What they're saying about the Eagles
Here's a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles:
The Eagles are 21st in ESPN.com's power rankings. Writes NFC East blogger Dan Graziano:
A road win in Miami is a good win right now, the way the Dolphins have been playing, so the Eagles get the win and slide up three spots. Just 17 more gets them back to their preseason ranking! Again, as with Dallas, there are a bunch of teams right in front of them -- Seattle, Arizona, Chicago -- that all beat them head-to-head. So the ranking looks about right.
Elliot Harrison of NFL.com has the Eagles at No. 21:
While wins by the Falcons and Lions ruled out what was already a Shawn Bradley-thin chance of earning a wild-card berth, the NFC East title still is in play. Defensive coordinator Juan Castillo has taken more criticism than any assistant in pro football (although Arena ball hasn't started yet), but his unit was disruptive Sunday, starting with holding Miami to 3 of 15 on third down.
SI.com's Don Banks isn't sure any of the NFC East teams deserve to be in the playoffs:
As for Philadelphia, in the unlikely event the Eagles make the playoffs after registering as the biggest disappointment in recent NFL history through the season's first 12 games, I would submit a division championship by them would indeed speak volumes about how far the once-feared NFC East has fallen. Philadelphia's only consistent qualities this season have been the depth of its underachievement, and the creativity its star-studded roster has shown in finding new ways to lose fourth-quarter leads, mostly at home before its rabid and frustrated fan base.
But Banks isn't ready to completely rule out the Eagles:
The "Good'' Eagles made a return showing for their game at Miami on Sunday, and believe it or not, there's still some hope for Philadelphia in the NFC East race. The Eagles are 5-8, and would have to win at home next week against the Jets, at Dallas in Week 16 and home against Washington in Week 17. Then they'd need some help. How much help? If Dallas (7-6) loses two of its last three, and the Giants (7-6) go 1-2, the 8-8 Eagles would win the division. Remarkable. And not entirely implausible.
Brian Billick of FoxSports.com has the Eagles 21st in his power rankings:
The Eagles may have had their best all-around game on Sunday against the Dolphins. With Jason Babin and Trent Cole leading the way, the defensive line accumulated nine sacks and an interception. Making this group of players into a team is an ongoing effort, but they appear to be ironing it out.
In his pre-Bowl mock draft, Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com has the Eagles taking Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still:
Will Andy Reid be back next year? Will DeSean Jackson? Do the Eagles hire a new defensive coordinator and install a new scheme? There are several questions to be addressed in Philly before the Draft, but one thing for certain is the rush defense needs to improve. Philadelphia's interior defensive line's been a sore spot all season. They could go a variety of directions to address the holes on D, but I think they take Still — a 6-4, 310-pound local product out of Wilmington, Delaware.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com has the Eagles 19th:
So they do have a pulse? Strange as it might seem, they are still alive.
Michael Silver of Yahoo Sports has the Eagles 19th:
When Michael Vick plays the way he did in Miami on Sunday, doesn't my case for keeping Andy Reid seem that much stronger?
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has the Eagles 25th:
It was refreshing to see the Eagles finally kill a coach other than their own.
The National Football Post has the Eagles 19th:
Can the Eagles put together two wins in a row when they host the Jets this weekend?
Football Outsiders took a look at how teams varied in their performance from the first three quarters to the fourth. They found that the Eagles had the 10th-ranked defense in the first three quarters, but were 29th in the fourth.
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