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Take 2

A different spin on sports by The Seattle Times staff and readers.

December 3, 2014 at 6:00 AM

Seahawks vs. Eagles: Most NFL power rankings rate both in top 5

Next?

The Seahawks have knocked off teams either above or just below them in most NFL power rankings the past two weeks.

Can they make it three, with the Philadelphia Eagles next up for Seattle?

Several of the so-called experts who do the rankings for national media and major newspapers think so. Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com disagrees, though, and predicts the Seahawks will lose in Philly in this video.

By posting back-to-back 19-3 victories over the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers, the Seahawks have broken into the top 11 of the 16 NFL power ranking I could find. They’re No. 4 in four rankings, and as low as No. 8.

Philadelphia is the consensus No. 4 team, although the Eagles are as high as No. 2.

Green Bay took over the top spot in every power ranking by beating the New England Patriots.

Here is a roundup of this week’s power rankings.

SI.COM

Seahawks rank: No. 5 (up 3)

Seahawks comment: The Seahawks have allowed six points and 368 yards combined over the past two weeks — wins over Arizona and now San Francisco. Just like that, the possibilities of a Seattle division title and home-field advantage in the playoffs are back on the table. “Noooooooooo!” said the rest of the conference.

Eagles rank: No. 4 (up 1)

Eagles comment: Wait, maybe this was the most complete road game of the season. The Eagles led Dallas 14-0 before Jerry Jones had time to pay someone to carve open a diamond-encrusted turkey for him, en route to a 33-10 win that put Philadelphia in the driver’s seat of the NFC East. This is a Super Bowl-contending team, no doubt.

Top 10: No. 1, Packers; 2, Patriots; 3, Broncos; 4, Eagles; 5, Seahawks; 6, Bengals; 7, Colts; 8, Lions; 9, Dolphins; 10, Chargers.

USA TODAY

Seahawks rank: No. 4 (up 4)

Seahawks comment: They’re not out of the woods, but remaining NFC West schedule suddenly doesn’t seem so ominous. Plenty of heart inside these champs.

Eagles rank: No. 5 (up 3)

Eagles comment: The most impressive takeaway from their Dallas demolition? Both Philly lines dominated the Cowboys in the trenches.

Top 10: No. 1, Packers; 2, Patriots; 3, Broncos; 4,

FOXSPORTS.COM

Seahawks rank: No. 5 (up 1)

Seahawks comment: The defense has played inspired football over the last two games, holding the 49ers and Cardinals to just six points combined. Although they’re not generating the same pass rush as they had in 2013, the defense has gotten healthy in recent weeks.

Eagles rank: No. 4 (up 3)

Eagles comment: The Eagles have developed a blueprint for running Chip Kelly’s offense with Mark Sanchez at the helm, and Sanchez is now 3-1 as a starter with the Eagles. On defense they continue to live and die with the play of their front seven — on a good week, they generate enough pressure to hide the secondary.

Top 10: No. 1, Packers; 2, Patriots; 3, Broncos; 4, Eagles; 5, Seahawks; 6, Lions; 7, Colts; 8, Cowboys; 9, Cardinals; 10, Dolphins.

YAHOO.COM

Seahawks rank: No. 5 (up 4)

Seahawks comment:  The Marshawn Lynch retirement talk has never really seemed like an empty negotiating ploy to me, because I can only imagine how his body feels at the end of each season.

Eagles rank: No. 4 (up 1)

Eagles comment: I’m glad the Seattle defense has looked like its usual self the past couple weeks, because it makes Sunday’s matchup very interesting.

Top 10: No. 1, Packers; 2, Patriots; 3, Broncos; 4, Eagles; 5, Seahawks; 6, Colts; 7, Cowboys; 8, Cardinals; 9, Lions; 10, Dolphins.

ESPN.COM

Seahawks rank: No. 5 (up 2)

Seahawks comment: Seattle needed Thursday’s win. The Seahawks will close the season against their division and the 9-3 Eagles (.625 win pct), the second-hardest closing stretch of any team in the league.

Eagles rank: No. 4 (up 2)

Eagles comment: The Eagles gained 244 yards on 40 designed rushes (excluding scrambles and kneeldowns) Thursday, the most yards on designed rushes by Philadelphia since Week 16 of 2013.

Top 10: No. 1, Packers; 2, Patriots; 3, Broncos; 4, Eagles; 5, Seahawks; 6, Colts; 7, Cardinals; 8, Cowboys; 9, Chargers; 10, Bengals.

NFL.COM

Seahawks rank: No. 6 (up 3)

Seahawks comment: Impressive performance from the defending champs, who left no doubt about the query we tossed out in last week’s Power Rankings. Yes, the bully is back. Now the question is, can Seattle overtake Arizona in the NFC West race?

Eagles rank: No. 4 (up 2)

Eagles comment: Mark Sanchez, take a bow, man. What an efficient, effective outing from one of the most maligned quarterbacks in NFL history. That’s no exaggeration. He has taken heat from all corners of God’s green Earth, yet he was masterful Thursday, knowing precisely where to go with the ball every single snap. My question for the #bleedinggreen is simple: Do you trust Sanchez through the rest of the season and postseason?

Top 10: No. 1, Packers; 2, Patriots; 3, Broncos; 4, Eagles; 5, Colts; 6, Seahawks; 7, Cardinals; 8, Cowboys; 9, Lions; 10, Bengals.

CBSSPORTS.COM (PAT KIRWAN)

Seahawks rank: No. 5 (up 6)

Seahawks comment: The Seahawks have held their last two opponents (Arizona, San Francisco) to a total of six points combined. They also have wins over Green Bay and Denver so maybe they should be in the top three. Anyway, they travel to Philadelphia this week and the winner of that game will be in the top three.

Eagles rank: No. 4 (up 1)

Eagles comment: Mark Sanchez is more than holding down the fort while Nick Foles is out. This up-tempo no-huddle offense can break down opponents and the defense is playing much better. Week 14 brings the Seahawks to town for a real test.

Top 10: No. 1, Packers; 2, Patriots; 3, Broncos; 4, Eagles; 5, Seahawks; 6, Colts; 7, Cardinals; 8, Lions; 9, Bengals; 10, Cowboys.

CBSSPORTS.COM (PETE PRISCO)

Seahawks rank: No. 8 (same)

Seahawks comment: That defense is getting right for the stretch run. It will need to be good this week against the Eagles.

Eagles rank: No. 5 (up 1)

Eagles comment: If the defense continues to play at the same level it did against the Cowboys, this could be a Super Bowl team. Now comes a tough one with Seattle.

Top 10: No. 1, Packers; 2, Patriots; 3, Broncos; 4, Cardinals; 5, Eagles; 6, Cowboys;  7,  Bengals; 8, Seahawks; 9, Colts; 10, Lions.

HOUSTON CHRONICLE

Seahawks rank: No. 4 (up 3)

Seahawks comment: In consecutive wins over Cards and 49ers, Seahawks allowed only 2 field goals total. They’re first in defense (285.8 ypg).

Eagles rank: No. 5 (up 1)

Eagles comment: It’ll be interesting to see if Eagles are distracted in Seattle game by reports the University of Florida is interested in Chip Kelly.

Top 10: No. 1. Packers; 2, Patriots; 3, Broncos; 4, Seahawks; 5, Eagles; 6, Cardinals; 7, Bengals; 8, Colts; 9, Lions; 10, Cowboys.

WASHINGTON POST

Seahawks rank: No. 6 (down 1)

Seahawks comment:  The Seahawks increased their playoff chances by 16.6 percentage points after Thursday’s victory over the 49ers.

Eagles rank: No. 4 (up 1)

Eagles comment: LeSean McCoy is back, rushing for 159 yards and a touchdown. Linebacker Brandon Graham was solid, pressuring the quarterback five times and making two stops against the run.

Top 10: No. 1, Packers; 2, Broncos; 3, Patriots; 4, Eagles; 5, Colts; 6, Seahawks; 7, Chargers; 8, Cardinals; 9, Lions; 10, Bengals.

DETROIT NEWS

Seahawks rank: No. 6 (up 1)

Seahawks comment: After topping the Cardinals last week, they got another impressive win, over the 49ers. Their next three games, at the Eagles, versus the 49ers and at Arizona, will play a big part in determining the NFC playoff seeding.

Eagles rank: No. 4 (up 2)

Eagles comment: They played one of their best games of the season in a nice road win over the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. Mark Sanchez continues to guide the ship and LeSean McCoy (159 yards, touchdown) was a force in the backfield.

Top 10: 1, Packers; 2, Patriots; 3, Broncos; 4, Eagles; 5, Cardinals; 6, Seahawks; 7, Colts; 8, Cowboys; 9, Lions; 10, Bengals.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC/AZ CENTRAL

Seahawks rank: No. 6 (up 4)

Seahawks comment: They’re just one game behind the Cardinals and gaining steam fast. Lots of it.  … And, yes, I believe they’ll be ranked ahead of the Eagles next week. The two teams played each other Sunday in a game that is not to be missed.

Eagles rank: No. 5 (up 3)

Eagles comment: They’re 9-3 and tops in the NFC East, but Mark Sanchez scares me. I know this guy has had a bit of a rebirth in Philadelphia, but we used to laugh at this guy, right? He’s got a huge game in front of him this week when the Seahawks come to town, and as much as the Eagles have impressed, I think the Legion of Boom eats Sanchez for lunch.

Top 10: No. 1, Packers; 2, Patriots; 3, Broncos; 4, Colts; 5, Eagles; 6, Seahawks; 7, Bengals; 8, Cardinals; 9, 49ers; 10, Chargers.

BUSINESS INSIDER

Seahawks rank: No. 4 (same)

Seahawks comment: The defense is rebounding from a slow start to the year. They’ve given up six points in two games since Bobby Wagner came back from injury.

Eagles rank: No. 5 (up 1)

Eagles comment: Mark Sanchez has conquered the Butt Fumble

Top 10: No. 1, Packers; 2, Patriots; 3, Broncos; 4, Seahawks; 5, Eagles; 6, Colts; 7, Bengals; 8, Cardinals; 9, Lions; 10, Chargers.

NOLA.COM / NEW ORLEANS TIMES-PICAYUNE

Seahawks rank: No. 4 (up 4)

Seahawks comment: Look who is climbing their way back to top. … The sleeper in all of this may be the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. Seattle, which jumped into the No. 4 position in the rankings this week, has put together two straight victories and has won five of its last six to pose a serious threat to Arizona in the NFC West.

Eagles rank: No. 6 (up 3)

Eagles comment: Mark Sanchez looking like capable replacement for Foles.

Top 10: 1, Packers; 2, Patriots; 3, Broncos; 4, Seahawks; 5, Bengals; 6, Eagles; 7, Lions; 8, Colts; 9, Chiefs; 10, Colts.

SB NATION

Seahawks rank: No. 5 (up 4)

Seahawks comment: Next week, I suspect we’ll be talking about the Seahawks ascending toward the top of the power rankings. Seattle’s defense hasn’t allowed a touchdown in two weeks. Its last two opponents — the Cardinals and 49ers — scored a combined six points. So, yeah, the Seahawks are out of whatever funk it was we were gossiping about six weeks ago. Their upcoming game against the Eagles should be a lot of fun.

Eagles rank: No. 2 (up 1)

Eagles comment: Philadelphia’s outstanding special teams play continued this week. This time the hero was rookie kicker Cody Parkey, who made all four of his field goal attempts in a Thanksgiving Day win against the Cowboys. Parkey now leads the NFL with 27 field goals. The big story for the Eagles this time wasn’t the competent play from Mark Sanchez, but LeSean McCoy picking up where he left off last week. Shady’s 159 rushing yards were a season high and his 6.4 yards per attempt was his second-best effort this year. The Eagles aren’t just winning games this year, they’re blowing the doors off opponents. Of Philadelphia’s nine wins, only three of those games have been decided by a touchdown or less.

Top 10: No. 1, Packers; 2, Eagles; 3, Broncos; 4, Patriots; 5, Seahawks; 6, Colts; 7, Cardinals; 8, Bengals; 9, Chargers; 10, Cowboys.

BLEACHER REPORT

Seahawks rank: No. 8 (up 1)

Seahawks comment: The Seattle Seahawks’ demise was overrated…or premature. Either way, they’re back in the mix after taking care of the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals in back-to-back weeks. And while the Cardinals struggle with Drew Stanton under center, you have to think the Seahawks will find a way to win the NFC West and make another run.

On paper, this team isn’t as strong as the Super Bowl-winning version from last year, and it hasn’t been as dominant during the regular season. But if the Seahawks get hot to end the year and stay healthy, it’s tough to imagine anyone in the NFC being a great bet to beat them.

We’ll find out just how good the Seahawks are very soon. They close the season in Philadelphia, at home against the 49ers, on the road in Arizona and then at home against the Rams in Week 17. All four games are winnable, but all four will be against tough opponents.

Eagles rank: No. 4 (up 3)

Eagles comment: Each week leading up to Week 13, I was holding on to the belief that the Dallas Cowboys—with Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray—were a better overall team than the Mark Sanchez-led Philadelphia Eagles. Chip Kelly put that notion to rest with a standout performance on Thanksgiving—a 33-10 Philadelphia victory.

The Eagles may not be perfect on paper, but on the field they are incredibly tough to beat. Kelly’s offense puts skill players in space and asks the defense to be perfect as tacklers. That’s damn-near impossible in an NFL era that restricts practices in pads and how often players actually hit one another. That offense (and a great offensive line) allows Sanchez to do what he does best: attack underneath coverage and get the ball out of his hands fast.

It’s a recipe that works well, and with a definitive win over Dallas, the Eagles make a big move up this week.

Top 10: No. 1, Packers; 2, Patriots; 3, Broncos; 4, Eagles; 5, Colts; 6, Cardinals; 7, Lions; 8, Seahawks; 9, Cowboys; 10, Bengals.

Want to be a reader contributor to The Seattle Times’ Take 2 blog? Email your original, previously unpublished work or proposal to Sports Editor Don Shelton at dshelton@seattletimes.com or sports@seattletimes.com. Not all submissions can be published. Opinions expressed are those of authors, and The Times reserves the right to edit and publish any submissions online and/or in print.

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