NEW YORK (AP) — Carson Wentz has the Philadelphia Eagles on top of the NFL.
And the second-year quarterback has also helped the Eagles maintain their perch atop the AP Pro 32 poll after Monday night’s 34-24 win over NFC East rival Washington.
The victory was costly as Philadelphia lost nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters and starting linebacker Jordan Hicks for the rest of the season because of injuries.
Philadelphia received 10 of the 12 first-place votes for 382 points Tuesday in balloting by media members who regularly cover the NFL.
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The Eagles are 6-1 and have the best record in the league. They host the 49ers, one of two 0-7 teams, on Sunday.
“Carson Wentz is playing at an MVP level. If he keeps this up, he will win the award,” said Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk.
“But injuries to Jordan Hicks and Jason Peters hurt.”
The Patriots moved up a spot to No. 2 after Sunday night’s dominating 23-7 victory over Atlanta in a rematch of the Super Bowl in February. The Patriots earned the other two first-place votes for 362 points.
“(Coach) Bill Belichick knew it would take some more time folding in all the new pieces after a busy offseason, but now you’re starting to see the work pay off,” Newsday’s Bob Glauber said.
“After drubbing the Falcons in a rematch of Super Bowl LI, the Patriots are back in their rightful spot as the favorites to repeat.”
The Steelers edged up to No. 3 after a pair of convincing wins and now lead the AFC North at 5-2.
“Hitting their stride,” Fox Sports’ John Czarnecki said.
The Chiefs slid two places to No. 4 after their second straight loss, 31-30 to Oakland on Thursday. The Chiefs will try to end their brief losing streak when they host the AFC West rival Broncos on Monday night.
“After a 5-0 start, the Chiefs have given up ground the last two weeks,” said Jenny Vrentas of The Monday Morning Quarterback.
“The key to bouncing back will be tightening up the defense, which has been playing below its talent level, even with Eric Berry out for the season.”
The Los Angeles Rams, who lead the NFC West, climbed three places to No. 5.
“Jared Goff has silenced any remaining skeptics while directing the NFL’s top scoring offense,” SB Nation Radio’s Ira Kaufman said of the Rams’ second-year quarterback.
The Seahawks and Vikings are tied for No. 6, trailing the Rams by only three points.
The Saints and Bills, both off to surprising 4-2 starts, each moved up six spots to Nos. 8 and 9, respectively.
“Funny what can happen with a respectable defense,” The Sporting News’ Alex Marvez said of New Orleans, which usually relies on quarterback Drew Brees and a high-flying offense for success.
For more NFL coverage: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL