Another Eagles Strength: The Run Defense
Defensive linemen have a crappy job in the Eagles’ 3-4 defense. It’s as brutal and difficult as any position in football, but thankless, too!
By design, they focus on stuffing the run instead of quarterback sacks, which bring all the glory (and big paydays). Three guys square off against five lineman and a tight end or two, battling for a draw so that linebackers can run past them and make highlight reels. And the offense’s pretty boys get to score almost all the touchdowns.
So let’s take a moment and appreciate how great the Eagles’ run defense is. Even as run stuffers, they get no respect because Chip Kelly’s tempo offense means they face a lot more plays than most teams, which means they give up more total yards.
The standard statistic is total rushing yards allowed in a season. Last year, the Eagles gave up 1,771 yards, exactly in the middle of the league. But they faced 473 snaps, 5th most in the league. Denver, praised for giving up only 1,276 yards, faced the fewest run plays in the NFL.
The better statistic is yards per carry, and the Eagles tied Denver for 4th in the league, at a miserly 3.7 YPC. But the Eagles also forced 10 fumbles and kept six of them, best in the league. The Bronco’s only took away one.
So let’ s see how the Eagles did, at hostile Lambeau field, in shutting down the Green Bay Packers top two runners:
Yeah, that sounds about right.