Last week the Philadelphia Eagles displayed their new high powered offense to American football fans and other teams alike. Michael Vick finally has the complete offense he hasn’t had his entire pro football career. He has numerous great wideouts in DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper and Jason Avant, an efficient running back in LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown, and now has the protection he desperately needed.
The Eagles have so far averaged 477 total yards a game. That should be enough offensively to win games but when your offense goes to the sideline, your defense has to take over.
Legendary Pro Bowl linebacker Ray Lewis once said, “Defense wins championships.” And he’s absolutely right. Look at the 2012 Baltimore Ravens: their offense was rarely 100% consistent, but their defense made sure they kept their team in the game. This Lewis-lead defense led to their second Super Bowl title despite Joe Flacco’s iffy quarterback performances throughout the year.
Chip Kelly can lead the Eagles to a championship in the very near future if he fixes the Eagles’ defense. Sunday, against the San Diego Chargers, the Eagles’ defense missed tackles, failed to get pressure on Phillip Rivers, and didn’t cover the Chargers’ wide receivers and tight ends well, which is what the Chargers’ offense is based on. They also failed to stop Phillip Rivers on San Diego’s game-winning field goal drive.
To summarize the 4th quarter, the Eagles’ and Chargers’ participated in a shootout. The last team to have the ball would win, and they did. If the defense had managed to stop the Chargers’ in the last fifteen minutes of the game Mike Vick’s Eagles would’ve come out 2-0, but they didn’t.
Luckily for the Eagles, they are in the NFC East. The Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, and New York Giants all took embarrassing losses this week. Since the Eagles won over a division opponent last week, the standings are in their favor for now.
Nevertheless, if the Eagles want to have a successful playoff run the defense has to stand up or the Eagles will be out of the playoff race once again looking for another defensive coordinator in the offseason.