Defense Comes Up Huge

Posted: September 7th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 3 Comments »

This was a big win. I know some of you will question that since this is just the season opener, but this really was a big win.

The Eagles expect to be a title contender this year. So do the Falcons. Head-to-head matchups can be huge in deciding home field advantage come January. You never want to make too much of a September game, but the Eagles just put a big deposit in their 2018 savings account.

The result was great, but the performance certainly wasn’t. Mistake after mistake after mistake. Some by veterans, a lot by young players. The key is that the team never panicked. They just kept grinding away and pulled out the win. The Eagles have been that kind of team under Doug Pederson. His players never get too high or too low. They do a great job of living in the moment. That helps them to handle the ups and downs of a game, and a season as well.

Jim Schwartz’s defense was simply outstanding. They started off slow, but then got their feet under them and played at a high level. One of the signs of a really good defense is that even when they are giving up yards, as the Eagles did early, they bow up in the Red Zone and limit points. That’s just what the Eagles did. Atlanta finished the game 1 for 5 in the RZ. Heck, they were 1 for 4 in Goal to Go situations. That’s crazy.

The defensive line was great. Atlanta had a chance to win the game on their final drive. The Eagles mainly rushed four and got regular pressure. Sure, the Falcons were able to move the ball, but Matt Ryan took plenty of hits and Atlanta used a lot of time to move the ball. Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham were getting a lot of inside pressure. Graham would just drive the RG back into Ryan. Chris Long was terrific all night. He had 1.5 sacks and a FF.

That’s why you spend a lot of resources to build a deep, talented D-line. Even with Tim Jernigan out, the Eagles got a ton of pressure in the second half. Give Ryan credit. He took a beating, but kept hanging in there and making throws.

Nick Foles and the Eagles offense were not impressive, especially in the opening half. Foles made poor decisions and some bad throws. He got better after halftime and the Eagles ground game really came alive. Jay Ajayi rushed for two TDs and a 2-point conversion. The O-line was outstanding in the second half. And it was fun to see Jason Peters just dominate.

The play of the game came in the third quarter when the Eagles ran Philly Philly. The play from the Super Bowl was Philly Special. This was a variation on that.

Where did the Eagles get that play? From the Patriots. In the Super Bowl. You know, where Tom dropped the pass. You have to love Pederson putting that into the playbook and then calling it tonight. Not only did the play work, it changed the game. It got the Eagles offense going and brought some real life to the game.

Insanely good play-call by Doug. And really well executed.

It is so fun to have that guy as the Eagles coach. Wow.

The coaches have a lot of things to clean up in the next 10 days, but it is much better to do that after an ugly win than an ugly loss. The passing game needs a ton of work. There were way too many mistakes on STs. Dave Fipp has his work cut out with the young guys. Still, this team found a way to win. As Schwartz always loves to point out, that’s all that matters in the end. Find a way to win.

The Eagles did that and gave us all an awkward, but very memorable night.


3 Comments on “Defense Comes Up Huge”

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