What’s Happening to Philadelphia Eagles’ Defense?


Something is going on with the Philadelphia Eagles defense and it’s not looking good.

The loss on Sunday night to the Arizona Cardinals wasn’t a good one. The Philadelphia Eagles offense took a while to get going and in the end it came up short. Normally that might be not the worst thing because of one element: the Eagles defense. Their defense is one of the team’s strongest elements. In previous weeks, it was the one piece of the puzzle that was consistent. It took down Tony Romo, stopped Tom Brady and made themselves a playoff contender. It was one of the top defenses in the league but things are starting to decline.

The biggest question is: what happened?

The Eagles defense has started to decline and has dropped to 30th in rushing yards allowed and yards per attempt. Those numbers aren’t good and it makes it hard to see how the Eagles can be a competitive team in their division. The team is 29th in overall defense, not a good position to be in, with numbers that don’t boost confidence. The Eagles allow 393.3 yards per game and 25.9 points per game. Sunday night they allowed 493 yards in the 40-17 loss. There seems to be a downward slide and as the season ends, that’s not something a team wants to see.

The loss of some key players has not helped the situation. Eric Rowe, Byron Maxwell, Kiko Alonso and DeMarco Ryans have all been plagued by injuries. Alonso had an ACL injury during his time with the Buffalo Bills but it was a concussion that kept him off the field. The injuries to Maxwell and Rowe came during Sunday night’s game. Rowe suffered a concussion and Maxwell is dealing with a shoulder sprain. Going into their game Saturday night against NFC East rivals Washington Redskins, they need healthy and available players.

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  • One of the biggest losses to the Eagles defense was the loss of rookie Jordan Hicks. Hicks had to step up to the plate when Alonso and Ryans were out. He came into the game without having any snaps in the first eight games and went to do have 50 tackles, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions, one that was returned for a touchdown. His biggest play was the sack on September 20th that took out Dallas Cowboys’ QB Tony Romo for the first time. Yet it wouldn’t last long as Hicks suffered a torn left pectoral muscle against the Eagles’ in their second game against the Cowboys. His loss contributed to more issues for the Eagles struggling defense.

    With all of the issues facing the team’s defense, it seems like there is a need to hold defensive coordinator Bill Davis responsible for the problems. Obviously injuries aren’t his fault but he needs to face the music. His defense had allowed 30 passing touchdowns, an inexcusable amount giving the Eagles successful earlier in the season. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, head coach Chip Kelly stood by Davis saying “We need to find the team that played against New England and played against Buffalo for us to have a chance this week against Washington.” The Eagles pass defense has improved slightly but Davis’ job is not secured as the season draws to an end. He needs to be responsible for the dismal run-defense and not having his players ready and prepared.

    It will be a must-win game on Saturday night against the Redskins. Not only will Sam Bradford need to step his game up, Bill Davis will need to make sure that his defense can stop the Redskins run game. The team needs to make key tackles and make sure that top receivers are covered. Lack of coverage will lead to players getting downfield and into the end zone. Kelly will have his hands full and his defensive coordinator will need to bring his A-game. If the Eagles win, it gives them first place in the NFC East. If they lose, it might spell the end of their postseason dreams.