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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Jonathan Gannon, Philadelphia Eagles
Jonathan Gannon, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Tales of opposing quarterbacks’ mastery of the Eagles’ defense may be exaggerated in some cases.

Stats can be misleading. We all know that. It’s hard to ignore the eyeball test. We’re aware of that as well. The Eagles had a nice showing versus the Titans. That’s a good thing. Hopefully, the trend continues because before that, we were discussing their issues with defending the run much too frequently. 59 missed tackles are too many, but statistically, as you can see, Jonathan Gannon’s defensive unit has proven itself to be among the league’s best. That has to count for something as well ( the pun there was intended).

J.G. probably isn’t going to alter much about his approach regardless of what any of us think. By playing a lot of zone and off-coverages, he allows his secondary the opportunity to read opposing quarterbacks and react. They’ve given up plays, but they’ve made quite a few as well. Look at some of these numbers:

Opposing quarterbacks are completing 60.3% of their passes versus the Philadelphia Eagles. That used to be a great number in the NFL, but now, it’s the lay of the land. Only three teams have allowed a lower completion percentage:

  • Cincinnati Bengals (59%)
  • New England Patriots (59.1%)
  • New York Giants (60.3%)

Opposing QBs average 6.0 yards per attempt versus the Eagles’ defense. That’s second in the NFL. Philly is first in interceptions per opposing QB pass attempts (3.7%). They’re second in sack percentage (9.4%). They’re allowing a passer rating of 73.6. That ranks them first in the NFL.

Before bashing J.G., maybe we should take all of that into consideration. Numbers don’t tell the entire story, but they don’t lie either. 12 games into the 2022-2023 Philadelphia Eagles season, the evidence is overwhelming. Jonathan Gannon has been better than advertised.

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