Philadelphia Eagles: Clearly Jalen Mills is not the secondary’s problem

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(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

While Jalen Mills is far from a perfect DB, he’s clearly not the reason Jim Schwartz’s secondary has been a liability for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018.

The New Orleans Saints are on one of the most prolific offensive hot streaks of any team in NFL history, and unfortunately for fans in the 215, their latest victim had to be the Philadelphia Eagles.

Now granted, did the Eagles ever really have a shot to march into the Superdome, a week removed from dropping an egg to the Dallas Cowboys, and expect to beat the ‘Sean Payton and Drew Brees Show’? No, regardless of the whispers of ‘trap game’ that spread through the City of Brotherly Love, this was never a game Philly was going to win

But honestly, who’d have expected the team to lose this badly?

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After giving up an average of 20 points a game so far this season, the Birds’ D gave up 48 points to the New Orleans Saints in what will go down as the worst loss by a reigning Super Bowl champion in NFL history.

While there is a gaggle of reasons why the Eagles lost, like bad play calling, a score of in-game injuries, and Carson Wentz‘s trio of interceptions, the single most significant factor as to why the team lost has to be their secondary play.

Giving up 373 yards through the air, easily the most they’ve given up this season, virtually every defensive back gave up a monster play, as four different players caught TDs through the air.

Even Malcolm Jenkins, the epitome of consistency, gave up a 37-yard touchdown to Alvin Kamara on a wheel route that all but sealed his former team’s ninth win of the year.

But do you know who the blame can’t be placed on? Jalen Mills, as he was sidelined for the second straight week with a foot injury.

While fans across social media have been quick to pile blame on ‘the Green Goblin’ for his propensity for giving up big plays due to a lack of deep speed and an eagerness to commit roughing the passers, Mills would have actually been a serious upgrade over the motley crew of Rasul Douglas, De’Vante Bausby, and Cre’von LeBlanc, especially after Sidney Jones was sidelined due to yet another aggravation to his hamstring.

Would Mills’ addition have really tipped the scales in Philly’s favor in this, one of the most embarrassing games in recent memory? Honestly, I don’t think ‘Primetime’ Deion Sanders would have been enough to get the Birds a win, but at least Mills, an LSU alum, would have fought every single snap in the hopes of getting a win in front of his hometown crowd.

No, if this game was of any indication, it’s clear the Eagles’ biggest issues in the secondary are not with inconsistent play by Mills and his former partner Ronald Darby, but instead, poor play calling by defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

From his bizarre prevent play calls on third and longs, to his propensity for only rushing four players on any given play while locking his corners on a single high island, Schwartz clearly isn’t putting his defensive backs in a position to succeed. If the pass rush is hitting home, then that isn’t as big of an issue, but when you task a banged up secondary with covering their man for 10-plus seconds play-after-play, it’s going to result in lapses of coverage.

When facing off against a Hall of Fame-bound QB like Drew Brees, even the smallest mistakes are going to get exploited.

dark. Next. At this point, why not sign C.J. Anderson?

With Philly set to welcome the New York Giants for a potentially season-ending bout at Lincoln Financial Field, if Schwartz doesn’t amend his defensive scheme and put his players in better positions to succeed, the Eagles will struggle to keep their opponent out of the end zone once more, even if Mills, Douglas, and Jones are able to return from injury.