The Eagles were finally exposed.
Without space-eating rookie Jordan Davis, Philadelphia struggled to contain the run in Week 10. Their divisional matchup with the Washington Commanders saw them give up twelve first-downs on the ground. The Eagles possessed the ball for just 19:36 for the entire game as they struggled mightily to stem the momentum of methodical, meandering drives from their opponent.
Defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s scheme, seems to struggle without a dominant nose tackle that can two-gap against the run. As a result, the Eagles’ front office brought in some reinforcements.
“There are some things schematically within things that we do, and we have, that we can use those bullets, so to speak,” Gannon said on Thursday when asked about the run defense and how he might change things schematically. “It’s just deploying them and using them at the right times, and I can help our guys out a little bit better calling it a little bit better. That’s going to always come down to within each call the strength and the stress of each call. Putting our hands on the right people, playing with good pad level, fundamentals. And that is all 11 guys.” Jonathan Gannon – Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles Sign Former Los Angeles Charger DT Linval Joseph
First, the Eagles inked former Charger’s interior defender Linval Joseph to a one-year deal.
The two-time Pro-Bowler is a space-eater. Entering his 13th season as a pro, Joseph has amassed 56 tackles for loss, 25 sacks, and eight forced fumbles. He has terrific size at 6’4″, 329 pounds, and has been durable, never missing more than four games aside from his rookie season.
PFF has credited Joseph with 24 stops or more every season apart from his previous shortened rookie season. Unfortunately, his play has declined over the last two years. The 2021 NFL Season saw him slapped with a 49.8 PFF run defense grade, a career low.
It is worth noting that he played in Brandon Staley’s scheme, which puts significant pressure on the defensive line to contain the run. In addition, his defense frequently uses two-high shell coverage, which invites teams to rush against them. Unfortunately, this results in light boxes, which expose the defensive front. As a result, Joseph struggled to impact the game as a run defender.
As a pass rusher, he was excellent. He had just one sack but earned a sensational 83.0 PFF pass-rushing grade, the highest of his career. Moreover, Joseph totaled 16 quarterback pressures, 14 hurries, and 28 stops. That versatility can ensure that he is not just a two-down player for the Eagles’ home stretch.
The Eagles Follow Up With DT Ndamukong Suh
One just wasn’t enough.
Howie Roseman does not rest on his laurels. Frustrated with the team’s inability to stop the Commanders’ methodical rushing attack, the front office found a second veteran to thrust into the deep defensive line rotation.
The five-time Pro-Bowler was once a dominant force. Suh has been selected to three All-Pro First Teams, won Defensive Rookie Of The Year, and is a likely Hall Of Fame candidate. While he is 35 years old, he had six sacks and 37 total quarterback pressures last season. Entering his 13th season, the big man still has enough juice to contribute.
At 6’4″ and 313 pounds, Suh is a true intimidator. His career has created a reputation of dominance, and he has the statistical acumen to galvanize his enormous presence. Suh has racked up some absurd numbers for an interior defender in his 12-year career. He has racked up 70.5 sacks, 130 tackles for loss, and 38 pass deflections. Furthermore, Suh has the nose for big plays, with nine fumble recoveries and three touchdowns in his esteemed tenure.
While Suh had the most underwhelming year of his career last season, the Eagles believe he has something left in the tank. In a deep rotation that will allow him to stay fresh, perhaps the veteran defender can recapture some of his former dominance.
Will the Eagles’ signings help bolster their season? Or should they have focused on special teams issues?
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