Entering the 2013 season, the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense was surrounded by more questions than answers.
They were a young and inexperienced group, lacking direction and trying to make a transition into a new system. There were few expectations about their production and more often than not, they were labeled as a possible scapegoat if things didn’t work out in Chip Kelly’s first year at the helm. They really didn’t have that go-to guy who could make plays and change a game.
Things have changed quite a bit since the beginning of the season though. It is now the defense that has stepped up their play and can be counted on for a strong performance when the team needs it. It is the defense that has made huge strides during the year and is now heading into the playoffs with a sense of confidence and accomplishment.
It is the defense that will be counted on to handle the burden of stopping Drew Brees and the highly-touted New Orleans Saints offense, providing the Eagles with an opportunity to make some noise in the playoffs.
The Philadelphia defense has made vast gains, but they’ve done so due to the emergence of potential star players, none bigger in effect than cornerback Brandon Boykin. In just his second year in the league, Boykin is already having a huge impact on the improvement of the defense and has quickly risen to role of a counted-on playmaker for defensive coordinator Billy Davis.
His six interceptions lead the team and put him second in the NFL behind only Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. Boykin has risen to stardom in the City of Brotherly Love, but he has also set the bar of expectation that much higher. Now, he will be counted on to produce the same game-changing moments each time the Eagles are in need of a play. He has stepped up to every task thrown his way to this point, why should it be any different going forward?
Count on Boykin to change the defensive outlook in Philadelphia for plenty of years to come, as he continues to improve and become a leader for an Eagles defense regaining its identity.