Questions about the Eagles rushing defense, plans for moving forward

Fletcher Cox #91, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Fletcher Cox #91, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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The Philadelphia Eagles haven’t been stout versus the run, but all hope isn’t lost.

Well, the right team won, but it didn’t begin as the dominating performance that we were expecting. The Philadelphia Eagles looked rusty on a short week and struggled during the first half of their most recent game, a primetime affair versus the Houston Texans. The biggest concern coming out of that one isn’t something that we haven’t heard before. Philly’s defense continues to struggle in their attempts to stop the run.

The modern NFL is a league that features split safeties and small(ish) linebackers. Attacking smaller defenders is becoming a common elixir for conquering defenses and winning football games. There are two reasons why the Philadelphia Eagles are underperforming expectations.

They are fielding the wrong personnel packages on early downs, and they are aligning personnel incorrectly.

Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave, the top two defensive tackles on the depth chart, despite being great pass rushers, are a liability to the run defense. This could have been part of the reason why Philadelphia traded up in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft to select Jordan Davis… that and the fact that Cox and Hargrave are in contract seasons and may not be back next season.

Davis was solely used in run-down-and-distance situations at Georgia, and so far, that has been how he’s most often been used during his short stint with the Eagles. He’ll miss a few more weeks, but all hope isn’t lost. Fixing the Eagles’ run defense might be easier than you think.