NEW YORK (AP) — Carson Wentz has turned into one of the NFL’s most dangerous quarterbacks. Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount form a potent duo at running back, and Philadelphia’s stout defense features a tough front line.
Wentz and company are looking down at the rest of the league at the moment. The Eagles maintained their top spot in the AP Pro 32 poll on Tuesday, receiving 11 of 12 first-place votes for 383 points in balloting by media members who regularly cover the NFL.
Philadelphia (10-1) has won nine in a row. It can clinch the NFC East title with a win Sunday night at Seattle or a loss by Dallas on Thursday night against Washington.
“Having outscored opponents by 160 points, the Eagles are chewing them up and spitting them out,” said Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk.
The New England Patriots (9-2), who have won seven in a row, received the other first-place vote and remained No. 2.
The league’s other two 9-2 teams, the Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers, are tied at No. 3. The Vikings have won seven in a row and the Steelers enter their Monday night game at Cincinnati on a six-game winning streak.
“Mike Tomlin’s gritty group is determined to wrest the AFC’s No. 1 playoff seed away from the Patriots and force the Brady Bunch to win at Heinz Field in January,” Ira Kaufman of SB Nation Radio said of the Steelers.
The Los Angeles Rams inched up a spot to No. 5. They beat New Orleans 26-20 last weekend, snapping the Saints’ eight-game win streak.
“The story of the day was the Rams defense, which passed a major test in refusing to be beaten by Drew Brees and a Saints offense that has been moving the ball at will,” said Jenny Vrentas of The Monday Morning Quarterback.
The NFC South, the league’s most competitive division, has the next three teams in the poll.
New Orleans slipped a spot to No. 6 after the loss in Los Angeles. The Carolina Panthers remained at No. 7 heading into Sunday’s big game against the Saints at the Superdome in one of the top matchups of Week 13.
The Atlanta Falcons moved up one to No. 8 and will try to extend their winning streak to four when they host the Vikings.
“The offense is finally clicking. If the defense starts doing the same, watch out,” the Sporting News’ Alex Marvez said of the defending NFC champions.
Seattle is next up at No. 9. The Seahawks trail the Rams by a game in the NFC West.
“(Russell) Wilson carrying this team,” Fox Sports’ John Czarnecki said of the Seahawks quarterback.
The Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans, tied for first in the AFC South at 7-4, are Nos. 10 and 11 respectively.