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Philly’s Defense Looks to Bounce Back on Christmas Night

Philly's Defensive Struggles alexandriapasse / Flickr


Will Philly’s Defensive Struggles Continue?

Philly’s defensive struggles have been in the spotlight as of late. In the last three games, the Eagles defense has allowed 24+ points in each game. The Eagles who are currently 4th in takeaways, yet have only forced three turnovers during this stretch. While the Rams do boast the Leagues number one offense, the Giants game was very concerning. The Eagles defense allowed over 500 yards to an offense without Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall and with their Head Coach axed only a week ago. The Eagles have allowed 88 points in their last three games. In the Previous five, they allowed 92.

Coaches and Players Are Left Looking for Answers

The Eagles clinched a first-round bye in the upcoming playoffs courtesy of their 34-29 victory over the New York Giants in East Rutherford. In their first game without Carson Wentz, the Eagles offense showed no signs of slowing down. It was the defense who struggled all day against an offense, with only Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard as primary weapons. It was a disappointing afternoon. Tavarres King went for two touchdowns on two catches while Shephard accumulated 139 yards and a touchdown. If not for the Eagles special teams blocking three kicks who knows what the outcome could have been.

This followed a game in Los Angeles where the Eagles allowed 35 points, all be it, to the best offense in the entire league.

In Seattle, a week prior to the facing the Rams, the Eagles had no answers for Russell Wilson as he put on a scoring clinic. With a chance to clinch the one seed Monday Night this is a formula that must change in a hurry.

Frustration Leads to Social Media Outburst

The frustration could be felt as Eagles fans on Social media have been on Ronald Darby about his game on Sunday. Darby was understandably frustrated, as were Fans but he apologized stating “I Just in my feelings. I gotta grow up. I had a horrible game, probably one of the worst I’ve ever played”. Darby admitted he didn’t take the Giants receivers as serious as he should have but that is no excuse. He realized that once the frustration subsided that probably wasn’t the best thing to do. Darby deleted several controversial tweets aimed at those who criticized the defense’s recent play and has turned his focus to Monday Night. With everyone seemingly past it, Monday will bring a chance for redemption and opportunity to fix Philly’s defensive struggles.

Eagles Prepare for A Christmas Blackout

The Eagles will be back in black for Christmas when the Raiders come to town. The Raiders come in reeling in the AFC playoff picture and losers of two straight. A heartbreaking loss vs Dallas has all but eliminated the raiders. This could be just what the doctor ordered for this Eagles defense.

The Raiders have scored 24 or more points just once in their last five games. The Raiders expect Amari Cooper to return following a one-game absence due to a high ankle sprain. He has struggled with injuries as he has only 100+ yard game which came back in October vs Kansas City where he went off for 210 yards and 2 touchdowns. Working the opposite side of the field, Micheal Crabtree has not topped 100 yards in any game this season but did score twice versus Dallas. Marshawn Lynch, or Beastmode as he is commonly known, is always a tough match-up but he hasn’t been quite the same this season. He has just one 100 yard game in the books this year.

With that said, Eagles defenders better have their chin strap tight and ready to tackle. The Raiders currently rank 19th in yards per game and 25th in rush yards.

Philly’s Defensive Struggles Create a Sense of Urgency

Lincoln Financial Field will be rocking for the first Eagles Christmas home game ever and first Christmas game since 2006 in Dallas. With a struggling Raiders team and an opportunity to lock up the number one seed in the NFC, assuming the Vikings defeat Green Bay, the defense can set the tone early. Brandon Graham and Jalen Mills were snubbed in Pro Bowl voting and will be eager to get out there. Ronald Darby will have something to prove as his return has been lackluster outside of an interception last week. Trent Cole, Eagles week 16 honorary captain, will also have his number retired at halftime which will add even more excitement to the night. If you are heading to the game dress accordingly and save some snow for Santa cause all our rowdy friends will be ready for Monday Night Football.