Despite an incredible win against the formerly undefeated Green Bay Packers, which included two huge goal line stops by the Eagles’ defense, the need for an upgrade at defensive back in Philly is growing steadily each game.
Terry McLaurin: 5 catches, 125 yards, 1 TD
Julio Jones/Calvin Ridley: 13 catches, 211 yards, 3 TDs
Marvin Jones: 6 catches, 101 yards, 1 TD
Davante Adams: 10 catches, 180 yards
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to glance at those numbers and realize the Eagles have a huge problem in the “guarding wide receivers” department. This is an issue that has always been apparent, stretching back all the way into 2018 and even parts of 2017 (Amari Cooper racked up 292 yards on 16 catches against Philly last season).
Jim Schwartz and the Eagles defense have relied almost exclusively on their pass rush in past seasons, counting on them to generate enough pressure on the QB to result in bad throws. This allowed guys like Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby (both not good in coverage) to make an abundance of plays on poorly thrown balls. However, given that key edge rushers Chris Long and Michael Bennett are gone, and DTs Timmy Jernigan and Malik Jackson are both out with injuries, the pass rush just isn’t the same anymore.
This lack of elite-tier defensive linemen has led to a ton of pressure being placed on the Eagles DBs to simply defend their man straight up, something they’ve obviously failed at. Now in typical Philadelphia sports fashion, the injury bug has struck early and often. Starters Darby and Sidney Jones are both currently dealing with hamstring issues, former 4th round pick Avonte Maddox just got killed by his own teammate last night, and guys like Jalen Mills and Cre’von Leblanc won’t be available for another few weeks.
Doug Pederson says it’s obviously possible they’ll have to add a corner. Will speak to Howie Roseman later today. #Eagles
— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroNBCS) September 27, 2019
Doug Pederson wasn’t shy when asked about the current corner situation during Friday’s press conference, acknowledging that they will most likely add at that position. As I’m writing this, it was just announced that Orlando Scandrick would be signing back with Phily, and while this adds much needed depth, I think we all know Doug is after something more.
Jalen Ramsey is the obvious name that comes to mind here, and while of course I would love to have the former All-Pro dawn the midnight green (check out my full take on Ramsey here), I’d like to be the first to throw out a few other names.
Guys like Patrick Peterson, Chris Harris Jr., Xavien Howard, and AJ Bouye are all top level boundary corners rotting away on terrible teams. With reports coming out that the Jags are asking for a fortune for Ramsey, it’d make sense for Howie Roseman and the Eagles to explore other potential upgrades.
The Eagles are still a good football team, they proved that last night. Walking into Lambeau and beating a red-hot Aaron Rodgers is something that has rarely happened in NFL history. While Thursday night was an incredibly fun win, now is not the time for the birds to sit on their hands and celebrate. Cornerback is our Achilles heel, we have to find a way to address it before it’s too late.
-David Esser via Philly Sports Insider
~stats via NFL.com
~image via cbssports.com~