As Entire City Focuses on Foles, Eagles Fans Should Worry More About their Team’s Defense

Christopher Tremoglie

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The Eagles were flying high during the 2017 NFL Season. Carson Wentz was enjoying a break out season during his second year and had become a legitimate MVP candidate as he guided the team to the NFL’s best record. Heading in to a marquee matchup with the Los Angeles Rams, the team was positioning itself for clinching the division and working towards home field advantage throughout the playoffs. As much of the fanbase, sports writers and “experts” weighed in on whether backup Nick Foles could lead the team, the bigger concern and focus should be the team’s collapsing defense.

Then disaster happened. Carson Wentz was injured running towards the end zone. He tore his ACL. Season over. Nick Foles was the future of 2017.

When this happened, many in the Philadelphia area voiced concern over the future of the successful 2017 campaign. The entire city was enamored with Carson Went and wondered if Nick Foles had enough to continue the success already established.

Throughout the week between their win over the Los Angeles Rams and their matchup against the New York Giants, the discussion was the same: Can Foles Lead the Team?

This is the wrong thing to worry about. The bigger concern is the team’s disintegrating defense.

You remember the defense, right? They were the unit who was doing the “Electric Slide” after beating a woeful Bears team?

Once lauded as a strength of the team, this unit’s decline has gone mostly unnoticed because the team kept on winning. However, ever since the game against the San Francisco 49ers, the Eagles defense started showing signs of decline. Additionally, they have been excessively celebrating with choreographed routines as they pummeled inferior opponents. That is all well and good when you are winning. There has not been as much ballyhooing the past several games though.

Some would argue and even scoff at this notion. They won 4 consecutive games including the 49ers game by a convincing margin. This is undoubtedly true, however, they started giving up big plays against inferior opponents that they did not previously during the season – specifically the passing defense.

The Decline Begins

The team enters the game against the Giants with the 4th ranked defense in the league (and the number one ranked run defense). While many will scoff at this concern, careful analysis will show a statistical decline in their play from the 49ers game. There has been an increase in the number of penalties on the defensive unit as well as the amount of big plays given up. Just last week, the Los Angeles Rams became the first team to score a touchdown against the Eagles in the first quarter all season. They also gave up 35 points, the most they have give up all season. The week before, they suffered their first defeat since the second week of the season. The team gave up multiple long pass plays and touchdowns. The unit is definitely trending in the wrong direction.

The skid has gone mostly unnoticed because they have kept winning. However, if this trend does not change, the Eagles will not continue to win. This is especially true as they start to play some of the better teams in the league.

If the Eagles hope to have any success in the postseason, the team, fans, pundits and so-called “experts” need to worry more about their team’s defense rather than Nick Foles.

 

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