The Philadelphia Eagles hold the NFL’s best record (8-1) following Week 9 and have many wondering whether this team is Super Bowl bound.
The Eagles have not made the playoffs since 2013, but second-year quarterback Carson Wentz has brought hope back to the City of Brotherly Love.
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft is playing at an MVP level and leads the league with 23 touchdown passes following Sunday’s 51-23 blowout win over the Denver Broncos. He ranks fourth in the NFL in passing yards (2,262) and has also accounted for 211 yards on the ground this season.
The Eagles 6-foot-5, 237-pound quarterback is clearly the catalyst for Philadelphia’s newly improved offense, but defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has the defense playing at another level in his second season.
The Eagles are allowing the 12th fewest points and 11th fewest yards in the NFL so far this season, but it’s Philly’s dynamic defensive line that separates this team from other contenders in the NFC.
Two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Fletcher Cox leads the way for Philadelphia’s front-seven, but the Eagles have no shortage of talent up front. Cox and fellow starting defensive linemen Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, and Tim Jernigan have recorded a combined 14 sacks and 18 tackles for a loss this season and that’s just the team’s starters.
The Eagles are loaded with depth along the defensive line. Veteran defensive end Chris Long and rookie Derek Barnett have also combined for 5.5 sacks coming off the bench. Philadelphia’s defense as a whole is tied for the sixth most team sacks (25) in the league entering Week 10, proving their defensive line is one of the fiercest in the NFL.
While the Eagles solved their biggest glaring hole this offseason, wide receiver, many still question if they have a legitimate shot at making the Super Bowl.
The Seattle Seahawks looked to be the favorites in the NFC prior to Week 9 due to their experience, but Sunday’s loss to the Washington Redskins only showcased how open the conference truly is.
Philadelphia should be considered the Super Bowl favorite in the NFC at this point, but that doesn’t mean the Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, Minnesota Vikings, and Seahawks are out of the picture.
The Eagles have beaten just one team with a winning record (Carolina) this season and have three wins against .500 opponents.
Second-year head coach Doug Pederson has surely turned the Eagles into a contender in the NFC, but with two games against Dallas and road games against Seattle and Los Angeles, the NFC playoff picture is far from certain.