Reflecting on Sunday’s game against the Raiders, it’s hard to think about anything else besides the outing Nick Foles had. It’s understandable as you don’t see guys throwing for seven touchdowns in one game all that often. You also didn’t expect it out of Foles after his last start against the Cowboys.
However, I like to take everything with a grain of salt. This week I’m taking a closer look at the Eagles defense. On the surface, it doesn’t seem like a terrible effort. They gave up 20 points but the Raiders added a touchdown in garbage time to get there. Bradley Fletcher and Connor Barwin had interceptions and the defense registered three sacks.
Despite having some positive numbers in the stat column, it wasn’t there best effort of the year. They allowed 560 yards of offense which is more than the Eagles had (yes the team with the quarterback who threw seven touchdowns). This was composed of both a ton of yards on the ground and through the air.
On the ground, the Eagles almost allowed two 100 yard rushers with Rashad Jennings racking up 102 yards and Terrelle Pryor adding 94. Darren McFadden was only able to carry the ball five times before heading to the sidelines for the rest of the game. The damage could have been worse.
Through the air, Oakland spread the ball around with seven receivers registering multiple receptions. None of them went for over 100 individually, which just emphasizes the fact that Pryor was spreading the wealth.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been pretty happy with the improvements I’ve seen out of the defense. They haven’t been dominant by any means, but they seem to be making strides in the right direction. With an offense that has as much fire power as the Eagles have shown they can have, they don’t need to be posting any shutouts. If they please reasonably well, it should be enough for the Eagles to register wins.
One of the things they seemed to struggle with the most was the speed and athleticism of Pryor. At times, Mychal Kendricks did a good job using his speed and taking good angles to cut Pryor off. However, he was just too fast for them at times. Not every quarterback in the NFL has the same athleticism as Pryor, but I’d like to see the Eagles do a better job adjusting to more athletic quarterbacks.
In the secondary, inconsistency seems to be the biggest thing. It seems that all members of the secondary will look very good at times but look very bad at times during the same game. Sunday’s game against the Raiders was no different. We saw various members of the secondary make solid plays but also have plays that had you shaking your head.
Overall, a win is a win. However, there is always room for improvement. The defense has plenty they can take away from the win over Oakland to work on as they look forward to playing he Packers this week.