After an abysmal performance against the New England Patriots in their first preseason game, the Philadelphia Eagles‘ defense stepped up their output. Was it better preparation, a more clear understanding of a new defense, or just the difference between an NFL great and a mediocre opponent?
Any of the previous is possible, but for anyone bleeding Eagles green, the hope is that the defense is just getting better.
Granted, the Carolina Panthers and Cam Newton are not Tom Brady and the Patriots, but the overall performance on the defensive side of the ball was much improved for Philadelphia in just under a week’s time.
Not only did the defense improve by allowing only 278 yards of total offense compared to the 442 of a week earlier, but they looked the part. Holes that were once open for running room seemed to be filled by multiple tacklers, receivers that caught the ball were met by a swarm of defenders, and the swagger that once lived in the Philadelphia defense seemed like it may be creeping slowly back.
Lots of upside appeared in a defensive group that hasn’t gotten much credit leading up to the 2013 season.
However, one game and one performance does not make a season, but taking small steps in the right direction means a lot for a young group of players who are trying to find their way in helping the Eagles reach greatness once again.
Their next challenge comes against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday — just another chance to improve the belief in Philadelphians that a new defense is taking shape, and it’s something to look forward to.