After four consecutive weeks of allowing only 17 points or less, the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense came crashing down to earth against the much-maligned Miami Dolphins. Fundamental issues with the defense that had been hidden for a month got a harsh light shone on them as they went up against a fearless quarterback with no conscious. This is a long way to say they got lit up.
Looking at the Eagles defense on the year, it doesn’t look terrible on the surface. DVOA, points per game, yards allowed per game, yards allowed per drive, and even their third down defense rank as 20th or better. We’re setting a low bar but the reality is, it could be a lot worse.
Dialing back to third down conversions, you might be surprised to learn that the Eagles rank 13th in the league at getting a stop. Why doesn’t it feel that way on game day? It’s because the Eagles have become masters of winning the battle, yet losing the war. That’s evidenced in their 67% conversion rate allowed on fourth day. It’s showcased in their 25th ranked red zone defense, an area where Jim Schwartz defenses typically shine. It’s a bend and then break defense, incapable of making game changing plays or stopping them in high leverage situations.
The only requirement needed for beating the Eagles is a willingness to pass on them. It doesn’t matter that they’re a top run defense. They should be. They stack the box more than any other team in the league, which comes at great expense to the pass coverage.
RBs w/10+ carries against PHI & their 8+ man box frequency, +50%:— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) December 5, 2019
W3: Kerryon Johnson 60%
W5: Le'Veon Bell 67%
W9: David Montgomery 79%
W11: Sony Michel 60%
W12: Rashaad Penny 50%
W13: Patrick Laird 70%
It's gotten worse since we started yelling about it two months ago.
While I think we all agree that stuffing the box to stop Patrick Laird is a top priority - even if DeVante Parker is going Super Saiyan in the vertical third - this seems excessive, and it is!
The cure for a defense that can win in contested catch situations? A quarterback that refuses to take those shots. Eli Manning is that quarterback, and it’s looking like he’ll be under center for the New York Giants on Monday. So it’s looking like a bounce back game as long as it doesn’t turn into a redux of the 2017 shootout where Manning threw for 434 yards and 3 touchdowns.
We break down the match-up between the Eagles’ defense and Giants’ offense, plus a discussion on what “elevating your teammates” actually means, on The Kist & Solak Show #154! Listen on the media player below or click here if the player doesn’t load. New to podcasts?! Check out our guide on how to listen to BGN! FLY EAGLES FLY!
CERTIFIED FRESH— BGN Radio (@BGN_Radio) December 5, 2019
The Kist & Solak Show #154 w/@MichaelKistNFL & @BenjaminSolak!
- "Elevate your teammates", what does it even mean?
- Let's rant about the defensive philosophy, again
- Giants' Offense vs. Eagles' defense preview
- OTHER THINGS!https://t.co/I0JXezNjQL