How do 2017’s version of the Philadelphia Eagles stack up against the other teams of this decade? One NFL expert gives his opinion.
Their quarterback and their head coach were both in the second season and finding their way in roles that weren’t very familiar to them. They both seemed to be wise beyond their years, but then, in the middle of a game the Philadelphia Eagles needed to win to guarantee they’d win the NFC East, the second year head coach, Doug Pederson, lost his franchise signal caller.
There Philly was. They’d need to go the rest of the way with the backup, Nick Foles, at the helm. Oh, and don’t forget they lost their starting left tackle, their starting middle linebacker, and a veteran running back.
How did that go? Well, there isn’t an Eagles fan on the planet that doesn’t know the answer. They’d finish the game they lost Carson Wentz in with a win. That gave them the NFC East. Then, they’d win the next two. The final game was a loss, but by then, they had earned the right to rest their starters because they had already clenched home-field advantage for a playoff push that would see them hoist the Lombardi Trophy.
It was a marvelous story written by a marvelous team, one of the best in Eagles history, but when things like this happen, sometimes, we subconsciously compare them to other great teams. Do you ever, in your own mind, compare them to other Super Bowl winners or just other great teams in general? Well, if you haven’t taken the time to do so, you should check out a story by NFL.com’s Tom Blair.
Recently, he ranked the top ten teams of this decade. Where did Philly land? Take a look for yourself. Here’s the list:
1. 2013 Seattle Seahawks
2. 2015 Carolina Panthers
3. 2017 Philadelphia Eagles
4. 2016 New England Patriots
5. 2013 Denver Broncos
6. 2015 Arizona Cardinals
7. 2012 San Francisco 49ers
8. 2011 Green Bay Packers
9. 2018 Kansas City Chiefs
10. 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars
We’ll go ahead and say something that we know you’re already thinking. How are some of these teams on the list? For instance, the 2013 Broncos were blown out in Super Bowl XLVIII, but the Broncos team that thoroughly dominated the second-ranked 2015 Panthers is nowhere to be found.
For some clarity, here’s the criteria:
"I’ve included each team’s seasonal rankings in offense, defense, points scored, points allowed and point differential, noting where applicable when teams rank within the top 10 of a certain category among teams of the decade. Also, to prevent this from becoming a list populated only by Patriots, Broncos and Seahawks, I limited myself to one representative from each franchise. This is an arbitrary rule that I feel great about."
Here’s some of what Blair had to say about the first team to win the Super Bowl for Philadelphia:
"The 2017 Eagles were one of the more dominant title-winning teams of the decade. Along with the 2016 Patriots, these Eagles are the only team to win the Super Bowl and rank in the top five in both scoring offense and scoring defense. They outscored their regular-season opponents by a margin of 10.2 points — which nearly matches the margin by which they defeated the Pats in one of the more entertaining Super Bowls of the era."
Add to that the fact that they took care of business in football’s biggest game against, perhaps, the greatest dynasty in the history of sports. No Carson Wentz? No problem. Surely, we’d all have to admit that the only way to settle this would be for these teams to battle it out, but seeing as how that can’t happen, we’ll just have to let our imaginations wonder.
The debate table is open ladies and gents. Mr. Blair has certainly created quite the conversation piece here.