This much we know–The Eagles have not played well defensively through the season’s first three weeks.
And now that we’ve established this widely-known fact, let me hit you with another shocking relevation.
The Eagles defense must play better than the defense that’s allowed 449 yards passing and eight touchdowns over the last two weeks.
I’ll allow you a minute to regroup after those shockers.
Now, the solutions to the issues that plague the Eagles aren’t that simple, but in a way, they are.
This is not a defense entirely devoid of talent. No-name receivers aren’t going to regularly toast the Eagles secondary. Receivers like Victor Cruz running free down the sideline or grabbing jump balls in the end zone isn’t a sight we should get used to seeing. Teams have bad games and the Eagles had one of those games at the absolute worst time.
There’s been an extremely small sample size to evaluate the Philadelphia secondary, but while the Giants game was nothing short a debacle, the Eagles did a nice job against two talented receivers in Roddy White and Julio Jones the week before. Prior to that, they completely eliminated the Rams’ passing game, so it’s not as if what went down on Sunday is something we should expect in the coming weeks.
That’s not to excuse the Eagles’ performance. In fact, it’s a way to condemn it. It puzzles me that Juan Castillo’s defense could falter in the clutch and lay down in a game of that magnitude, but it’s also not the first time we’ve seen an Eagles defense do this dance. History indicates the Eagles are going to have game’s like Sunday, but it also indicates they are going to bounce back.
Clearly, this is not going to be a shut-down, lights-out unit, but it’s certainly better and much more talented than the one that has showed a propensity to come up small during the most important plays.
Time is running out on the Eagles and it’s only Week 4. No, Casey Matthews isn’t going to morph into Clay Matthews overnight, nor is Jarrad Page going to turn into Brian Dawkins circa 2002. But it is a young defense with a young coordinator, and it’s a defense that has shown the ability at times throughout the first three weeks to be certainly a viable defense.
So as we begin to check out on a team that only three weeks ago conjured up visions of a Lombardi Trophy danicing in our heads, let’s try to remember that this isn’t a terrible defense. It has been erratic, iit has underachieved, but that doesn’t mean that it is doomed.