Last night was a great game. THe Eagles offense had arguably its best game of the season.
The defense had by far its worst. I think most of you will agree that the Giants are very mediocre offensively, and the defensive effort was unacceptable. Sadly enough, I don't think this was a one-time thing either. A competent qb would have scored more against us when we played the Bears. The Saints (the benchmark we should use) went nuts against us. There are a couple of issues that need to be resolved.
First and foremost, the pass rush needs to be a lot better. If you give Drew Brees and Brett Favre enough time, they will pick apart your defense no matter how good your secondary is. The only time we ever get pressure is when we blitz.
What to do? Well, the interior pass rush on first and second down is not going to improve much. Bunkley and Patterson are solid against the run, and should be left in the game on those downs.
Left end, however, can be improved. I have never been particularly impressed with Juqua Parker. I have been impressed by Jason Babin. He always seems to be involved when there is a big play in the offensive backfield.
Babin is 267 pounds, Parker is only 250. If that is not enough, consider that Babin was a first-round pick and Parker was an undrafted free agent. I know that you can't go on that alone, but strictly from a talent perspective, Babin has way more upside than Parker. I think he should be getting the majority of the snaps at left end.
I actually don't mind our linebacker situation too much. When we are healthy, a starting lineup of Gocong, Spoon (I think last night's performance was an aberration, he is a good player), and Jordan is solid. You could do better, but you could also do a lot worse. Mixing in a healthy dose of Tracy White and Fokou will help as well.
The secondary is another story. Sheldon Brown was not Sheldon Brown last night. I've never seen him get beat so much, and this is a guy who has gone toe-to-toe with the likes of Larry Fitzgerald. He was repeatedly beat on simple routes. Clearly, Brown is hobbled. I get that. I think they should let him heal. Play him on limited snaps (nickel situations) and let Joselio Hanson start at corner until Brown is healthy. We need Brown for the playoffs, and Hanson has performed quite well when called upon (started in place of Asante against Arizona and held Fitzgerald to 5 catches, 65 yards, albeit 2 TD's).
I had originally thought of moving Sheldon Brown to safety, but after seeing Aaron Ross last night I think that's probably a bad idea. Safety is the other problem. Sean Jones had a bad game last night, not only in coverage, but also as a tackler.
However, Quintin Mikell was worse. Mikell, usually solid, had a ton of bad plays. Illegal contact penalties, missed tackles and blown coverages were the story of the night for him. I think he will bounce back, and he needs to because he is the defensive leader.
The defense can and should play a lot better. I think McDermott should shake things up. Let Brown heal, give Macho and Demps a shot at Jones (and maybe even Mikell), and start Babin because the pass rush is not where it needs to be.