In the Philadelphia Eagles 27-24 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, the most frustrating part of that game was the performance of the Eagles Defense. This is now the fifth game that the Eagles Defense allowed an opposing Quarterbacks to complete 80 percent of their passes which ties an NFL record set in 2015 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, and Dak Prescott are among the ten best QBs in the NFL today, this defense has looked completely ineffective against those three along with Derek Carr and Justin Herbert.
In his day after press conference, Eagles Head Coach Nick Sirianni tried to put the blame on his shoulders with the football version of “The Buck Stops With Me”:
“The way I speak to the defense is more so in the sense of, ‘Hey, here is what’s difficult for me as a coordinator.’ So, that’s why I say, first and foremost, whatever the issues are on this team offensively, defensively, special teams-wise, it all starts with me and me first. So, again, because I do have that expertise as an offense to be able to share this information with the defense. And it’s my job to be able to get some of those things worked into the equation.”
Sirianni has been consistent by saying something similar on Sunday Night in the post game press conference by laying this out for the media:
“Any time you play a quarterback like Justin Herbert…you have to be on your ‘A Game’ and (that) starts with us as coaches….So I’m not going to say Jonathan (Gannon) anything because that’s my name on that (loss). Whatever happens on that field my name is on (it): offensively (and) defensively. I’m not the offensive coordinator, I’m the head coach.”
While I appreciate Sirianni’s consistent message and not throwing his Defensive Coordinator under the bus like he did a couple weeks ago, this is just empty words unless we see something change or improve over the next several weeks. This is an Eagles Defense that is bottom half of the league this season in Sacks (17) and only seven teams have fewer this year. Last season, the Eagles finished Third in the NFL in Sacks (48) and averaged 41.4 Sacks per year in the five seasons under Jim Schwartz as Defensive Coordinator.
To me, the problem is Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon being inconsistent and not being able to put the players in a position to be successful on a regular basis. This Eagles Defense has held opposing teams to under 20 Points in four games this year and the team is 3-1 in those games; That one loss the team SHOULD have won against the 49ers (17-11 loss) but Nick Sirianni derailed the offense. It is not a coincidence that Brady, Mahomes, Herbert, Carr, and Prescott all had big games against the Eagles Defense and there is not one who deserve more blame than the Defensive Coordinator.
Sirianni can take all the blame he wants, but Gannon is the defensive play caller and not Sirianni. Whether Gannon is still too inexperienced to be a good Defensive Play Caller or he is too stubborn to make necessary adjustments, this team has no wins at home this season in large part because Gannon can’t get this right!
EAGLES TOP-10 SACK LEADERS
10. Williams Fuller, 1994-1996
9. Seth Joyner, 1986-1993
8. Andy Harmon, 1991-1997
7. Greg Brown, 1981-1986
6. T5. Hugh Douglas, 1998-2002, 04-05
5. T5. Fletcher Cox, 2012-Present
4. Brandon Graham, 2010-Present
3. Clyde Simmons, 1986-1993
2. Trent Cole, 2005-2014
1. Reggie White, 1985-1992
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