The Philadelphia Eagles are the only remaining undefeated team in the NFL with a 4-0 record. This is because of solid all around offensive and defensive play. The offense has gotten most of the attention but let’s focus on the defensive side of the ball. Here are the Eagles’ defensive rankings after four weeks.
Passing Yards Allowed: 708 (7th)
The Eagles have allowed just 708 passing yards through four games. They have not allowed an opposing quarterback to have more than 250 yards once this season. Give credit to defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon who was under a lot of pressure to fix this.
Completion Percentage Allowed: 56.4% (1st)
The Eagles are allowing the opposing quarterbacks to complete just 56.4% of their passes. This is a team effort. The defensive line is pressuring the quarterback to get rid of the ball quickly and the secondary is breaking up passes.
Opposing QBR: 69.2 (Tied for 2nd)
Unlike last year, opposing quarterbacks are not looking good against Philadelphia’s defense. Lions quarterback Jared Goff probably had the best game out of the quarterbacks the Eagles have faced this year. Kirk Cousins and Carson Wentz really struggled while Trevor Lawrence was ok but turned the ball over multiple times.
Sacks: 16 (1st)
The Eagles struggled to bring the quarterback down in 2021 but now lead the league in this category. In Week Three, the Eagles sacked their former quarterback Carson Wentz nine times. Brandon Graham led the way with 2.5 sacks earning him NFC Defensive Player of the Week.
Interceptions: 5 (Tied for 3rd)
The Eagles ranked near the bottom of the league in interceptions last year but are off to a great start. Cornerbacks Darius Slay and James Bradberry both have two interceptions each. The Eagles are lucky to have outstanding cornerback play to help neutralize elite receivers like Justin Jefferson and Terry McLaurin. Darius Slay’s Week Two efforts against Justin Jefferson earned him NFC Player of the Week honors.
Rushing Yards Allowed: 401 (9th)
The Eagles are above average for rush yards allowed. This is in part because they have gotten off to big leads and the opposing offense has changed their game plan.
Yards Per Carry Allowed: 5 (22nd)
When the opposing team runs the ball, the Eagles are giving up 5 yards per carry. This is below average and could be corrected with more of first round pick Jordan Davis on the field.
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Forced Fumbles: 6 (Tied for 2nd)
The Eagles forced four fumbles in their Week Four victory over the Jaguars. This effort was led by free agent acquisition and former Temple Owl, Haason Reddick. His play earned him NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors. This was the third straight game the Eagles had a defensive player of the week.
Opposition Third Down Percentage: 42% (21st)
This is the weakest area of the Eagles defense. They cannot allow opposing teams to convert third downs. This extends drives and keeps the Eagles offense on the sidelines. The worst game for the Eagles defense in third down percentage was Week One against the Lions when Detroit converted 64% on third down. This allowed the Lions to cut the 31-14 deficit to 38-35.
Opposition Time Of Possession: 26:18 (4th)
The Eagles are towards the top of the league in time of possession. This allows the defense to stay fresh so they can get to the quarterback and force turnovers.
Points Per Game Allowed: 17.8 (10th)
After allowing the Detroit Lions to score 31 points in Week One, the Eagles have mostly prevented opponents from getting to the end zone. Philadelphia allowed just seven points in Week Two and eight points in Week Three.
Pro Football Focus Ranking: 2nd
The Eagles’ defense is ranked second in the league per Pro Football Focus. This is actually better than the offense which is ranked fourth. Overall, the Eagles defense has looked incredible and has turned it around compared to last year through the first quarter of the season.
Though it has only been four games, the Eagles have played very well so far. The defense has risen to the occasion and has been an underrated strength of the team. Hopefully the solid play of the defense continues as the Eagles have tough opponents in the Cardinals and Cowboys coming up.