Before the season, Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis told the media that he had studied Jim Johnson‘s pressure packages. Johnson was the premier head of the defense in his time here, and his presence will always be missed. He believed in a threshold of 17 points, and if you could hold the opposition to that number you were a success and the game could be a victory. He also ran a unit that would give up yards and clamp down in the red zone.
This trend has continued.
The Eagles’ defense is giving up a ton of yards. They let some skilled and some lesser quarterbacks run the field with regularity. Now they have stepped up to prevent scoring, but as the Eagles close out the season they need to start getting some stops. Where is the three and out? The final drive of the game against the Washington Redskins felt like it took an hour, and the defense could not get off the field. The yards needed didn’t matter as they kept giving up first downs.
If not for pressure and a bad pass it could have easily ended up a loss. You could see the defense getting winded as the game went on, and this is a side effect of not winning the time of possession battle. Chip Kelly doesn’t care about that statistic and that’s fine, but he must know the impact it will have on the defense. The final five games will decide the season and Kelly’s success in his first year. Yes, the defense has grown since game one, but there is still work needed. If they want any chance in the harder games that are coming they need to make some stops, shut down the offense, and get off the field.