Unit Breakdown: Philadelphia Eagles Defense

Story posted February 7, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by Jameson Kramer

Much has been made about the offensive matchup in this upcoming Super Bowl, and for good reason. Both the Eagles and the Chiefs possess high-powered offenses that can get it done in a variety of ways, with the Eagles leaning more on the run game and the Chiefs electing for more of a pass-heavy game plan.

While both of these offenses deserve respect, the Eagles defense may very well be the best unit of them all in this game. The Eagles boast depth and star power at just about every level of their defense, especially on the defensive line.

Only linebacker Haason Reddick and corner Darius Slay actually earned Pro Bowl honors, but there were about six other guys that easily could have been selected and nobody would have batted an eye.

Speaking of Hassan Reddick, he has probably been the best player on the entire Eagles roster this season, and that’s saying a lot. Reddick had 16 sacks in the regular season, which was second in the entire league behind only surefire DPOY Nick Bosa.

Not only has Reddick been a great regular season player this year, but he has also taken it up another notch in the playoffs, recording 3.5 sacks in two games during their playoff run against the Giants and 49ers.

Reddick was a former first-round pick that had not quite lived up to his potential his first few seasons in the NFL. The Eagles signed Reddick in the offseason to a three-year deal, a signing that went largely under the radar during the offseason has become one of the most important signings in recent memory for the Eagles.

Reddick is far from the only daunting member of that front seven for Philadelphia however. This season the Eagles were the first team in NFL history to have four players record double-digit sacks, an amazing feat of depth.

Josh Sweat, Javon Hargrave and Brandon Graham were the other three to record at least 10 sacks, and that does not even include Fletcher Cox, who is the leader of this unit and has been sacking the quarterback from his defensive tackle position for years.

The Eagles piled up 70 sacks in the regular season, which was a whole 15 sacks more than the second-place team, which happens to be their opponent this weekend, the Kansas City Chiefs.

The front seven also consists of Ndamukong Suh, Linval Joseph and Robert Quinn, who just happen to have 199 career sacks between the three of them. First-round pick Jordan Davis is a monster of a man at 6’6 and 336 pounds and cannot be forgotten either.

The front seven is not the only strong part of their defense, as the secondary has something to say as well. The best player in the secondary is probably Darius Slay, who was elected to the pro bowl this season and had three interceptions.

The corner on the opposite side isn’t too shabby either, as James Bradberry was elected second-team All-Pro in favor of Slay, who also had three picks this season. Great depth pieces in CJ Gardner-Johnson, Avonte Maddox, Reed Blankenship, and K’Von Wallace round out a very solid secondary.

They will have maybe their toughest task of the season this weekend when they have to try and slow down Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce in the Super Bowl.

They have shown some weaknesses throughout the season at times, see their game against the Cowboys in December, but if the front seven can get home and make Mahomes force some throws they are more than capable of capitalizing on that.

Eagles defensive coordinator Johnathan Gannon will have his work cut out for him in this one, but he knows his players are up to the task.

One of the best defenses in the league against the best quarterback-coach duo since Brady-Belichick will be a fun one to watch come Super Bowl Sunday.

Jameson Kramer is a fourth-year student majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jek5650@psu.edu