After a dreadful beginning to the Chip Kelly era on the defensive side of the ball, the Philadelphia Eagles‘ defense came to play in their second preseason game, opening eyes and making it seem as though it may be satisfactory after all.
There are many different things that contributed to the change in performance, but they looked better regardless, which is a positive going forward for the Eagles.
Although the change in execution was against the Carolina Panthers, which is a much different team from the New England Patriots, it was a step forward for the Philadelphia defense. They limited Cam Newton and the Carolina offense to just three field goals, keeping them out of the end zone on the night.
The tackling all over the field seemed more crisp, more solid, and gaps that were once open against New England seemed to be filled and followed by groups of other Philadelphia defenders.
The Eagles were able to get multiple tacklers around the ball consistently all night and stop the Panthers from making anything happen It seemed as though whenever they needed a stop, someone new stepped up to make a play — a sign that they are moving along individually as well as in a unit. There were some large chunks of yards given up at times, but the Eagles’ defense recovered consistently and got back to work on the following plays.
After a first preseason game that left everyone wondering just how far a season could go with a less-than-mediocre defense, things seemed to look up with a strong performance. No one should get too excited just yet, but Thursday night’s game against Carolina, the last preseason home game for the Eagles, was a large step in the right direction for Kelly in pairing a defense to go with his lethal offense.