2017 NFL Power Rankings: Week 15
Talk about a pyrrhic victory.
The Philadelphia Eagles went into Los Angeles and topped the Rams in a battle of two of the best teams in the NFC. The result, an eight-point road win against a strong team, moved them into the top spot in our power rankings.
The only problem is the Eagles lost quarterback Carson Wentz in the process. Wentz had been playing like one of the best quarterbacks in the league and ranks second in the league (to Tom Brady) in Passing Net Expected Points (NEP, our proprietary metric which measures each play's impact; you can read more about it in our glossary).
Philly's offense is now in Nick Foles’ hands. In 2013, when Eagles coach Chip Kelly took the league by storm, Foles actually had one of the most efficient seasons in NFL history. In terms of adjusted net yards per pass relative to league average, it was the fourth-best season ever, behind only Peyton Manning’s 2004, Dan Marino’s 1984 and Aaron Rodgers’ 2011 (minimum 200 passes).
Of course, that was several years ago, and that number is somewhat propped up by an unsustainable 27-to-2 touchdown to interception ratio (both numbers are prone to randomness in small samples), but if we instead look at raw NY/A relative to league average, Foles’ 2013 is still tied for 23rd best since the merger. But it suggests that all hope is not lost for the Eagles, as Foles has at least shown he is capable of playing at a high level. Then again, he has not come remotely close to duplicating this level of performance since.
Foles only completed 58.9% of his 717 attempts thereafter, while averaging just 6.0 net yards per pass with 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. Among the 39 quarterbacks with at least 500 passes since 2014, only two have a worse ANY/A average and six have a worse NY/A average relative to the league mean than Foles.
The Eagles have a strong supporting cast, so it's probably fair to expect Foles to perform at a level somewhere in between his outstanding 2013 season and the subpar years since. Still, should Philadelphia remain the favorite in the NFC? Are the Eagles the best team in the league still? If Wentz were healthy, the numbers would say yes.
Here is how the rest of the league breaks down.