The Eagles were definitely not short of motivation this week, and with their backs against the fire, veteran leaders stepped up — specifically on defense.
Two players the defense really needed to find their rhythm did: Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox. Both players registered a sack against the Bills, and really rose to the occasion with injuries and (a ton of) outside noise facing the squad.
Graham feasted all day, finishing with 6 total tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble and recovery.
Brandon Graham’s big sack gets the Eagles to 4th down and they hold. pic.twitter.com/DCPxErQvpg— Tyler Jackson (@TjackRH) October 27, 2019
And let’s not forget FLETCHER. FREAKING. COX.
Fletcher Cox was instrumental in keeping Buffalo’s offense to two consecutive 3-and-outs to start the game. He had a strip sack to close out the first drive, and stuffed Gore at the line of scrimmage on an important 3rd and 1 the following drive.
Eagles defense clearly isn’t intimidated by former Eagles legend Frank Gore.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) October 27, 2019
He finished the game with 6 total tackles, 1.5 sacks and 1 forced fumble. This kind of performance from Cox isn’t surprising, he’s been playing ball like this for the majority of his career. But still, the defensive tackle had more than enough extra motivation this week to deliver a super strong performance.
Cox started the week wielding a shot gun when someone attempted to break into his home, had to deal with the asinine comments made by Orlando Scandrick, and is pretty much the only defensive tackle on the roster with NFL experience. All on top of already dealing with the snark thrown at the team for their stupid (so, so stupid) loss to Dallas last weekend.
While most of that stuff is just noise, the issues with his position group can not go unnoticed. The Eagles have lost experienced players in Malik Jackson, Timmy Jernigan, and Hassan Ridgeway, and signed two rookies off other teams practice squads — Anthony Rush and Albert Huggins.
With so much inexperience around him, Cox was going to need to step up as a leader, and he did — thankfully.