While perusing a litany of articles detailing what went wrong for the Eagles in Big D, I stumbled upon an eye-opening stat courtesy of the industrious fellas over at Cold, Hard Football Facts. You can read the post yourselves, but the most important paragraph is this one:
Coming into this one, the matchup of Dallas’ offense vs. Philly’s defense had extra meaning for us Trolls. See, Dallas’ worst Quality Stat was Scoreability (25th); simply put, they were the worst playoff team at turning yards into points. But the Eagles’ worst Quality Stat was Bendability (20th); they were good at holding teams from big yardage totals, but bad at preventing points.
I highlighted the last line for a reason. Under Jim Johnson, the defense was the exact opposite. They would let teams march between the twenties until the sun stopped shining, but the end zone was a frickin’ impenetrable vault. JJ preached no big plays and only field goals allowed in the red zone.
Now, it’s unfair to skewer McDermott completely. The loss of Dawkins and Stew certainly had much to do with the struggles on D. That being said, you gotta believe he could have done a better job slowing opponents down.
JJ was fond of saying he could “scheme to stop the run.” One would think McD could have schemed to prevent Dallas (and others) from ripping his coverages to pieces with simple bubble screens and misdirection plays. Or am I alone in my thoughts?