It’s officially ski mask season and forcing turnovers will be big vs. Bears
4 January 2019 Eagles News
Since cornerback Jalen Mills started what would end up being the rallying cry for the defense, they’ve turned up the level of play and have forced turnovers.
In the beginning of the season, the Eagles struggled to force turnovers. However, in the last six games, they’ve been able to force 10. That’s including eight in the last four games. The Eagles have only taken away the ball 17 times on the year, but like forth noted, they’ve been able to take it away a lot as of late.
The symbolic representation behind all of this has been the ski mask.
#Eagles CB Avonte Maddox says the D takes pride in forcing a turnover because guys want to wear that ski mask on the sidelines!
— Jeff Skversky 6abc (@JeffSkversky) January 4, 2019
Whatever it is, the ski masks have worked. Cornerback Rasul Douglas has been exceptional lately and he leads the Eagles in interceptions this season. Here’s his explanation of the ski mask.
“We call it robbing somebody. We’re just trying to get as many turnovers as we can. Any defensive player who gets a turnover or forces a turnover gets to wear the ski mask.”
Whatever it is, it’s worked. The ski mask is a great representation of the Eagles last couple of games as well as the defense’s turnaround. Last season the Eagles has the dog masks, this season it is the ski masks.
Bringing this idea into the big playoff game versus the Chicago Bears this Sunday. The Bears give up the ball a lot, 24 times this season to be exact. That accounts for the eighth worse in the league. They’ve thrown 14 interceptions and fumbled the ball ten times.
For the Eagles, forcing turnovers, which they’ve been able to do lately, is going to be huge. Away from home, these plays can bring you back into the game and take away any momentum. If you recall, last season in the NFC Championship, former cornerback Patrick Robinson returned an interception for a touchdown. The single play kickstarted the Eagles and changed the whole game.
Now in the playoffs, one play can determine the outcome of the game. It’s very important to be on the right side of that play. For the Eagles, they need to have the ski mask mentality and continue to force turnovers. Because if they do, they’re giving themselves a big chance to win this game.