The Super Bowl winning Philadelphia Eagles team was dynamic in all aspects last season. The defense in particular wasn’t shy about showing off their complete domination with elaborate sideline celebrations — yes, I’m still watching them do the electric slide, and will be for the rest of my life — big play, after big play.
The defense finished the 2017 regular season tied (with the Detroit Lions) for No. 4 in the NFL with 19 interceptions. Bested only by the Ravens (22 INTS), Jaguars (21), and Saints (20), the Eagles had seven different players claim at least two picks during the season, led by Patrick Robinson who snagged four.
Patrick Robinson — 4
Jalen Mills — 3
Rodney McLeod — 3
Ronald Darby — 3
Malcolm Jenkins — 2
Corey Graham — 2
Rasul Douglas — 2
The last Eagles team to nab 19 interceptions was the 2013 squad, with Brandon Boykin accounting for six of those himself. It’s been since 2010 that the team forced more than 20 picks in a season (23), but that was the year Asante Samuel claimed seven, which was then and is now pretty remarkable.
Robinson was quietly a ball hawk all season. He made his first grab in Week 4 against the Giants, and another three games later against the Panthers. Three weeks after that, Robinson finally nabbed some yards after the catch, with a 17-yard return against the Broncos, and a 19-yard return later in the season against the Raiders.
It may not have counted towards his regular season stats, but Robinson’s 50-yard Pick-6 in the NFC Championship game against the Vikings put him at 5 INTs on the year, and was also his first score of the season.
It was also AWESOME, so here it is again:
The Green Goblin opened the 2017 regular season with a big game against Washington, snagging his first interception of the year, returning it for 15 yards. He followed that up five games later with his second pick of the season against the Panthers. Mills finally saw the endzone mid-season against the 49ers, returning an interception for 37 yards and a score.
The Eagle safety didn’t record a Pick-6 in 2017, but McLeod had a three-game stretch in the middle of the season in which he came up with an interception. Against the 49ers he had a 4-yard return, followed by a big 50-yard return on a pick against Denver, and a 13-yard return against the Cowboys.
The cornerback missed a good portion of the 2017 season, but that didn’t keep him from contributing to the stat sheet. Darby nabbed three interceptions during his eight regular season games, including a 5-yard interception against the Cowboys, a 37-yard pick against the Giants, and his final snag came against the Raiders on Christmas.
One of the leaders of the secondary, Jenkins sets a great example of versatility and putting the team first. Whether it’s lining up at CB or safety, he’s willing to do whatever is needed to get the defense right. He nabbed two interceptions during the 2017 regular season, in succession games against the Cowboys and Bears.
(He might not have had a SportsCenter pick this season, but never forget he once intercepted Tom Brady for a 100-yard Pick-6.)
Graham was responsible for two picks during the regular season — not too mention one against the Vikings during the NFC Championship game —, one he returned for 14 yards against Washington, and the other was a 50-yard return against the Bears.
It wasn’t the biggest moment of the game, but it gave us one of the best celebrations of the year — and also really put an exclamation point on the type of energy and confidence this group of guys had.
After missing the very beginning of the 2017 season, Douglas made his first NFL career interception in his second active game of the year against the Giants. Three weeks later, he would claim his second career pick against the Panthers, including a short 7-yard return. Douglas didn’t have a highlight-reel rookie season, but the potential is definitely there.
And in case that was enough defensive domination for you, please enjoy a full compilation of interceptions made during the 2017 season: