The Eagles coordinators met the media today to talk about this weekend’s matchup against the Atlanta Falcons. Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott stressed the importance of stopping Atlanta’s run game, which is currently the 2nd ranked in the NFL.
“Well, you’ve got to stop the run. You have to commit to stopping the run, because if they get those two running backs going, that opens up their passing game, and that’s hard to stop. You look at the games where team’s have held them in check for three quarters or so, and that’s been San Francisco and a little bit of the Saints game. Eventually, their run got on track and they would pop a big run and then things would open up. The two running backs they have with [Michael] Turner and [Jason] Snelling are a legitimate force that we have to deal with.”
It was also noted that the Eagles run defense improved dramatically in last week’s game. They were gashed by the Redskins on the ground in week 4, but effectively shut down one of the game’s best best in Frank Gore last week. McDermott was asked what changed?
“Well, I thought we played better up front. I thought our tackles gave us a point up front, played square in the hole. When you do that, you have a chance to be a good run defense. But when there’s push up inside, like there had been in some previous games, it’s tough because everything falls back at that point. But last week, I thought out tackles really stepped it up and played well.”
The Eagles ability to control Atlanta’s run game will likely be what decides this game. Let’s hope the Eagles run D who showed up last week is the same one who shows up this week.