Originally posted on Philly Sports World  |  Last updated 10/3/12
Credit DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks as two of the reasons the Eagles are playing better defense this year.
A lot of people are qualifying the Eagles wins this season for a couple or reasons. I get it, especially in light of the fact that 2 of those wins came while the team, specifically the offense, didn’t play very well. The reality is that the team is 3-1, and while they may not have been the prettiest wins, they still count the same.
The Eagles played a solid game on Sunday night. It took some time for the offense to get in rhythm, and we’ll always remember the two 54 yard field goal attempts thanks to that ill timed time out, but the team won. And they won over the defending Super Bowl champs and a division rival. Those are all good things.
Perhaps more encouraging may have been that the Eagles finally played a relatively clean game. I’ve said all along that the weapons are there, the Eagles just needed to play better football. You know, limit the turnovers and penalties. They did that Sunday night.
Most impressively to me, though, is the way that the defense has played in all four games. Sure the Arizona game was a debacle, but you don’t win a lot of games in which your offense puts up 6 points. After a shoddy first half, the Eagles D re-grouped and held the Cardinals to a FG in the second half. Take away the fumble return for a TD and the defense only gave up 20 points. Not great, but not horrible either.
The D held the Browns to 16 points, the Ravens to 23 and the Giants to 17. Take away the pick 6 Michael Vick threw into the end zone against the Ravens and they’ve given up a total of 69 points in 4 games for an average of 17.25 points per game.
The difference for the Eagles has undoubtedly been on defense. Games that this team surely would have lost last year they are now winning. Much of that has to do with the improvements on defense. DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks have been solid additions to the linebacking corps. The secondary hasn’t been great at times, but they have been pretty solid. The only surprise is that the defensive line only has 7 sacks this far into the season.
Whether Juan Castillo got it all together, the players are just executing now or some combination of those factors, the Eagles have a legitimate defense. The one everyone thought they had last year.
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