Can we stop saying the Philadelphia Eagles defense was great in Week 1?
There are misconceptions, debatable subjects, and statements that are just wrong. As much as we’d all like to believe that the following statement doesn’t fall under the latter category, it’s totally accurate. All of these theories that the Philadelphia Eagles and their fans should be encouraged by what we’ve seen from this team and their defense are a bit overblown.
That’s especially true when it comes to Jim Schwartz’s guys. All week, we’ve been hearing about how good they were on Sunday. The eyeball test tells us, or at least it should tell us, that isn’t true.
Philadelphia Eagles fans can’t argue with the numbers, or can they?
There’s a saying, and it goes something like this. ‘People lie, but numbers don’t’. That’s actually not true. Numbers can mislead us all of the time, but in a world where we diminish NFL stars to Madden ratings, Pro Football Focus grades, and a few points on someone’s Fantasy football team, we obsess over statistical data.
Here’s what’s interesting. No team in the league gave up fewer total yards in Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season than the Philadelphia Eagles. They were third in passing yards allowed. They were fifth in rushing yards allowed, and that’s a lot of the reason, you’ll be told all week that they’re among the game’s top defenses. Then, on top of that, you also have Coach Schwartz praising his guys in press conferences every time he has an opportunity.
There’s nothing wrong with that. Coach Schwartz shouldn’t admonish his guys in front of us, but here’s the issue. Philly didn’t give up a ton of yards because the offense kept giving the Washington Football Team short fields, and despite the fact that the stat sheet doesn’t look awful, after one week of NFL football, they ranked 24th in the most important stat that a team should be graded on, points allowed.
After crafting a 17-0 lead and a defensive shutout for most of the first half, Philly started turning the ball over, and Washington narrowed the score to 17-7 right before halftime. In the second half, things only got worse. Philly gave up 20 second-half points to a team that was led by a quarterback that hasn’t even started ten games yet. Imagine had they been playing Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson.
It isn’t pretty if you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan, but the world hasn’t ended.
Washington’s defense registered eight sacks. Philly’s tallied three. Washington’s defense forced three turnovers. Philly’s defense had a goose egg. You saw the game. Forget what the stats say. Who cares whether or not some guy on Twitter said that this Eagles offense is good. Can you honestly say that, right now, they’re better than Washington’s defense? Can you even say this team can stop Kirk Cousins (keep in mind the fact that you’ve never seen them do that either)?
This defense isn’t great. They aren’t even good, and it’s time that everyone who says they are adjusts that theory a little. The good news is some of these issues are fixable. The bad news is one week may not be enough time to fix things, especially with Vinny Curry out and with Brandon Graham being in danger of missing the home opener versus the Los Angeles Rams.