Eagles Defense Is Top 10, When Did This Happen?

I was perusing some stats for some pieces I've been doing about Eagles vs Cowboys today and when I brought up the list of all NFL defenses by rank, I was surprised to see something.

Top_10_defense_medium

Somewhere over the past couple weeks, the Eagles defense has crept into the #10 spot in overall defense. Now, this is in terms of yards allowed per game not points (they're middle of the league there), but it's still impressive. While preventing points is the final objective of any defense, yardage is one of the things they actually have full control over. Turnovers and special teams can put the defense in bad spots where they give up points. You'd still like to see them come up big in those spots, but generally if a defense isn't letting opposing offenses move the ball, they're not going to be letting them score a lot. The points allowed numbers of the rest of the top 10 bear that out.

What the Eagles defense has had to deal with, that only one of the rest of these top 10 defenses has, is a negative turnover differential. The Eagles are tied for the worst turnover differential in the NFL (-0.9). Only Washington and ironically, the Steelers are as bad. Some of that may be that they haven't forced a ton of turnovers, but mostly it's due to the offense turning the ball over (and at least 3 special teams turnovers as well).

So while there's no doubt that we've seen this defense flat out fall apart, especially late in games... Could we also say that we'd probably think different of them overall if they hadn't been put in tough spots so often? Might they have been a little better than we thought all along?

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