Eagles Defense Turning A Corner?

For the first time since week 1 of 2012, the Eagles missed 3 or fewer tackles.

The Eagles defense outperformed their talent level against the Redskins, but it’s still too soon to believe that the Eagles will be a good – or even average – defensive team in 2013. After the Eagles missed double digit tackles on several occasions in 2012, fans are sick and tired of undisciplined football. Unfortunately, there’s not enough evidence to say that the Eagles’ impressive week one performance is more than a fluke.

Missed tackles are a fact of life in the NFL. Offensive players are just too good to go down on first contact all the time, and as with all statistics, random variation plays a big role in when teams miss relatively few – or many – tackles.

I would have a much easier time buying that the 3 missed tackles are indicative of future success if defensive coordinator Billy Davis had a better reputation or the Eagles made drastic improvements to the defense on paper. Instead, the likes of Nate Allen are still entrenched in the starting lineup and pass rushers like Trent Cole and Brandon Graham are being asked to play in space more often.

So far, the Eagles’ aggressive, blitz-heavy scheme has put defenders closer to the line of scrimmage and helped to bottle up the Redskins’ running game and pressure Robert Griffin III. Ultimately, it still seems that the Eagles’ secondary will have a hard time holding up against precision passers and some players will struggle to adjust to new roles in a 3-4 system.

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