The Philadelphia Eagles defense was much maligned throughout the offseason. How did they respond to it? You could say well, but that would be an understatement. They responded with a dominating performance for most of the game until it got away late.
The defense is something fans were on egg shells about. What would it look like? Can the secondary hold up? Will the defense force any turnovers this season?
Many of these questions were answered in a resounding fashion. The Eagles forced three turnovers, piled up three sacks, and also forced a safety in the end zone. The secondary in particular was boosted by strong play from Bradley Fletcher and especially Cary Williams, who was everywhere, including hauling in a highlight-reel interception.
The quarterback looked uncomfortable in the pocket much of the night, which is the goal of any good defense. Defensive coordinator Billy Davis said the opening week would be a starting point. Well, this is a great one.
The Eagles have work to do — no doubt about it. They need to find a better way to sustain leads and not give up big chunks of yards near the end of the game. Part of the underneath stuff they gave up is to be expected as they were bleeding clock and played soft zone, but the big-play touchdown should never happen, and Patrick Chung knows he needs to be better in a situation like that.
The Eagles’ defenses of the past few years were not fun to watch. They may have featured some big names, but the players lacked effort and accountability as a lot of finger-pointing was going on. This year’s defense looks much better in terms of communication, effort and accountability.
They may have their ups and downs, especially in the secondary. However, I believe this defense is a few pieces away from becoming an outstanding unit.