Genard Avery steps up for Philadelphia Eagles in primetime

Genard Avery (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Genard Avery (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Genard Avery was a key part of the Philadelphia Eagles’ first win, finally.

They finally got in the win column. The Philadelphia Eagles got off the schneid with a huge Week 4 win versus the San Francisco 49ers. The ‘Birds’ now sit atop the embarrassing NFC East with a record of 1-2-1. It’s been ugly but as they say, winning cures all. Football only comes around for four months every Fall and seeing as how the goal is always making the playoffs, Philly fans will take a win however they can get it.

Jim Schwartz has gotten more creative in the past two weeks dialing up stunts, blitzes, and disguising coverages. Philly’s defense was in Nick Mullens’ face all night long with five sacks and 15 quarterback hits. Coming into this matchup, Brandon Graham was expected to win here and there versus Mike McGlinchey. Fletcher Cox was expected to help collapse the pocket pretty quickly as well versus one of San Fran’s biggest weaknesses, their interior offensive line.

Cox was a bit of a disappointment, but what helped the Eagles defensive line the most was the depth.

Malik Jackson and Javon Hargrave combined for three quarterback hits and Hargrave stuck his head in on a sack. Hassan Ridgeway came up big during his snaps on the interior with a sack and another quarterback hit. Josh Sweat and Derek Barnett were generating pressure all night long as they combined for 1.5 sacks and three quarterback hits as well. One of the most notable performances from this group, however, came from Genard Avery though. While there were multiple standout stars, this one might go down as ‘the Genard Avery game’.

Avery hasn’t been much of a factor since the Eagles traded a fourth-round pick for him at the trade deadline last year. Most fans wanted to give him some time to adjust to the scheme. They expected 2020 to be a big season for him. He had a similar snap count to that of Casey Toohill in the first three weeks but on Sunday Night Football, he played his best game as an Eagle.

More from Inside the Iggles

He collected one sack and five quarterback hits which were the most among any Eagle on the night. One of those hits forced Nick Mullens to lob a pass while fading away which led to a Rodney McLeod interception in the red zone. That ended up being pivotal. If the Eagles don’t get a stop right then and there, the 49ers probably score and carry momentum into the second half. There was also a big moment that came earlier in the first half when Avery also had a seven-yard sack which led to a third and 17 that the 49ers didn’t convert. That led to a punt that kept the score at 8-7.

Having a guy like Avery coming into the game allows other pass rushers to rest, and that’s key for this team. Not only did he give them rest tonight, but he also produced a similar rate. Rotating defensive linemen was a major factor in the 2017 season as well. If we see more of this from Avery, the Birds defensive line is going to benefit as a whole and feast on opposing offensive lines. Hopefully, we see the Genard Avery that was hyped up so much after the trade was made.