Emmanuel Acho exploded on the scene for the Philadelphia Eagles Thursday night notching 11 total tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble. He essentially ended the debate on who should make the team between he and Casey Matthews and is playing his way into the position of top reserve at inside linebacker.
The unheralded Acho has impressed throughout the preseason. He has led the Eagles in tackles in each preseason game and is second among all linebackers in the league in tackles in the preseason.
When Acho is out on the field he simply makes plays – something the Eagles’ defense has failed to do for some time. Originally acquired for Dion Lewis in the offseason, Acho faced an uphill battle cementing a spot on the roster. He seems to have knocked that door down now.
The Eagles boast impressive depth at the inside linebacker position. Jake Knott has also really opened eyes in the preseason as an undrafted free agent out of Iowa State. Both he and Acho are smart, instinctive football players that always seem to be in the right place and never seem to make the same mistake twice.
This has caught the eye of head coach Chip Kelly and is potentially bad news for the veteran Casey Matthews. Although Matthews played for Kelly in college he will not be playing any favorites in selecting the best 53 players for his football team. Matthews hasn’t flashed the way Knott and Acho have, and he seems to have played his way out of a job.
The good news for Eagles fans is they seem to have a bevy of young linebacker talent, and that hasn’t been the case in a while.