With the Philadelphia Eagles’ cornerstone out indefinitely, their defense will have to step up and regain the edge they’ve been missing recently.
The Philadelphia Eagles have looked like Super Bowl contenders this year, but in one play all of those hopes are seemingly gone.
Carson Wentz, diving into the end zone, was hit on his lower body, causing a torn ACL, which will force him to miss the rest of the season. While advances in modern medicine make it likely he returns to MVP caliber in the future, there is now a giant hole on this team that doesn’t look like it can be filled. Wentz just broke the Eagles single-season touchdown record, and now all of a sudden Nick Foles will be taking snaps in meaningful games.
This isn’t a knock on Foles, but he obviously is no Wentz. For the Eagles to even have a chance at making a run in the playoffs everyone needs to step up. Foles doesn’t have to be a world beater, he just has to make sure he limits turnovers and keeps the offense on the field. Even if Foles plays his role perfectly, the group most needed to step up has to be the defense.
Early on in the season, the Eagles defense looked like world beaters, but in more recent weeks the group has lost some of its swagger.
Injuries have played a vital part in the season to this point, as several key defenders have missed valuable time, but the mentality has always been for the next man to step up. Now that the Eagles have been playing some of the tougher teams in the NFC, this mentality has started to fail. Players don’t have the same energy that made them unstoppable early on, and for this team to have any chance of making a postseason run, that needs to change.
Playing with reckless abandon is when the Eagles defense is at their best. Getting to the quarterback for a sack and playing tight man to man defense in the secondary is where these players shine, but playing against stronger offenses, the defense has become painfully average.
With a new quarterback at the helm, the defense needs to become the leaders that everyone knows they can be. Defensively, leading by example is the only true way for the Eagles to make lemonade out of the lemons that the Wentz injury has thrown at the team. When the Eagles defense is playing with an edge they are a dangerous team, no matter who is leading the offense. Crazier things have happened in the playoffs, so who’s to say this dominant defense can’t lead the team to a late-season run.