A Coach’s Take: Defense versus Defense, Philly comes out on top

Photo Credit: Rich Schultz
Photo Credit: Rich Schultz

The saying goes “Offense wins games, but Defense wins championships.” Now after seven weeks it’s much too early to see what championships have been won, but it is no secret that teams in the NFL are trying to replicate the success of last year’s Denver Broncos. The Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles are included in that group of teams trying to win using defensive prowess. On Sunday both teams took that strategy to the extreme.

 

 

TURNOVERS, TURNOVERS, AND MORE TURNOVERS

Originally, I thought this game would end 0-0 as there was a stretch of 5 consecutive turnovers combined by both teams, in just the first quarter! Once this strange string of consecutive defensive stat boosting was over there would be another 3 turnovers total for the rest of the game. All defensive players were involved, as there were 5 fumbles compared to 3 interceptions forced by these two defenses.

 

SPECIAL TEAMS IS DEFENSE

Photo Credit: Independent UK
Photo Credit: Independent UK

Depending on which special teams is on the field, it will be attributed to offense or defense. Field goals are usually grouped with offense since the offensive unit gets the team in field goal range and blocks for the kicker. Punt Returns and Kickoff Returns are usually grouped with the defense even though offensive specialists are used as returners. For the sake of this article, we will consider Josh Huff’s timely 98 yard kickoff return touchdown a defensive statement made by the Eagles.

 

 

PRESSURE BURSTS PIPES

The Philadelphia Eagles put pressure on Sam Bradford like no other on Sunday afternoon. The quarterback was constantly under pressure as the Eagles front seven racked up 6 sacks, 4 of which were strip sacks for fumbles causing two turnovers. If that wasn’t enough to make Bradford nervous, he was hit an additional 16 times on his 41 dropbacks including one interception caused by his arm being hit during his throwing motion. The Eagles created pressure more than half the time Sam Bradford dropped back for a pass. I know that if a quarterback is under the type of pressure Bradford was on Sunday, they don’t play very well, which was proven by his 7.6 quarterback rating.

Photo Credit: Tim Hawk
Photo Credit: Tim Hawk

GREAT DEFENSIVE PLAY IS THE NEW “IT”

If you enjoy great defensive play and lots of offensive confusion, this was the game to watch! Both of these teams are on track to playoff births and this game gave the world a glimpse of what is possible by both defenses, but this time around Philly had the better team as a whole.

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