Eagles schedule: Reasonable expectations for Jonathan Gannon’s defense

Jonathan Gannon, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Jonathan Gannon, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Eagles
Darius Slay, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images) /

Jonathan Gannon’s guys will snag 15 or more interceptions en route to finishing +5 in turnover differential.

Jonathan Gannon’s decision about how often he’ll allow two of the best press corners in the league to play press coverage could go a long way in determining how the Eagles’ pass defense looks. Sure, some zone and off-coverages will be mixed in from time to time to keep offensive coordinators guessing, but make no mistake about it.

Everyone wants to see Darius ‘Big Play’ Slay and James Bradberry go one-on-one on the outside and take the other team’s top two wide receivers out of the equation. That could mean Avonte Maddox will see a lot of passes thrown in his direction.

Still, if the progression we saw from him last season indicates where he’s headed, the fifth-year man should be up to the task.

The Eagles tallied 12 interceptions in 2021. Only 11 teams had fewer. Four guys who picked off a pass (Alex Singleton, Eric Wilson, Rodney McLeod, and Steven Nelson) are no longer with the team. Fear not.

A great pass rush always works in conjunction with great coverage in the secondary. Philly will have both in 2022.

A year ago, they finished dead even in turnover differential (16 giveaways versus 16 takeaways). Jalen Hurts accounted for ten of them. His continued progression will lead to fewer mistakes. That will also help the team’s turnover differential. We expect the defense will aid him by beating up on many of middle to lower-tier signal-callers Philly is scheduled to face.