PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For months and months we listen to the analysis, the projections, and then finally the futile predictions for the upcoming NFL season.
Throw it out. Throw it all out. Everyone was wrong. You were wrong. I was wrong. We were all wrong.
The 2016 Philadelphia Eagles are legit.
According to FootballOutsiders.com’s DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) metric, which measures a team’s efficiency by comparing every single play to league average and incoporating situation and opponent, the Eagles are the BEST team in the NFL.
The Eagles have a league-best 46.5-percent DVOA. They’re offense (18.8-percent) is ranked fifth in the NFL, their defense (-29.0-percent) is ranked second, and their special teams (-1.3-percent) is ranked 20th.
Furthemore, Football Outsiders says the Eagles have a 28.0-percent change to reach the NFC title game, a 14.2-percent of reaching the Super Bowl, and a 7.0-percent chance to win the Super Bowl. Those percentanges are the fifth highest in the NFL, behind the Seahawks, Patriots, Chiefs, and Ravens.
Beginning in Week 4, the website will incorporate strength of schedule and it acknowledges that the Eagles’ first two opponents were well below average. Regardless, a 34-3 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers is impressive, any which way you slice it.
“Two of the Eagles wins come against the teams currently ranked 31st and 32nd, Chicago and Cleveland,” Aaron Schatz wrote. “However, I think it’s fairly reasonable to assume that their third opponent, the Steelers, are not going to have a below-average DVOA all season, especially now that they are getting Le’Veon Bell back.”
National NFL anaylsts are changing their tune on the Eagles as well.
SI.com’s Peter King wrote the Eagles are “legitimate deep-into-January contenders.” NFL analyst Charles Davis believes many anaylsts are going to have to come off their preseason projections when it comes to the Eagles, calling them legit playoff contenders.
“The side most of us probably didn’t get enough credence to was Jim Schwartz’s impact on the defense,” Davis told the 94WIP Mike & Ike Show on Thursday. “Because now, you have a team that is a legit playoff team because let’s go ahead and look at the NFC East real fast. The Giants got off to a 2-0 start, look like they had it in hand, it gets away. They’re 2-1 with Washington coming in, getting them. Washington, the defending champs, I’m not sure they scare anyone. Dallas, being Dallas, they also have a rookie quarterback. They’re off to a start that they would like, but again you look at Dallas defensively and you keep wondering how can they keep it up? When will they ever generate pass rush? When will they do this?
“I think in the NFC East, there’s no doubt in my mind Philadelphia is already a team that you should say is a legit playoff contender even though it’s a small sample. I think a lot of people rode them off before the season began and they’re gonna have to re-adjust their thinking.”