3 Keys to a Philadelphia Eagles win versus New York in Week 10

Carson Wentz (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Carson Wentz (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /
4 of 4
Philadelphia Eagles
Eagles Defense (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images) /

3. The Philadelphia Eagles’ third-down defense needs to be better.

By the numbers, Jim Schwartz’s defense on third down appears to be respectable. Opponents are converting just 39.6 percent of their third downs which ranks tenth in the league. The problem is that when opponents are converting on third down, it is often untimely for Philadelphia.

The prevent, or ‘sticks’, defense is a great idea in theory but not so much in practice. All too often, opponents run a screen pass or a draw on third and long. It might not get the first down but it gets them pretty close thanks to the prevent defense. Some teams decide to go for it on fourth down after getting so close which has been a problem. Opponents are converting 50 percent of their fourth-down attempts versus the Eagles.

In regular third-down situations, this team needs to be prepared. They can’t have the wrong personnel out there and give guys like Chase Claypool easy touchdowns versus Nate Gerry. Schwartz needs to make Daniel Jones think for just a split second longer than he would like to and force a bad decision. When Schwartz adds a bit more disguise to his looks, it gives the defensive line a bit more time to get to the quarterback. This defensive line has been dominant this year and if Schwartz can help them out a bit, this third-down defense will be lights out.

2 Reasons the Eagles won’t lose NFC East in 2020. light. Related Story

Brandon Graham is having a career year and has a favorable matchup with Cameron Fleming. Andrew Thomas is having growing pains this year and could struggle against Josh Sweat and Derek Barnett. Don’t forget Vinny Curry will rotate in for a few snaps and make an impact as well. The interior rotation has been great this year as well. If this front four can make life difficult for Jones in the pocket, it will make life a lot easier for the secondary and for the struggling linebacker.