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Thursday Problems with Saturday Solutions: Addressing the Eagles’ secondary issues

Looking at how the Eagles can get better.

NCAA Football: Florida Atlantic at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles pulled out a huge win in Green Bay to avoid going 1-3 into Week 5. The offense rode behind the combination of a phenomenal ground game and a sharp Carson Wentz to post 34 points against a tough Packers defense despite having no DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffrey playing through injury.

The offense, it seems, is bound to keep producing after the mini-bye week when the unit is (hopefully) fully healthy. However, the secondary proved vulnerable for the fourth straight game. Aaron Rodgers returned to form against the Eagles after an unbecoming start of the season. Rodgers went over 400 passing yards, nearly half being thrown to Davante Adams. Adams suffered a foot injury late in the game that kept him out in the waning minutes; an injury that could have been the difference in the game.

The Eagles were able to get pressure up front all game, but the inability of the secondary to cover for more than two seconds made a very long day for the defense.

A cornerback to keep an eye on this year is Duke’s Leonard Johnson. The former safety switched positions before this season because Duke’s coaches saw his speed and size being more valuable as a perimeter defender. The redshirt sophomore had a lockdown game against Virginia Tech on Saturday and has been flashing all season. He’s a young, high upside player who could be trending towards draft consideration.

One of college football’s reigning defensive backs, Jeffrey Okudah, had another fantastic game this weekend. Okudah picked off two passes in Ohio State’s dismantling of Nebraska. One of his more impressive plays of his career was when he picked off a tipped Adrian Martinez pass while he was falling on his back. It was a testament to his high awareness on the field and great athleticism. Okudah will be vying for the top cornerback consideration all season and Nebraska was another notch to put in his belt.

With all the great cornerback play happening in college football, there’s some hope that future help is on the way if the Eagles secondary keeps being a liability.