly walloped on the play.) No, the crucial play was the third-and-1 that Minnesota converted from its own 44 with around five minutes remaining. The Eagles had pulled to within six at 20-14, and a stop there would’ve given them the ball back with plenty of time to use the entirety of their playbook. Instead, no one picked up Kyle Rudolph on a delayed shallow drag across the formation, nor made the tackle on the lumbering tight end until he had picked up 17 yards and set the Vikings up in field goal range (which Dan Bailey eventually paid off with a 52-yarder). Now, I’m not Philadelphia’s defensive coordinator, but I’m pretty confident LB Kamu Grugier-Hill fell asleep at the wheel, watching Rudolph stride right in front of him and directly in the path of Kirk Cousins’ loving eyes. Ballgame. Side note: The Jay Ajayi-to-IR news came out of nowhere, which might be where the defending champs are headed come January if they don’t turn it around fast. (LW: 12)
16 – At 2-3, they hardly look like the champs of last season. The offensive line is holding this team back. (LW: 13)
12 – By already matching their loss total from 2017, the Eagles will have to get back to the top of the mountain the hard way. (LW: 7)
7 – Jay Ajayi’s torn ACL doesn’t help the Eagles, but you’d think they have the depth at that position to overcome it. If Corey Clement can stay healthy, he has a real chance to become a breakout star. Or … Le’Veon Bell? (LW: 4)
12 – The defending champs are struggling on offense; they haven’t scored more than 23 points in a game this season. It’s worth noting that only one of the previous seven reigning Super Bowl champions to start a season 2-3 reached the playoffs. History says that the odds aren’t good for teams in the Eagles’ position to turn things around. (LW: 12)
11 – There’s trouble brewing in Philadelphia. Getting back quarterback Carson Wentz was supposed to be a shot in the arm for the defending champs. But after Sunday’s loss to Minnesota, the Eagles are 1-2 with Wentz in the lineup and under .500 for the season. It’s not all Wentz’s fault—he threw for over 300 yards against the Vikings with a pair of touchdowns and no picks. But Wentz did lose a fumble that was returned for a score. The defense is the real reason for worry. Philly’s run D is solid, but the secondary continues to be a mess. Kirk Cousins topped 300 yards himself in Week 5, and the wideout duo of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs torched the Eagles for 207 yards and a score. It’s not time to panic just yet, as no one’s really pulling away in the NFC East. But this team is looking less and less like a defending champion as we move farther into the season. And that is no bueno. (LW: 6)
8 – Still can win NFC East readily, but it’s going to be a grind. (LW: 6)
13 – The Eagles are going through issues with their secondary, offensive line, running game and downfield passing. They have a lot to fix before they can play like the Super Bowl champions again. (LW: 10)
12 – Philadelphia didn’t measure up Sunday against the Vikings, falling short despite another goliath effort from Zach Ertz, who pulled in 10 catches for 110 yards on 11 targets. That puts Ertz on pace for 1,398 receiving yards, which would eclipse the current tight end record held by Rob Gronkowski (1,327 in 2011). With Jay Ajayi (ACL) done for the year and Darren Sproles still nursing a hamstring injury, might the Eagles consider a reunion with LeSean McCoy? Reports say they’re thinking about it. How do the Eagles right the ship after losing three out of four? Gary Cobb has an interesting solution. (LW: 7)
13 – If the Eagles aren’t proof that the team that ended the year isn’t the same team that enters the new year, I just don’t know what is. (LW: 9)
13 – It remains ugly in all three phases and a shadow of the Super Bowl campaign from just a season ago. With Jay Ajayi out for the season with a torn ACL, an already anemic offense continues to circle the drain. The Eagles’ strong schedule moving forward will further exacerbate all their problems. Perhaps the only positive thing is that the NFC East is worse than any time in recent memory. (LW: 6)
16 – No explanation (LW: 6)
The rankings range from as high as 7 to as low as 16. The most common rankings are 12, 13, and 16. The average ranking is 12.3, which is down nearly four spots from last week’s average of 8.4.
The Eagles are still skating on reputation a little bit here. That won’t be the case if they lose to the Giants on Thursday night. A win would prevent Philadelphia from falling and put them back towards top 10 territory.