It's mid-May, so obviously it's time for NFL Power Rankings! Both ESPN.com and SI.com have released their incredibly early preseason power rankings, and both of them have the Eagles just outside the top ten. Here are their rankings and their thoughts on the Eagles:
Comments: Last season, they hit their stride when it was too late. With a fully healed Donovan McNabb and an improved secondary, the Eagles could be dangerous.
Comments: The story's the same as ever in Reid-land: Donovan McNabb has to stay upright for 16 games for this team to have a chance to play deep into January. He's missed two, four and seven starts in the last three years. That's partly why the Eagles have fallen considerably short of their second Super Bowl appearance in the McNabb era.
Two assists for him this year. Lorenzo Booker's a better alter-ego to Brian Westbrook than Correll Buckhalter has been. And DeSean Jackson, even at 170 pounds soaking wet, should be a bit more of a stretch-the-defense third or fourth receiver than McNabb has had. If Jackson does nothing else, at least he'll spice up the blah return game (8.1 yards per punt return and 21.7 on kickoffs is no way to win ball games). Oh, and it would be nice if McNabb's tackles could block the Giants.My thoughts: Those rankings seem about right for the Eagles, although I was very surprised to see the Minnesota Vikings ranked higher than the Eagles in both rankings, they don't even have a quarterback. Both ESPN and SI make the obvious statement that McNabb has to stay healthy if the Eagles want to make any noise this year. SI thinks McNabb has plenty of new weapons to keep him happy, although most Eagle fans would still prefer a true number one receiver. I am excited to see some offensive plays with both Booker and Westbrook in the backfield; they will make a dangerous combination.
I like the make-up of this Eagles team, they should be very competitive in a difficult NFC East. It's way to early to tell, but a return to the playoffs looks likely. Their defense appears to be above average again so it may simply come down to how effective McNabb and the offense can be. Of course, we are still about 4 months away from the season, so no one really knows anything yet.