No One Ever Accused Philadelphia Eagles Fans Of Being Reasonable, Sane, Or Level-Headed.
The birds are off to a 5-1 start, which begs the question: are they the class of the NFC?
The Philadelphia Eagles allow just 65.7 yards rushing per game. They average 132.5 yards on the ground offensively. Both of those are good for top 5 rankings in the NFL. Ground dominance is never a bad thing, no matter how many sexy passing records are broken every year. This allows Philadelphia to slow down and control games if and when they need to finish off nailbiters.
Ironically, the Eagles’ best performance in this young season may have been in their only loss. Before the Chiefs ran into black and gold kryptonite (and most recently black and silver), they looked nigh unstoppable. But in week 2, the Eagles were felled by one score at Arrowhead Stadium, the most difficult stadium for opposing teams to play in, in this observer’s mind.
The ageless Darren Sproles looked spry (minus a key fumble). Carson Wentz stood tall and delivered bullets. The defense held strong, particularly in the first half. Holding an explosive Chiefs offense to mostly field goals for three quarters is a positive indicator.
An unexpected X-factor for the men in green is cornerback Patrick Robinson. A former first-round pick by the Saints in 2010, Robinson is enjoying his best professional season after a few years as a journeyman. If he can continue playing at a high level, that is a killer combination to go with the birds’ stout run D.
So who can beat the Philadelphia Eagles? Let’s first examine the casualties.
The Cowboys have lost their mojo. The offensive line is looking pedestrian and Zeke Elliot will eventually be watching from the sidelines. The Packers are Aaron Rodgersless. Game over man, game over.
Arizona, Washington, and New Orleans are threats.
Now that we are all floating on a big green cloud, allow me to bring us back to reality. Seattle and Atlanta still have football teams. How quickly we forget about the Falcons who nearly (should have) won the Super Bowl and are still incredibly talented on both sides of the ball.
Remember Darren Sproles? The spark plug of the Eagles offense we talked about earlier? He’s out for the season with a broken arm and torn ACL. The ground game will still be strong, but Sproles is irreplaceable as a specific type of offensive threat.
The fact of the matter remains, I’d still take Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson or Drew Brees over Carson Wentz in the fourth quarter in January. Hell, I might even take Cam Newton and Carson Palmer over him as well. This is absolutely not a knock on Wentz. He is a young man playing the most difficult position in the game.
The Eagles are very good – perhaps the best all-around package the NFL has to offer at the moment. I just think they need another year to get ready for prime time. Look for them to breeze through the weak NFC East before having a wake-up call in the playoffs.