2013 has officially begun.
NFL.com’s Elliot Harrison posted the First Official Power Rankings of the 2013 Season. These rankings precede the dreaded seven-month NFL offseason. Eagles fans have gotten a head start in draft hopefuls, free agency wishlists, and current player evaluations. Such is the life surrounding 4-12, the bottom of the NFL ditch.
To no surprise, the Baltimore Ravens ranked first in the rankings. Of course, the list was created on the day Baltimore paraded through the city, celebrating their Super Bowl Championship. The San Francisco 49ers ranked second, also based on their 2012 finish. Interestingly, both the Colts and Vikings ranked outside of the top 12 after securing 2012 playoff births. The Colts(13th) and the Vikings(17th) were overtaken by the Saints(11th) and the Giants(12th).
At the bottom of the rankings, the Oakland Raiders fell below Andy Reid’s Chiefs to the 32nd spot in the list. Carson Palmer’s epitomizing of mediocrity and an underachieving defense led to losing eight of their last nine. Head Coach Dennis Allen has a large order to fill, with a long plague of losing floating through the Raiders organization.
The Philadelphia Eagles slumped to 27th in the rankings, fifth-worst in the league. This comes after the highly-chronicled hiring of Chip Kelly, which brings added allure to the unknown. Harrison writes,
“Chip Kelly made the big move. Now, can the Philadelphia Eagles make a move out of the NFC East cellar with a whole new offensive system? Well, it could mean boffo numbers for LeSean McCoy. But it definitely means the Eagles have some gnarly choices to make at quarterback. Could Kelly make it work with Nick Foles? That’s a rather significant uncertainty. Maybe we’re getting ahead of ourselves: There’s a solid chance Michael Vick could return, despite everyone assuming, just a few weeks ago, that he would be gone.”
The Eagles’ 2013 destiny hinges on Nick Foles’ play, the Eagles draft performance, and Chip Kelly’s ability to quickly implement his philosophy. A fascinating offseason awaits Eagles fans, filled with turnover and excitement. This may be the rare year where fans ignore the Sundays without football.
Fear not, fans, change is upon us. While the Eagles may not currently rank highly, an offseason of work could change that. The 2-14 Colts leaped to the AFC sixth seed in just one season. Even if it takes time, support is required. Eagles fans, a new season–no, era–is upon us. For Kelly, throw the Chips down.