After kinda-sorta staying under the national radar for the first nine weeks of the season, the spotlight will certainly be on the Eagles when they return from their bye week.
Philadelphia plays on Sunday night in Week 11, Sunday night in Week 13, and Christmas night in Week 16. Toss in a Week 14 showdown against the 6-2 Rams (with the Goff-Wentz comparisons) and a Week 17 battle with Dallas, and you’ve got enough storylines to keep Philadelphia sports talk radio in business around-the-clock.
So we know the headlines will be there, but what about the actual teams? Sharp Football Stats gives us a great look at what the Eagles will expect over the last seven weeks of the season.
Philadelphia will play, by far, the easiest remaining schedule against opposing rush defenses. The only remaining opponent that ranks in the top-half of the NFL in rushing defense efficiency is Chicago, and they are 15th. Even though the offensive line depth looks a little thin without Jason Peters, the Eagles should remain a top-tier rushing offense through the end of the season.
Carson Wentz should be able to pad his MVP-level stats against the porous Dallas, Oakland, and NY Giants defenses, but the Week 12-14 stretch of Chicago-Seattle-LA Rams could provide some difficulties. Each of those teams rank in the top-10 of Sharp’s passing efficiency defenses.
One area where the Eagles will certainly be tested is the secondary. Five of Philadelphia’s seven remaining games are against teams in the top-12 of passing efficiency. Kansas City was the only top-10 passing team that Philadelphia faced in the first half of the season. It was also their only loss. Coincidence?
The Eagles defense has enjoyed a lot of success on third down this season, and that trend needs to continue. Dallas, Seattle, and the LA Rams are at the top of the league in third down conversions.
So what does it all mean?
The Eagles look a lot more “complete” than their upcoming opponents. Dallas is No. 30 in rushing defense and doesn’t know the fate of Ezekiel Elliott. Seattle’s offensive line is struggling to protect Russell Wilson. Chicago is starting a rookie quarterback. The Giants are a mess. Oakland can’t defend the pass.
Perhaps the biggest threat to the Eagles in the NFC is…The LA Rams?!