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Eagles Defense All-22 Film Review: Takeaways from the win over the Colts

NFL: NOV 14 Commanders at Eagles Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

How about that defensive performance! I told you not to lose all faith in Jonathan Gannon, who has had a good year overall. After the first drive (which was terrible), the Eagles' defense bounced back in a big way.


Those EPA numbers are positive viewing for the Eagles. It was a good performance all around and it was really good to see the Eagles stop the Colts from running the ball after the first drive. I give massive credit to Gannon, the players, and Howie Roseman for adding two significant additions this week. I can’t see how the Eagles win this game without the addition of Linval Joseph, in particular.

Pass Defense

I really enjoyed this play, even if the result was negative. The Eagles line up with a 5 man front with Kyzir White as an edge defender. White and Reddick drop into coverage but the tackles have to account for them pre-snap. TJ Edwards then blitzes which means the Eagles only send 4 men on the rush but get a free rusher. That is a perfect design. Sadly, the Colts had a great call against man coverage so it didn’t matter. But I still really like this design and use of personnel and alignment to get a free rusher.

Overall, the Eagles' pass defense was really strong overall. The Colts were 5/15 on 3rd down after going 3/3 on the 1st drive, and the Eagles' secondary was a big reason why. I think James Bradberry was the pick of the bunch this week.

The Eagles' defense did nearly let them down in the end, but you can’t be perfect at all times. The Eagles run a coverage that looks like zone with the outside cornerbacks playing MEG (man coverage) which means Scott needs to drop into the deep zone and take away this route. He gets it wrong but luckily this play didn’t cost the Eagles the game.

The most underrated defender in this game was TJ Edwards. No one seems to talk about him but he made a few superb plays in space that highlighted just how quickly he can diagnose what is happening around him and he rarely ever misses a tackle.

This play might be even better. This could have been a huge play by Jonathan Taylor here. Edwards looks so much faster on the field than he used to do because his instincts are so good. This was one of the most impressive plays I saw on film this week and I really think he deserves more credit than he is currently getting.

After giving TJ Edwards a lot of hype, this play by Kyzir White is every bit as good. Isn’t it nice to finally have two linebackers who can make plays in the passing game?

There were so many good pass-rushing reps but different Eagles defenders toward the end of the game, so let’s just look at some of the most important. Starting with Josh Sweat who is an absolute freak of an athlete. Just look at the explosiveness here.

This play was also a fantastic rush, but don’t ignore the play by Marcus Epps! Epps jumps the over route from the slot defender which leads to the sack. Epps really is good at doing this in two-high and it’s a big part of playing safety for the Eagles.

Reddick got involved in the end too, with a huge sack on a massive 3rd down. Reddick can rush the passer in a number of different ways and has been a fantastic signing overall.

Imagine being an offensive tackle and having to deal with Josh Sweat and Reddick’s athleticism and speed all day, and then facing this bull rush from Brandon Graham at the end of the game? This defensive line is nasty.

I criticized him last week, and he has faced a lot of deserved criticism for his lack of pass rush this season, but I thought Fletcher Cox was better this week than last week. He also had a huge play at the end of this game where he did win as a pass rusher. I hope Cox improves as he plays less snaps because if he can find some form at the end of the season, then this Eagles defensive line is as good as any in the league.

Run Defense

The Eagles' run defense was fantastic in this game. The worst play came on the first drive and it was slightly concerning but the Eagles adjusted well. They got caught as with a 4 man front and only two linebackers, you need a secondary defender to come into the box. The Colts know this, so they lined up with 3 wide receivers to one side which meant James Bradberry was part of the run fit. As I spoke about last week. this Eagles team is built to stop the pass. Bradberry is not a great run defender and he can’t make a play on Jonathan Taylor. CGJ also misses a tackle and once again, he is a defender who is better against the pass than the run. It’s important to note you have to prioritize certain things and the Eagles prioritize stopping the pass. You can’t have it both ways.

Let’s get onto the good stuff. I cannot believe how good Linvel Joseph was in this game. Not to go over the top, but I think he was every bit as good as Jordan Davis has been this year. He was immense against the run and could handle double teams frequently. Joseph played all his snaps as the nose tackle in the Eagles' 5 man fronts so he was very important this week. You cannot criticize Gannon for not taking the run seriously this week as the Eagles played a lot of 5 man fronts and also sent some early down run blitzes too. This was a great performance from Gannon and his players.

Joseph wasn’t the only one who stood out against the run in this game. I thought Suh played well and on the rewatch, I even thought Fletcher Cox was far better than people suggested he played against the run. But, the guy I really want to talk about, is Milton Williams. Williams was fantastic last year as a rookie and he has been disappointing overall this season. But I think the past two weeks he has looked really good and I really hope this trend continues.

The new players made a big difference to the run defense, but Gannon also adjusted from the past few weeks and added some new wrinkles, including some run blitzes! Here he blitzes the slot cornerback but he also blitzed other defenders at times throughout the game to try and disrupt the running game and it worked!

Overall, the Colts had 11 carries for 20 yards in the second half of this game and the run defense was a massive reason the Eagles win this game. I told you not to overreact last week! The run defense will get another test this week when they face another elite young running back in Aaron Jones, but I am excited to see if the Eagles can have another good week.

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