The Philadelphia Eagles‘ defense has been a major disappointment four games in. Part of that has to do with the minimal impact that the outside linebackers have had rushing the passer and making plays.
Connor Barwin was brought over in free agency to get to the quarterback on a weekly basis. So far, this hasn’t happened. While he has held his own in coverage and been mostly solid setting the edge in the run game, he has failed to make any significant plays.
Trent Cole is still without a sack four games into his campaign. Brandon Graham, who ended the year so strongly last season, has also failed to make much of an impact in limited snaps, with one sack in four games.
This needs to change and fast for the Eagles’ defense to be successful. Outside linebackers in a 3-4 defense are labeled as disruptive players. Pinning their ears back and getting to the quarterback is their main responsibility. For whatever the reason, the Eagles have failed at this so far this season.
Maybe it is time for defensive coordinator Billy Davis to draw up some exotic stunts and loops to get guys free. The game plan in the last few weeks has not worked.
Almost every position on the field has struggled. Veteran Isaac Sopoaga has been a major disappointment so far at the nose tackle position. Aside from Bradley Fletcher, who has had a solid if unspectacular season, guys are failing to do their jobs and not getting turnovers in the secondary. Fletcher Cox, a budding young star on the defensive line, is struggling to adjust to the 3-4.
However, the pass rush masks a lot of problems when a defense is still learning. Right now, the pass rush isn’t getting home. This is further exposing the myriad of issues the Eagles’ defense has. Sunday would be the perfect time for the Eagles to finally find a consistent pass rush. Their season depends on it.