So much for Trent Cole‘s tough transition to outside linebacker. Cole was all over the field for the Philadelphia Eagles. Whether it was setting the edge for the run defense, forcing turnovers or even forcing a safety, Cole was a menace on defense for the Eagles.
Many questioned whether Cole would be able to make the switch from a “hand in the dirt” defensive end to a stand-up rush linebacker. On this night, Cole answered the question emphatically and with an exclamation point. Cole was the Eagles’ best defender on Monday Night. He shot into the backfield early and often, and created chaos for Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redksins.
The defense as a whole played superbly. They played a bit of soft coverage prevent defense and gave up chunks of yards and points late in the fourth quarter, but it really was an impressive unit for three and a half quarters.
Others who really stepped up in the bright lights were Mychal Kendricks, Cary Willilams and Demeco Ryans. Kendricks in particular was a real weapon on defense. Defensive coordinator Billy Davis wasn’t afraid to send the young athletic linebacker home on blitzes, and he got a few hard licks on Griffin III that had him getting up slowly.
The defense seemed to take to heart the negative press they were getting in the offseason. They played with a chip on their shoulder all night long and gave a full 60 minute effort. Much will be written about the offense and how explosive it was under Chip Kelly. On this night, the defense was the x-factor for the Eagles.