Sunday, October 27, 2013
No offense, but Eagles' D is playing well
By Phil Sheridan
PHILADELPHIA – Even grading on a curve, the Philadelphia Eagles defense deserves some unexpectedly high marks lately.
A week after holding the Dallas Cowboys to 17 points, the Eagles held the New York Giants to 15 -- zero touchdowns, five field goals -- in a second consecutive loss.
The Eagles have held their last four opponents -- the Giants twice, Dallas and Tampa Bay -- under 21. The only other NFL team to do that is Kansas City, and the Chiefs are undefeated. Green Bay also has a chance to join this small club against Minnesota.
As for that curve, the Cowboys and Giants were not trying all that hard to score in the fourth quarters of these games. That's because the Eagles offense was so dreadful, they didn't need to add points. They were more interested in avoiding turnovers.
Still, it is not easy to hold NFL offenses without a touchdown, and Bill Davis' group did just that Sunday.
“Fifteen points is a good number in the NFL,” Davis said. “We just have to continue to work and get better to where we can win the game. We did not play good enough to win today. That's all we can focus on.”
The Eagles sacked Eli Manning just once and were not able to generate any turnovers. They allowed yards -- 246 passing, 88 on the ground -- but got the job done in the red zone.
“We tighten up when we get down there,” linebacker Connor Barwin said. “We know you have to keep teams out. I think guys just lock in to what we're supposed to do, and when guys do what they're supposed to do, it is hard to score down there.”
Two months ago, the questions were about whether the defense would continue letting down the offense. The Chargers scored 33, the Chiefs moved the ball as needed and the Broncos scored a humiliating 52 points against the Eagles.
Now it has turned around. With even average offensive performances, the Eagles would have won their last two games here. The home losing streak would be over and the Eagles would be in first place in the NFC East.
Instead, they are 3-5, the home loss streak stands at 10 and the offense is a mess.
“We just have to trust in each other,” cornerback Brandon Boykin said. “There were plenty of times in the beginning of the year when they carried us and they were scoring a lot of point and we were giving up a lot of points. You never point the finger.”
“We can't turn it into a defense/offense thing,” linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. “We are all together as a team.”