Philadelphia Eagles’ Linebackers are Killing Defense
Billy Davis managed to put together a win on Sunday with a very uneven performance from his defensive unit. As much as they were able to get a turnover, they should have had at least two more. His blitz packages only started getting pressure late in the game.
There was more than one case, especially in the drive that started on the Tampa Bay Buccanners’ two-yard line, of inexcusable play. You cannot let a team drive the field the way the Bucs did as a professional defense. The Philadelphia Eagles continue to make lesser quarterbacks look like seasoned veterans.
One area that stood out on Sunday was the poor performance of the linebackers. The Eagles still can’t cover a tight end. This was a consistent problem over a the last few years and it has not been solved yet. The underneath and crossing patterns are constantly open with Mychal Kendricks or DeMeco Ryans struggling to catch up to a receiver. Connor Barwin did get some good pressure, but Trent Cole is having clear issues in his adjustment to outside linebacker.
If Davis is going to keep retreating to his umbrella zones and soft coverage, he needs to do something with the linebackers or else this trend will continue. They are facing Jason Witten next week, and he’s one of the best at working the middle of the field. The linebackers aren’t helped by the defensive line failing to get pressure. At least Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams stepped up their games this week.
Davis needs to keep working as his group is still near the bottom of the league statistically and still suffers from a major lack of talent. They will face a solid test when the Dallas Cowboys come to the Linc and if they are to pull off a win, he needs to show some advancement.
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