Power Rankings: Preseason: 15. This week: 8
Where they stand: The Philadelphia Eagles are 5-3 and own signature wins over the Indianapolis Colts and Atlanta Falcons. By no means is this a great team, but you don't have to be great to make the playoffs in this conference. The Eagles still have five division games left on the schedule. And obviously you have to like their chances in two late-season games against Dallas. This team is set up to make a run at the playoffs. I think that win over Peyton Manning and the Colts will have a springboard effect on the Eagles. But they need to avenge that loss to the Washington Redskins. They'll have their chance Monday.
Falling: Brent Celek was poised to become one of the best tight ends in the league, but he hasn't put up the numbers this season. He was banged up a lot before the bye and then he wasn't given many opportunities against the Colts. I think he'll bounce back, but his numbers are way down. Obviously, Ellis Hobbs is "falling" after his performance against the Titans. That earned him a spot on the bench.
Rising: Michael Vick's return to stardom has been the story of the 2010 season. He's better than he was in Atlanta because he takes care of the ball and he has been a lot more accurate. If he can stay at this level of play, the Eagles have a chance to do something special. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson has been electric when he's on the field with Vick. Those two form one of the most dangerous duos in the game. On defense, Antonio Dixon stepped in for the injured Brodrick Bunkley and the Eagles didn't miss a beat. And rookie Nate Allen has had a strong start -- especially if you can look past that loss against the Titans. Cornerback Dimitri Patterson was promoted to the starting lineup against the Colts and responded in a big way.
Midseason MVP: It has to be Vick. I thought Kevin Kolb played pretty well in his absence, but Vick has galvanized this entire team.
Outlook: I think the Eagles have an excellent opportunity to make the playoffs. Their schedule is backloaded with division games, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. They survived that bad road loss to the Titans and they could get on a roll with a win against the Skins. I wouldn't be surprised to see them finish 10-6 and grab one of the wild-card spots. This can be one of the most explosive offenses in the league if you can keep Vick and Jackson healthy. That will be a tall order with as much punishment as Vick takes as he's racing around the field.