Don’t look now— the once unsuspecting Philadelphia Eagles have won three of their last four games and are now only two games out of first place in the NFC East.
At 5-6, the Eagles’ outlook appears much brighter than it did when they were 2-5 and had just lost 33-22 to the Las Vegas Raiders, a game in which Derek Carr threw for 323 yards while the team ran for 119.
Phili’s resurgence has also come at the perfect time, with the division-leading Dallas Cowboys dropping two of their last three contests, opening the door to a challenge for the crown.
The Eagles (On Paper)
Through 11 weeks of football, the Eagles have climbed to second in Offensive Rusher Rating, led by 618 yards and eight touchdowns from Jalen Hurts, the most and second-most in the league at his position.
Hurts is more than a second rusher in the backfield, however, as he has led his team to eighth in Real Quarterback Rating, sandwiched between the New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers. They also bear a claim to one of the league’s two best offensive lines, currently tying for the lead in Offensive Hog Index. Having a solid line is of the utmost importance for young quarterbacks, and Phili’s organization has done a great job setting up their young asset for success.
All of these factors have combined to move the Eagles into fourth in Scoreability, a metric designed to measure the efficiency with which teams can score against how many yards they gain. Although their defense is nearly the complete opposite, ranking 19th in Bendability, their young and athletic offense has done enough, especially in this mid-season turnaround, to carry them in relevancy, at the very least.
The Eagles (On the Field)
Philadelphia does not play a style of football that is necessarily easy on the eyes; at times, it looks almost as if a disorganized college coach is running the show, with runs coming from everywhere, Hurts tucking and running on passing plays, and lots of movement around the line of scrimmage. However, this is just a byproduct of the Eagles’ approach, which is to use their speed and strength to overwhelm opposing defenses.
In the past two weeks, Phili has hung 30 and 40 points on two of the league’s most feared defenses, the Denver Broncos and New Orleans Saints. Clearly, the aesthetics of their play do not directly correlate to their output, which has been off the charts as of late.
DeVonta Smith has been all that the team had hoped he would be when they selected him in the first round of the most recent NFL draft, giving Hurts the playmaker that he needed at wideout. The team could still benefit from bringing in more speed and consistency on Hurts’ flanks, but for now, they have an assembly of offensive ability worthy of rivaling first-round playoff teams.
There are still six games left to be played on Philadelphia’s schedule, but with five of their six remaining opponents currently claiming losing records, it is not a longshot to say that the Eagles could find themselves in the playoffs this January.