Eagles

Reddick leads charge of Eagles’ takeaway defense

Eagles

It’s not enough for Haason Reddick to just get sacks.

He wants the ball too.

On Sunday, he got both and helped the Eagles stay undefeated.

“He’s got a knack for the ball,” Fletcher Cox said. “A lot of people go for the big hit on the quarterback but I think getting the ball out ... That’s what we talk about a lot, ‘Let’s get the ball out. Let’s give our offense a chance to be in position to go score.’

“Obviously a big hit is good for a sack, but you’re getting the ball out, that’s like a double-up. You get a sack and a strip and hopefully one of the guys on the defense recovers.”

That mindset helped the Eagles force five turnovers in their 29-21 comeback win over the Jaguars at the Linc on Sunday.

Reddick has officially broken out. He filled up the stat sheet on Sunday with 4 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 QB hits and 1 TFL.

In the last two weeks, he has 3 1/2 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. Since 2019, Reddick has 11 forced fumbles; just four players in the league have more during that span.

And Reddick’s second forced fumble on Sunday essentially ended the game. It was a walk-off strip-sack.

“You know what's great about Haason, and Howie [Roseman] was just talking to me about this,” head coach Nick Sirianni said. “He's a guy that has been able to force a lot of fumbles. Not only get to the quarterback, but force a lot of fumbles.

 

“We talk so much about creating turnovers and how you create turnovers. There are definitely things we can do as coaches to take it to another level. Make no mistake about it, it's about the players creating the turnovers, and good players know how to create turnovers.”

Reddick explained that going for strips is something the Eagles practice during the week and it’s stressed by his coaches Jeremiah Washburn and Tracy Rocker. So what we saw Sunday was just him putting that instruction to work.

The Eagles on Sunday finished with five takeaways, their most since Christmas Day 2017 and tied for the most from any team in a game this season.

Through four games, the Eagles already have 10 takeaways. That’s their most through the first four games of the season since 2009, when they had 12.

What makes it even more impressive is that the Eagles had just 16 takeaways during the entire 2021 season.

This is a different defense in 2022.

Reddick is a big reason why. But another newcomer played a role on Sunday too. With Darius Slay and Avonte Maddox out, James Bradberry hauled in a huge interception in the third quarter.

The Jaguars were already in the red zone when Bradberry jumped a route and picked off a Trevor Lawrence pass at the 7-yard line. At that point, the Jags were driving with a chance to take a second-half lead.

“It was pretty tough, given the weather, given the fog, given the situation in the game,” Bradberry said. “It was definitely a tough one.”

This was the Eagles’ third takeaway with the opponent in the red zone this season. They had just one red zone takeaway in the entire 2021 season.

While Reddick and Bradberry made huge plays, Lawrence did have a couple unforced errors in the rain. But there’s no asterisks next to the Eagles’ takeaways. And the Eagles were +4 in the turnover battle for a reason.

“They played in the same weather that we did,” Reddick said. “Why would we sit here and make weather an excuse for anybody?”

Reddick is right. The Eagles earned their takeaways and the win on Sunday.

“I feel like it’s mission accomplished,” Brandon Graham said.

Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast

Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | Watch on YouTube