Air Raid

Posted: September 25th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Air Raid

We spent all summer talking about how improved the Eagles pass defense should be this year, but it is hard to really say where that is right now.

The Eagles made life tough on the Falcons. Sure, Julio Jones posted big numbers, but the team wasn’t efficient with their passing game and rookie Calvin Ridley didn’t even catch a single pass. Things were different in Tampa, as the Bucs lit up the Philly secondary. No bueno.

The Colts game was weird. They only threw for 164 yards, so that was good defense. But Andrew Luck did not look good. His arm is not right. He can’t drive the ball into tight windows. He can’t throw deep. He has to put a ton of air under the ball and that lets defenders get ready for it. The two PI calls on Jalen Mills both came on underthrown passes. Luck couldn’t get the ball where he wanted and got lucky instead.

At the same time, with the game on the line, Indy did march the ball right down the field. The Eagles tightened up in the Red Zone and Derek Barnett made the play of the game with his sack of Luck. The pass defense was too soft on that drive. It worked, as the Eagles did keep them out of the end zone, but you can’t keep counting on Red Zone heroics. The Eagles need to get stops much earlier in the drive.

I honestly don’t know what to tell you about the Eagles pass defense right now. Some numbers:

24th in attempts
17th in yards allowed
15th in TDs allowed
11th in completion percentage allowed
15th in opposing passer rating

They are pretty much middle of the road, but most of that is skewed down due to one horrible game. And we need some context for that.

Ryan Fitzpatrick

vs NO…417 yards…4 TDs, 0 INTs…41 offensive points
vs PHI…402 yards…4 TDs, 1 INT…27 offensive points
vs PIT…411 yards….3 TDs, 3 INTs…27 offensive points

Fitzy also ran for at least 27 yards against the other teams. Nothing against the Eagles.

I’m not telling you to excuse the poor defense in Tampa, but you do need some context. That offense is moving the ball on everybody. They’re hot.

And the Bucs aren’t alone. We’re seeing some teams do freaky things this year. The Chiefs have scored 118 points this year, double what the Eagles have. Patrick Mahomes is throwing TDs at a historic rate. The Rams are killing teams. Jared Goff is playing really well. Veteran QBs like Drew Brees and Big Ben are posting huge numbers. The NFL has become a passing league more than ever. Offenses are getting tougher and tougher to contain, let alone stop.

Don’t go nuts every time the Eagles give up a completion. Teams are going to move the ball. There are 6 teams giving up more than 400 yards per game right now. That’s nuts. The Saints were supposed to have a good defense. They signed Patrick Robinson to be their nickel and they’ve got stud CB Marshon Lattimore on the outside. New Orleans has allowed opposing passers to have a rating of 141.7. That is freakishly bad after three weeks.

The Eagles defense has a lot of work to do. They need to get more consistent pressure. They must start coming up with takeaways. The chances are there, but they aren’t capitalizing on them. Those can be game-changing plays. Erase Wentz’s turnovers on Sunday and there is no way Indy is in that game. But they did happen and that gave the Colts a chance.

The good news is that the Eagles defense is still tough to score points on. Tampa put up 27, but that could have been worse. The Eagles did have a couple of takeaways in that game. And they forced Tampa to punt six times. The Bucs punter only has 10 all year and six of them came vs the Eagles.

This is a good defense.

They still need to get better.

But that is going to be one heck of a challenge in the year of the Air Raid.


Seeing these QBs and explosive offenses has to be especially frustrating for one set of fans.


The whole Dak vs Wentz argument just isn’t all that relevant anymore.


Comments are closed.