If the Philadelphia Eagles are truly poised for a postseason run, we’ll need to see more of what we saw from them in London, particularly on defense.
The last time we saw the Philadelphia Eagles, we got a taste of what he hoped to see from them all season. Carson Wentz was making plays with both his legs and his arm. There were big plays from the ‘other guys’ on offense (Wendell Smallwood, Dallas Goedert and Josh Adams for instance). The play calling, for the most part, wasn’t too shabby either.
None of that would have mattered had the defense failed on their end of the bargain. They didn’t, and when the clock struck zero (it typically runs in the other direction in London), the Eagles had themselves a hard-fought victory.
The stage is set for some late-season momentum. What Jim Schwartz gets out of his guys will play a major role in determining the outcome of the 2018 regular season. Here are five of the twenty or so things we’re hoping for on defense.
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1. Keep Jordan Hicks healthy and on the field.
One of the things we all were concerned about when this season began was whether or not Jordan Hicks could complete the season and be healthy.
So far, through eight games, injuries haven’t been an issue with Philly’s starting middle linebacker.
Let’s all hope that continues.
2. Get to the other team’s quarterback.
We all thought, with all of the talent Philly had on the defensive line, that we’d see constant pressure on the quarterback. There has been. Unfortunately, most of that pressure has been on the Eagles’ signal callers.
The Eagles have 22 total sacks on the season. Their opponents have 26.
3. Pick off a few passes.
Nothing fires an offense up like sudden changes of possession. Unfortunately, with decent enough play makers in the secondary, Philly’s only picked off four passes during the first eight games of the season.
Eagles fans are hoping they find a way to improve on that in the final eight games.
4. Get off of the field on third AND fourth down.
Believe it or not, the Eagles are only giving up first downs 33 percent of the time on their opponents third down attempts. That’s a stat that could be better, and it could be worse. That could be seen as good news.
Here’s some bad news though. They’ve, unfortunately, given up first downs on six of the ten attempts that have been made against them.
53 penalties resulting in 493 yards doesn’t help either.
5. Find some confidence in the secondary.
We’ve discussed double moves and the secondary (let’s not use names for once) until we’re blue in the face. Beating these guys up now won’t help the situation.
Let’s hope Philly can find some of what, at times, made them magical in the secondary a season ago. They’re going to need it.