Haters around the nation may not want to admit it but the 2010 Philadelphia Eagles are the best team in the NFL. It is more than just the spectacular offense led by Michael Vick. The Eagles as a team are the most well rounded unit in the NFL and barring injury are Super Bowl bound.
I am a Philadelphia Eagles fan but I went into the season with low expectations. We were led to believe that the Eagles would take a step back after losing franchise quarterback Donovan McNabb along with the departure of veteran DB Sheldon Brown on defense. Not even the biggest Michael Vick fan expected the Eagles to be a team that would not only thrive in 2010-11, but contend for the Super Bowl. If there is one lesson to be learned by the 2010-11 Philadelphia Eagles, it is that there is no such thing as expert analysis in the NFL.
[adinserter block=”2″]My original title when thinking about this blog was that the Philadelphia Eagles are the best team in the NFC. Then I thought about it. While the NFL Power Rankings change weekly, most concede that the Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, and New York Jets are the best in the AFC. Overall, the Atlanta Falcons, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the New England Patriots seem to take weekly turns at the top spot. Are the Eagles in its current state better than any of those three teams? Damn right they are!
Let’s start on offense. This year’s Eagles offense at this point is the most potent of any under Andy Reid’s tenure. I would argue that the offense is easily better than the 2004 offense that went to the Super Bowl. The 2010-11 Eagles offense is comparable to the 2009-10 Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints and the AFC champion 2008-2009 New England Patriots offenses. Teams will figure Michael Vick out in the offseason, but this entire offense will dominate defenses until the off season. It is more than just about Michael Vick. Vick, DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy, and Jeremy Maclin present arguably the fastest offense in the NFL. You can’t defend these guys if you can’t catch them and most teams aren’t catching them.
This defense is more the surprise to me than the offense. We knew that the offense would be fine with Jackson, McCoy, and Maclin, but Asante Samuel and Ellis Hobbs sounded like a disaster going into the season. Dimitri Patterson has stepped in for Hobbs and the two are playing better than Samuel and Brown ever did. Nate Allen has been a huge upgrade at Free Safety. The defense is young and like the offense, fast. This young defense took a few weeks but is finally coming together and contained the number one ranked offense this past Sunday, and did the same thing to Peyton Manning a week earlier. The Eagles are doing two things they haven’t done well in the last few years and that is to stop the run and win the takeaway battle.
The Eagles are currently 7-3, but haven’t lost a game in which Michael Vick played a full game. Even more impressive is that the Eagles have played up to opponents for the first time that I can remember in the Andy Reid era. The Eagles with Vick playing complete games hold wins over some of the best teams in the NFL. The Eagles beat the Jacksonville Jaguars (28-3), the Atlanta Falcons (31-17, the Indianapolis Colts (26-24), and the New York Giants (27-17). The Falcons and Giants have been ranked as 1 and 2 in the NFC over the last several weeks. The Eagles not only beat them, but beat each team by double digits. How does this not make the Philadelphia Eagles the best in the NFC?
[adinserter block=”1″]Taking a look at the entire NFL, the AFC is more balanced than ever. The New England Patriots may be the biggest frauds of the bunch. This same power house just got thrashed by the 3-7 Cleveland Browns just three weeks ago. The Eagles (again with Vick playing complete games) haven’t been taken off guard by anyone and certainly haven’t been upset. The Jets are winning, but are barely hanging on against teams like the Browns and Detroit Lions. Neither the Jets nor the Patriots have the offense to keep up with the Eagles, nor do they have enough speedy players on defense to contain the birds. The Steelers are a tossup week to week and my gut feeling is that the defense would play mind games with Ben Roethlisberger all day. There is no reason that the Eagles should not be recognized as the number one team in the NFL.
This also goes back to something I have been writing about all season. Was Donovan McNabb really that good or was he a product of the system? How could an offense suddenly get that much better without its franchise QB? Take Vick out of the equation and even Kevin Kolb played well and at times better than McNabb. I think the McNabb we are seeing in Washington and the current Eagles offense should confirm that maybe Donovan McNabb wasn’t as good as those so called NFL experts would have you believe he is. The only team that made a mistake in the Donovan McNabb trade was the Washington Redskins.
Look, we still have a quarter left of the NFL scheduled to play. I write this knowing full well that injuries to key Eagles players would change the dynamics of this team in a second. The nature of Michael Vick’s play gives him a better chance than most quarterbacks of getting hurt. DeSean Jackson is one concussion away from missing the rest of the season. However, if the Philadelphia Eagles continue to play with its current roster there is nobody in the NFL that this team can’t and shouldn’t beat. It is time to recognize the Philadelphia Eagles as the best and most complete team in the NFL.
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