AP Photo/Matt Slocum
After defeating Patrick Mahomes-led Kansas City Chiefs 21-17 in Week 11’s Monday Night Football Primetime showdown between the two teams of last year’s Super Bowl LVII, the Philadelphia Eagles continued displaying their dominance in a thrilling 37-34 overtime win against Josh Allen’s Buffalo Bills in Week 12.
The Eagles now improved to (10-1), which is the best in the NFC by far with the next two closest teams being the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions both sitting a (8-3) respectively with the Bills now dropping to (6-6) and on the verge of missing the postseason.
So why should the Eagles be considered Super Bowl favorites?
Let's get into why.
Jalen Hurts Continues to Do It All
The Eagles quarterback might not have the best statistical year of his career (that was last season), but he’s still been playing at a high enough level to help his team win and be considered an MVP candidate.
He’s currently 11th in total passing yards with 2,697 and 6th in QBR (63.6). His TD-Int ratio could be a little better, throwing 18 touchdowns paired with 10 interceptions through the first twelve weeks of the season.
That’s down from last year's full package of 22-6 and QBR rating of 68.3. Nonetheless, it hasn’t affected his team from winning games so as long as he can cut down on the turnovers they should have nothing to worry about.
Against the Bills on Sunday, Hurts was rather impressive despite playing with a knee contusion. He threw for 200 passing yards on 18-of-31 completions for three touchdowns and one interception.
He also had two rushing touchdowns with one of those coming in overtime to help seal the game for the Eagles in what were chaotic weather conditions with pouring rain and cold in Philadelphia.
He’s elite at adapting on the fly when the defensive pressure is coming, seemingly knowing almost when to run or throw at the precise moment.
He’s a natural leader and everything you would want in the modern quarterback.
Dynamic Wide Receiver Duo
Now Hurts can’t do it alone, as who can in any team sport let alone football. He’s fortunate enough to have two dynamic receivers in All-Pro AJ Brown and young budding star DeVonta Smith as a great No.2.
Brown is right up there in the league as the best receiver in the game, easily top three whether you have him, Tyreek Hill of the Miami Dolphins, or Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings.
Through 11 games Brown has 73 receptions for over 1,050 yards and seven touchdowns with 14.4 yards per catch. He’s on pace to pass a career-high of 11 touchdowns in a season, achieving that milestone twice, last season and in the 2020 season as a member of the Tennessee Titans.
Brown has had no fumbles through 11 games this season so he’s someone you can rely upon to not only be the monster route runner and receiver that he is, but also someone you can rely on who won’t run the ball over often if at all.
Smith is on pace to have the most single-season reception yards and touchdowns of his young career with 738 reception yards and five touchdowns already in 11 games.
He had a total of 1,138 yards and seven total reception touchdowns last season and averages 13.4 yards per catch which is more than his 12.6 last season. Similar to Brown, Smith has had no fumbles this season, and despite his slender frame, he’s as tough as they come.
Smith had his second 100-yard reception game of the season against the Bills on Sunday with 106 yards on seven receptions, eight targets, and a touchdown.
The Eagles look to have potentially two receivers to have 1,000-yard reception seasons on their roster… Not a bad problem to have (the Chiefs sure could use one of them).
An Elite Offensive Line
Eric Hartline/ USA TODAY Sports
Now the receivers wouldn’t be able to look good without the quarterback and the quarterback, no matter how good is nothing without a good offensive line. The Eagles are lucky to have all three as they just might have the best offensive line in all of football.
Their offensive line is led by All-Pro veterans Jason Kelce (C), and Lane Johnson (RT) who both set the tone with their physical play and lead the pack with their experience as former Super Bowl LII champions.
They create needed space and extra time for Hurts to operate in the pocket to be able to find guys such as Brown and Smith as well as Julio Jones, a former All-Pro in his own right who’s at a different stage of his career.
They also have a young left tackle in Jordan Mailata, who has been instrumental to the Eagles' offensive line success this season and looks only to be getting better as the season progresses.
Mailata and Johnson both rank top 20 in offensive tackle pass block win rate (Johnson 5th at 93% and Mailata at 17th at 90%). Johnson takes on a double team percentage of 29% to Mailata’s 26% per ESPN.
With their experience, talent, and grit on the front line, it will be hard to get a hand on Hurts with that forceful shield guarding him.
Due to the Eagles’ elite personnel at the quarterback, wider receiver, and offensive line positions, as well as a solid enough defense that ranks 19th according to Pro Football Reference.
The Eagles also have some stalwarts defensively from linebacker Haason Reddick to defensive tackles Jordan Davis and Jalen Carter to name a few.
The Eagles also have one of the best and most competitive coaches in the league, Nick Sirianni who fires his players up and is not afraid to talk junk to the opposing crowd.
The Eagles have a pass rush win rate of 51% (5th), a run stop win rate of 35% (2nd), a pass block win rate of 65% (6th), and the best run block win rate in the league at 77% through Week 12.
From the Chiefs having questions about their receivers, Burrow out the rest of the season for the Cincinnati Bengals, the Bills' injuries and Josh Allen’s decision-making, and Lamar Jackson’s main weapon in star tight end Mark Andrews is out for perhaps the rest of the season with an ankle injury.
We also can’t forget the Eagles' NFC foes, the San Francisco 49ers who also have a viable shot at making the Super Bowl but have questions with Brock Purdy when they don’t have their full weapons are they elite?
If there’s any year for the Eagles to take advantage of a more vulnerable Chiefs team that’s been a dynasty the last half decade and injuries to key players on other teams… This is their Super Bowl to lose.