Where the 2-0 Eagles stand in latest National NFL Power Rankings
Even though the Philadelphia Eagles have started the season with a 2-0 record, their wins lack the style points that other NFL teams have showcased at the start of the 2023 NFL season. There are nine teams that have started this NFL season undefeated, so how many of them are better than the Eagles?
On Tuesday, both NFL.com and The Athletic published their latest NFL Power Rankings online atfer the first two weeks of the NFL season. Both national media Power Rankings had the Eagles ranked as the third-best team in the NFL right now. It appears the Eagles are being given demerits for winning close games against two teams that are a combined 0-4 this season (Patriots and Vikings).
Here is what the NFL.com Power Rankings had to say about the Eagles sitting at third overall:
"Even if the Eagles haven’t fully hit their stride offensively, D’Andre Swift's breakout game in the 34-28 win over the Vikings was a pleasant development, posing an interesting backfield challenge once Kenneth Gainwell is fully healthy. It stood out to me that the offensive line seemed out of sync in pass protection vs. Minnesota, almost forcing the run-heavy drive that seemed to light a fire under the offense. That unit should be fine. But the banged-up secondary will need every extra minute of rest before Monday’s game against the 2-0 Bucs."
The teams ahead of the Eagles on the NFL.com Power Rankings are the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs, two teams with flaws in their own starts to the season. The 49ers won a close game in Week Two against a good Los Angeles Rams team and in Week One dominated a mediocre Pittsburgh Steelers team. Meanwhile, the Chiefs won an ugly road game in Jacksonville against the Jaguars in Week Two while they lost in Week One at home against the Detroit Lions. The injuries for the Eagles are definitely a concern early on this season and considering both teams ahead of them in these rankings have healthier rosters right now, this seems like an overall fair spot for the Eagles. But the Chiefs are a more muddy resume than Philadelphia so they should not be ahead of the Eagles in any Power Rankings.
Here is why The Athletic NFL Power Rankings placed the Eagles in the third spot on their list:
"Quarterback Jalen Hurts is not throwing the ball as well as he did last season. His expected points added (EPA) per dropback (.17) ranked eighth in the league in 2022. Through two weeks, it’s .00, which is 21st in the league. So far, it doesn’t matter (as) Philadelphia ran the ball 64 percent of the time against the Vikings and gained 259 yards on the ground. Both of those numbers are league highs this season."
I understand that Jalen Hurts has not had the caliber start to his season statistically that some people expected, but last year Hurts also started out slowly also: Jalen Hurts had just four Passing Touchdowns through the first five games of last season and then had 18 Touchdown Passes in the final 10 games he played. Plus, Hurts has the same number of Passing Touchdowns (2) and the same Completion Percentage (71%) through the first two games this season as Cowboys' Quarterback Dak Prescott. But The Athletic has those Dallas Cowboys as the number one team in their NFL Power Rankings and says it is because of their offense. Yet that Cowboys offense has very much benefited from a Cowboys defense that has the best Turnover Ratio in the NFL this season (+7).
It is early on this 2023 NFL season and I am not the type of person for overreactions, so I am fine with the Eagles as the third best team in the NFL after two weeks. But ranking the Chiefs and Cowboys ahead of the Eagles is something I cannot agree with at all. The Eagles getting some classic disrespect from some people in the National Media - By the way, ESPN's NFL Nation also has the Eagles ranked as the third best in their Power Rankings.