The first two weeks of the season, the Philadelphia Eagles defense was playing excellent football. In Week 1 against the Falcons, Philadelphia held Atlanta to six points, and in Week 2 versus the 49ers, the Eagles held San Francisco to 17 points.
However, the last two weeks have not been very memorable for Philly’s defense. They have given up 77 points in the previous two weeks, including 42 against the Chiefs last Sunday. Additionally, they have had a difficult time stopping the run. In the last two weeks, the Eagles have given up 360 yards on the ground. Currently, Philly is 31st against the run.
When the defense falters, fingers get pointed at the defensive coordinator, which is Jonathan Gannon,
“Yeah, I would think — we always first look at the coaches,” Gannon said at a press conference on Tuesday. “You know, when we come in on Monday, critically, how can we help our players a little bit more to put them in better position to win the game.
“I think we’re all pissed off about the last two games. We haven’t played great on defense. That’s evident. And that starts with me and starts with the coaches.
“So it always comes down to self-evaluation, ‘Hey, what can we do to help our players? What did we say the three things are to win this game? Did we get those three things done?'”
According to Gannon, he’s running out of patience with himself.
“My level of patience, it’s wearing thin on myself,” he said. “‘Hey, Jonathan, let’s get them in better position, so we give our team a chance to win the game.’ It’s not really towards getting irritated at the players. That’s how I’ll always roll; that’s how the coaches roll. So, when we came in here on Monday and sat down, I talked to the head coach on Sunday, on Monday morning, and then we’ll talk to him tonight.
“And the patience for me is wearing thin, ‘Hey, let’s get competitive. Let’s get in a game.’ Because right now, we haven’t been in a game — I know we were in that game, but from a defensive standpoint, like, we got to keep the points down, keep the yards down, get off the field to give our team a chance to win.
So, where I’m most non-cool, calm, and collected right now is not with the players; it’s with myself.”
Gannon is taking the blame, but it’s deeper than him. It’s a talent issue. The linebackers are very average; the secondary is not much better, and the defensive line is missing a big piece in Brandon Graham. The defense is probably not as bad as we’ve seen in the last two weeks, but it’s probably not as good as we’ve seen in Weeks 1 and 2.
Gannon and company have a lot of work to do to get this defense turned around.