Is the front 7 the key for the Eagles success on Sunday?
22 October 2016 Eagles News
Over the past 2 weeks we’ve seen the Eagles defense start to fall apart a little bit. A lot of this has to do with the front 7. The Eagles secondary is definitely the weakest part of the defense (perhaps on the whole team) with a bunch of guys who are average to below average players playing. Heading into the season, a sizable amount of Eagle fans, myself included, thought that the front 7 would play a key factor in determining the outcome of a variety of Eagles games this season, and it’s definitely been the case so far.
Over the first 3 weeks, the birds were able to get pressure on the defense with ease. They dominated the trenches over the first 3 games giving quarterbacks like Ben Roethlisberger, Jay Cutler, and Robert Griffin fits throughout the game. That wasn’t the case the past two weeks of the season. Even though Stafford got sacked four times and fumbled the ball once in week five, he was still able to deliver these short/intermediate passes without too much trouble. In last weeks game against the Redskins, the defense did not register a sack for the first time since god knows when. From what we’ve seen Sam Bradford is not a mobile Quarterback, and sometimes he doesn’t make the best decisions when he’s under pressure. With the Vikings having supposedly one of the worst offensive lines in football, I would hope the Eagles front seven takes advantage of that and gets pressure on Sam Bradford.
After last weeks performance by the defense, I thought Billy Davis was still our defensive coordinator. Missing tackles left and right, giving up a ton of 3rd and long conversions, including an 8 yard scramble on 3rd and 7 to none other than Kirk Cousins, not a Dak Prescott or Russell Wilson, but Kirk Cousins. The defense gave up 135 rushing yards to Matt Jones, a guy who hasn’t really been a big key factor in the Redskins success on offense. Not only that, but they also gave up nearly 60 rushing yards to a guy named Rob Kelley. I’ve never even heard of the dude until last week and I may never hear from him again, until the next time they play the Eagles. The front seven has played horrible over the past two weeks, not just Mychal Kendricks, who by the way I hope they bench because he’s a scrub, but the whole defense has looked like a water down version of what we saw over the first few weeks of the season.
Even though the front 7 hasn’t looked as dominate over the past couple of weeks, the Vikings don’t have the most high powered offense in the NFL. The Vikings rank dead last in 32nd in rushing yards per game at 70.6, 24th in passing yards per game at 232, and overall, they ranked 30th in total offense per game averaging just over 300 yards per game (302.6 yards per game to be exact). If the Eagles just so happen to win on Sunday, I believe it’ll because of the front seven. I still believe our secondary will have some issues, and I don’t see the offense doing too much to help. That’s not a knock on Carson Wentz or the offense, but this is a really scary defense, and it’ll definitely be one of the best, if not the best defense we’ll face all year. But, again just like I mentioned, if the Eagles are going to win against the Vikings, the front seven needs to step up. With that being said, buckle up folks, this could be a very ugly game on Sunday.
Nick Vuylsteke Kirk Cousins, Philadelphia Eagles, Rob Kelley, Sam Bradford