In Week 16, the Philadelphia Eagles eviscerated the Chicago Bears on national television 54-11. This statement game demonstrated that the Eagles’ offense, defense and special teams were capable of dominating a talented, well-coached football team. Yet, that game was dismissed as “meaningless” by the national sports media. Even if that game lacked playoff consequences, it was just one of many dominant Eagles victories in the second half of the season. From Week 9 through Week 16, the Eagles scored 252 points compared to 149 points allowed – an astounding +103-point differential.
Surely, going on the road and beating the Dallas Cowboys in Cowboys Stadium with a playoff berth on the line in Week 17 would force NFL experts to make the Eagles one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl. But even after a road victory and a 7-1 record in the second half, sports media platforms continue to underrate the Eagles. Indeed, despite featuring the league’s leading rusher in LeSean McCoy, top-rated passer in Nick Foles and a defense that has allowed less than 23 points in 10 out of its last 11 games, sports journalists continue to describe the Eagles as “inconsistent,” “Jekyll and Hyde” and “gimmicky.”
A quick Internet search reveals that the Eagles are ranked no higher than seventh on several major sports media power rankings:
Associated Press: 10th
CBS Sports: 10th
NBC Sports: seventh
While the Eagles are widely perceived as a long shot to win the Super Bowl, one website, that is highly regarded by stat geeks, considers the Eagles one of the NFL’s few elite teams. Footballoutsiders.com ranks Philadelphia third in Weighted Team Efficiency. Their weighed system assigns more impact to recent games to account for in-season improvement and player health. With teammates and coaches getting more in-sync as the season progresses, and key players regularly landing on injured reserve, it stands to reason that a team’s Week 17 performance is a more accurate gauge of its true ability than what happened on a hot day in September.
Outside a few niche analytical sites, the Eagles remain undervalued. Even Las Vegas has been slow to catch on to the Eagles’ dominance. Per vegasinsider.com, the Philadelphia Eagles are 20-1 odds to win the Super Bowl. This line actually moved down from 18-1 before their recent win at Dallas.
After starting the season outside everyone’s top 20, the Philadelphia Eagles remain the most undervalued and under-appreciated team in the NFL.