Eagles DC Jonathan Gannon may not deserve all the criticism

Jonathan Gannon, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Jonathan Gannon, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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After 12 Eagles games, we can more accurately evaluate Jonathan Gannon’s performance this season.

Gosh, this year has flown by. It seems like it was just yesterday when we were debating whether or not the Philadelphia Eagles were in trouble versus the Detroit Lions. Maybe we should blame HBO’s Hard Knocks series. For a month, we watched the Lions try to kill each other while Philly elected to prepare for the regular season by navigating a training camp that wasn’t as physical.

How does Jonathan Gannon build a stout defense if the team doesn’t tackle in practice? It’s hard to believe that was a huge dilemma at the time, but it was indeed a dilemma. Some have carried that conversation into the regular season. When you mention the fact that the Eagles are credited with 59 missed tackles per Pro Football Reference, is easy to see why that’s the case.

We all know how Week 1 turned out. The game arrived. We saw the result. Philly won, which is the most important thing, but Detroit also made a second-half charge that fell short of a come-from-behind victory.

We chalked some of the noticeable fatigue up to early conditioning issues that we haven’t really seen since, but that hasn’t stopped anyone from discussing the Eagles’ defensive coordinator at every turn. After all, it wouldn’t be right if some of the Eagles’ contingent didn’t have something to complain about right?

Questions about J.G.’s defense, one that seemed winded at times, ensued, and frankly, though he’s been given reprieve here and there, the criticism has been constant ever since. The question is this. Is that criticism warranted?

13 weeks of the 2022-2023 NFL season and 12 games of the Eagles’ 17-game schedule are in our rearview mirror. In other words, we have a nice sample size to determine how we should measure our theories on how Gannon has performed as the Eagles’ defensive coordinator.

Here’s a positive sign. The Eagles were better versus the run in Week 13, limiting Derrick Henry to 30 yards rushing on 11 carries. That’s doggone near cause for celebration. Everyone will continue to monitor Philly’s rush defense to determine if that issue has truly been fixed the fact that the Eagles have to be better versus the run. They’re also credited with

So again, is J.G. as bad as some people are saying? We’re glad that you asked. Let’s see if we can answer that question.