Heading into the 2012 season, I predicted the Philadelphia Eagles would have the most dominant defensive line in the National Football League. In fact, my prediction was that the Eagles’ defensive line would be as dominant as any position on any team in the league.
Trent Cole and Jason Babin are both Pro Bowl defensive ends. Brandon Graham is out on a mission to prove that he is not a first round bust. Phillip Hunt was an absolute animal throughout the preseason and was my Eagles’ defensive breakout player of the year pick. Darryl Tapp is a great backup and rookie Vinny Curry would be in the rotation for any other team.
At defensive tackle, veterans Derek Landri and Cullen Jenkins, as well as first round rookie Fletcher Cox, could start for almost any team. Cedric Thornton is a solid backup.
But so far this season, the Eagles have disappointed on their defensive line. They’ve accumulated just seven sacks, as opposed to the seven I predicted in the season’s first game against the Cleveland Browns.
They’ve had a lot of hurries, especially with the game on the line in wins against the Ravens and the Giants. They just haven’t gotten the sacks.
I expect that to change against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have a weak offensive line. Look for the Eagles to collect four or five sacks. I don’t expect the nine they collected last time the two teams played, but I think the Eagles will put Big Ben on his butt multiple times.
Unfortunately though, I have the Eagles losing 23-13, despite the sacks.