Sometimes, as a coach, whether that be the head coach of a football team or one leading a position group, your job is to get the best out of a group of guys that may not be as talented as some of the NFL's better rosters. Sometimes, you get lucky. Sean Desai, the day he took over as the Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator, inherited an all-star team on his side of the ball. We have never done his job and never will, but something tells us that it's a good thing when you have everyone from James Bradberry and Darius Slay to Jalen Carter, Josh Sweat, and Haason Reddick at your disposal.
Now, here's the thing. Every team that an NFL squad faces has great players on its sideline too. That's even true of bad teams, so there will be ebbs and flows and ups and downs. The coaches that manage them better often produce the better results.
The Los Angeles Rams, to their credit, gave the Philadelphia Eagles all they could handle in Week 5, but the Birds weathered a storm. Their players stepped up, and their coaches adjusted, but how about a hand for the D.C.?
Sean Desai deserves a tip of the cap after outcoaching Sean McVay during second half of the Eagles' Week 5 win.
Ahead of Week 5's game, we all, no doubt, had the same thought. What is that coaching duel going to look like? Sean McVay is one of the best offensive minds in the game. Can Sean Desai devise a plan to silence the Rams' attack?
We learned the answer during the second half of Philly's Week 5 triumph. The answer to that question is 'YES'.
Think about something for a second. Cooper Kupp did whatever he wanted for a while in this one. When Puka Nacua caught a touchdown pass in the second quarter over James Bradberry, the scoreboard read 14-10 in L.A.'s favor with 32
seconds to play in the first half.
Credit the Eagles' offense for answering. They drove 75 yards in four plays and recaptured the lead as time expired on the scoreboard.
The second half was outstanding. Philly's offense would only need six points to hang on to an impressive road win.
The Rams were shut out. L.A. was befuddled as the Eagles defense would force McVay and the vaunted Rams offensive attack to punt on three consecutive possessions and turn the ball over on downs to conclude their fourth drive. L'A's fifth offensive possession began with 1:01 remaining and a nine-point deficit. There was truly nothing that they could do.
In total, the Rams were held to 17 first downs. The failed on eight of 14 third-down attempts. Philly's defense held L.A. to 249 yards on offense. They sacked Matthew Stafford four times and only allowed McVay's attack to possess the ball for 22:05.
Get this. Desai's unit did it all while rotating bodies in at the slot and without Fletcher Cox.
This is only one game, and now the attention shifts to the New York Jets. Every game won't play out like this for Sean Desai's defense, but we'd be remiss if we didn't give him the thumbs up for this performance.
We bang on these guys when they stink it up. We have to tip our caps when they excel. Guess what? The Eagles are 5-0 on this young season and one of only two undefeated teams remaining.