On paper the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense isn’t getting much better. They are still ranked 31st in average yards per game. They were destined to move up in those ranks this week if it weren’t for the fourth quarter in the game against the Washington Redskins. I have written about the fourth quarter phenomenon on this site.
The Redskins added most of their offensive numbers for the entire game in that one quarter. It was two blown coverages and a prevent defense against the Redskins’ final drive that caused them to have so many yards.
No one on the team recorded more than 5 tackles in that game. No single standout, just a unit of 11 men with a single-minded focus. When the sum of all the parts of a well oiled machine are working, it is difficult to stop it.
From the first game to the 11th game last Sunday. The Eagles’ defense has improved. There is a long way to go but they are proving they can rise to the occasion. They are getting better and evolving into a unit instead of 11 individuals on the field.
Look at it from another perspective. The defense gave up a ton of yards in the fourth quarter of that game. The Eagles’ defense stepped up when it mattered most. It was a combined effort with Fletcher Cox putting pressure on Washington Redskins’ Quarterback Robert Griffin III and Brandon Boykin scooping up the pressure-thrown ball as it floated toward the end-zone. Without the evolution of the defensive squad these types of plays would not exist.