Philadelphia Eagles: Timmy Jernigan can help turn the team’s favor

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

While far from a magic pill, Timmy Jernigan’s return could help to bolster the Philadelphia Eagles struggling defense against the Giants.

Don’t look now Philadelphia Eagles fan, but reinforcements are on the way

Is it a bit too late for any addition, regardless of the size, to turn around Philly’s favors with the team firmly in third place in their division at 4-6? Debateable, but regardless, it’s hard to not get at least a little excited about Timmy Jernigan‘s Week 13 return to action against the New York Giants.

Honestly, could you have scripted a better opponent if you tried?

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Granted, the G-Men do have Saquon Barkley, who very well may be the best running back in the league period, but what has that gotten Pat Shurmur‘s squad so far? Oh yeah, a 3-7 record and an album guaranteed a one-way ticket to the top of the 2019 NFL Draft.

In a game with severe playoff implications for the still in-the-hunt Eagles, Jim Schwartz‘s defensive line just got back one of their very crucial lynchpins who could reintroduce himself to the league against one of the more stationary targets in the league.

When the Giants take the field on Sunday afternoon, Eli Manning will be a sitting duck.

While there’s no way of knowing just how many games Jernigan’s exclusion from the active roster ultimately cost the team so far this season, but his return to the field’s significance simply can not be overstated: It could very easily have a more significant impact on the team than the addition of Golden Tate.

Last season, Jernigan’s addition alongside Fletcher Cox created one of the most formidable, and fearsome one-two defensive tackle tandems in the entire league, and was a significant reason why Schwartz’s defense was able to be so dangerous while only rushing four players on the vast majority of the team’s snaps.

For the low, low price of a third round pick, the Eagles were able to bring in a formidable defensive tackle miscast in as a 3-4 end in Baltimore who’s still set helped to highlight what makes Cox one of the most dominant pocket collapsers in the league.

Oh yeah, and they also got a third-round pick back as well, making Jernigan’s total cost about 20 spots in the third round.

Though Jernigan is far from a dominant pass rusher like his once and soon-to-be current partner Cox, Timmy’s ability to play both the pass and the run effectively tied opposing offensive coordinators’ hands in relation to their blocking schemes, essentially making any sort of double-team a choose your own adventure.

That simply wasn’t the case with Haloti Ngata, Treyvon Hester, or Bruce Hector on the field.

Furthermore, with Jernigan back on the field, Cox will actually be able to spend a bit more time off of it.

Last season, Cox recorded 607 defensive snaps while playing about 60 percent of the team’s defensive snaps. This season, he’s effectively matched that number (524) in six fewer games while playing over 80 percent of the team’s defensive snaps.

No matter how you slice it, that’s just not a winning formula.

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With Timmy Jernigan back on the field, the Philadelphia Eagles defensive rotation will finally return to some semblance of normality, but at this point only time will tell if his addition will be enough to get the team back into contention for the wide open NFC East, or if it’s too little too late following a less than stellar first three months of the season.