The Philadelphia Eagles 2011 season seemed to have a glaring weakness: the defensive. The apparent ineptness of the Eagles deficiencies on defense were squarely focused on defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. Did perception divulge reality? Reality was that the Eagles did go on to win the last four games of the season, playing stout defense. Beyond that, th the actual season ending defensive statistics.
The NFL ranks defenses based on yardage allowed. I am not a proponent of this statistical measure of ranking defenses. I look at points allowed as the most telling stat of a solid defense. Let us take a look at how the Eagles defense fared at both in the 2011 regular season.
The Eagles defense allowed a combined 324.9 yards per game, ranking them eighth in the entire NFL. I found that shocking considering the team finished 8-8, missing the playoffs. To put that in perspective, the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants finished 27th, allowing 376.4 yards per game.
To miss the playoffs, the Eagles must have been amongst the worst defenses in points allowed per game. Not exactly. The Eagles defense finished tenth overall, allowing 20.5 points per game. Again, to put that in perspective, the Lombardi Trophy winning New York Giants finished 25th overall, allowing 25 points per game.
Being a rookie defensive coordinator, Juan Castillo will improve his second season. The defense certainly proved that the last four games.
The bottom line is that the Eagles defense was not the reason for a failed season………As an offense, the Eagles led the NFL in turnovers. The Eagles have an explosive offense, that should reduce costly give-aways next season. In turn, the defense should be more consistent, just by default. Juan Castillo should be more effective, just by added experience.