Eagles Insider

Is there any hope for Eagles' defense after Chiefs disaster?

Eagles Insider

They scored 42. You got the feeling they could have scored 142 if they needed to.

The Chiefs toyed with the Eagles Sunday. They did whatever they wanted and they made it seem effortless. They threw it. They ran it. They converted third downs at near-record pace.

The Eagles had no answers. They barely put up a fight. They don’t have the players to put up a fight.

Put a Hall of Fame coach and Hall of Fame quarterback against a rag-tag collection of underachieving draft picks, pedestrian free agents and fading veterans and this is what you get.

A catastrophe.

The Eagles have allowed more points in the past, but I’m not sure they’ve ever been as thoroughly dissected as they were Sunday at the Linc.

The Chiefs had seven drives. They scored six touchdowns. They scored 21 points in each half. They had TD drives of 65, 75, 75, 75, 77 and 83 yards. They converted 9 of 10 third downs. They ran for over 200 yards. Pat Mahomes threw six incomplete passes and five TDs.

Are you kidding?

“We just have to find a way to clean it up,” safety Anthony Harris said. “Get on the film. Continue to come in with the right attitude. Continue to take the coaching and then just continue to self-evaluate. Each player and each coach has to figure out how to come together and be on the same page.”

But is that even possible for this defense?

The Chiefs’ 90 percent third-down efficiency is second-highest by any team since the league started tracking third downs in 1991. Their 31 first downs are 9th-most ever against the Eagles. They became the second team in the last 50 years with 5 TD passes and 200 rushing yards against the Eagles. And the first opposing team to score 21 points in each half against the Eagles in Philadelphia since the Rams at the Vet in 1975.

 

The only reason the Chiefs didn’t score 60 is because Jalen Hurts and the Eagles’ offense controlled the ball enough to limit the Chiefs to seven possessions.

But it was as bad a defensive performance as you’ll ever see, and it came on the heels of a putrid defensive effort in Dallas six days earlier.

“They’re explosive but, I mean, we just had a bad game,” Javon Hargrave said.

The Eagles’ defense has allowed 77 points, 851 yards, 360 rushing yards and eight passing TDs the last two weeks. They’ve allowed touchdowns in nine straight quarters.

They have exactly one guy playing well right now — Hargave. Fletcher Cox has looked like a shell of his old self. Darius Slay isn’t playing anywhere close to what you’d want from the NFL’s highest-paid cornerback. Derek Barnett remains a penalty machine. Don’t even get me started on the linebackers.

Defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon doesn’t seem to have any answers, but he also doesn’t have any players, thanks to years of poor drafting.

And don’t look now but Sam Darnold is playing better with the Panthers than he did with the Jets. Then comes Tom Brady and Derek Carr.

Maybe this unit will find itself later in the year when the schedule gets easier and they’ve had some time to play together. Maybe it’s unfair to expect them to slow down a future Hall of Famer while playing their fourth game together as a group. Maybe better days are ahead.

But right now, this defense is a mess, and it's been embarrassed twice in seven days.

How bad were the last two games? This was the first time the Eagles have allowed 160 rushing yards AND three passing TDs in consecutive games in 58 years.

The awful rush defense has been the most surprising development of this first month of the season. The Eagles are allowing 150 rushing yards per game, 2nd-worst in the league.

“This s— sucks,” Slay said. “We got to figure this s— out now.”

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