By Ray Boyd
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For those of us who watched yesterday’s Eagles comeback victory over the Jaguars, it was rather apparent which phase of the game was late to the party. The Eagles offense came out on a bad note in the first half of the season opener.READ MORE: Philadelphia City Council Calling On SEPTA To Take Action After Several Violent, High-Profile Incidents On Transit System
The early offensive ineptitude led to two things: A steady chorus of boos from the crowd and a defense that was constantly being put in tough situations. Despite those facts, those two groups played a vital role in why the Eagles won the game, and that fact was not lost on team General Manager Howie Roseman.
Roseman joined 94WIP’s Anthony Gargano and Merrill Reese on “The Howie Roseman Show,” on Monday. Roseman watched the early debacle with the rest of us, but he was also aware of the positives going on at the same time.
“I thought there were a lot of positives and it starts with defense and our front seven,” Roseman said of the Eagles’ effort. If there were any question marks surrounding the Eagles coming into the season it was the defense. Could they improve to a level that would allow the team to take advantage of a seemingly prolific offense?
They showed not only in the second half, but throughout the entire game, that they could be a very good defense.
The most impressive stat of the day for the Eagles defensive unit was their impact on third down. They held the Jaguars to a 14% efficiency rating on third down (2/14). Their ability to get the Jaguars off the field gave the Eagles offense plenty of possessions to get back into the football game.
Roseman also referenced the front seven which shined against the Jaguars allowing only 2.6 yards per rushing play, gaining four tackles for loss and registering three sacks. Despite giving up a total of 17 points in the first half, the defense was put in short field position situations because of offensive turnovers.
One of the keys to the comeback in yesterday’s game and one of the building blocks on the defense, Fletcher Cox, also stopped by the show to give his take on the game.
Cox not only played a stellar game, but walked away with a touchdown as well on the strength of a sack and forced fumble by Trent Cole.
The defensive end is very encouraged by the state of the defensive unit.READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Heartbroken Mother Of 16-Year-Old Kanye Davis Speaks After Son Shot 8 Times, Killed
“I feel real good about the defense,” Cox said. “We showed everybody yesterday we could come out in the second half and dominate the game.”
The defense appears to be playing at a more fluid pace this year. The time spent in the system has bred a sense of familiarity that allows the players to play more based on instinct and less on thinking about the scheme.
“This year, you can play at 100 miles per hour and not think about one thing. Just go out and play, play the defense that’s called and do what the coach expects you to do.”
Cox is one of the young players in the Eagles’ front seven that fans are waiting to see really break out and become a force in the NFL. Cox knows that he just has to take it one performance at a time.
“I just gotta keep it consistent,” Cox said of his game. “That’s the key. Just go out and be consistent, not trying to be Superman, playing the defense that’s called and getting the job done.”
That has to be the goal for the entire defensive group that many feel can be the difference between the Eagles going deep into the Playoffs and maybe making a run at the big game, or going home early like last season.
The fans that packed Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday would love to see that run and Roseman even credited them for helping the Eagles come back.
“Everyone talks about Seattle and the 12th man, but I’d put our fans up against them any day of the week,” Roseman said of the energy they gave the Eagles during the second half resurgence. The cheers reigning down on the field certainly gave the Eagles a boost and they appeared to rattle the Jaguars as well.
The formula seems to work out in Seattle. The combination of a solid defense and a raucous crowd appears to work quite well.
Not to mention, the Eagles can score a little bit too.MORE NEWS: Officials Introduce People Over Politics Petition Calling For Change In Rules For Pennsylvania Politicians
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