PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Jim Schwartz went to figure skating and skiing when asked about the Eagles’ number one ranked rushing defense.
The Eagles have allowed just 75.9 rushing yards per game this season, 11.2 rushing yards per game less than the NFL’s second best run defense — the Minnesota Vikings.
But Philadelphia’s defensive coordinator doesn’t really think it matters much.
“I don’t know,” Schwartz told the media when asked about the significance of being the league’s best rushing defense. “13 wins, two losses.”
“Hey, stopping the run is great, but if you’re the No. 1 run defense and you’re giving up 600 yards a game passing, it’s hard to put that on a badge or something. You know what I mean? Our job is to allow less points than we score. Anything else after that, it’s like figure skating; it’s the artistic interpretation or something. It’s those things that need to be judged. It always cracks me up, I watch Olympic sports and you see those ski jumpers, and you think, ‘Man, that’s awesome. They fly through the air and who can go the farthest is the winner.’ But it’s not just who can go the farthest. There’s somebody who judges whether their skis were straight or something like that. Man, just go the farthest, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
After facing the Cowboys in a meaningless divisional game, the Eagles will host a playoff game in the NFC Divisional Round on January 13th or 14th. They’ll face either the Rams, Saints, Panthers, Falcons, or the Seahawks. Only Seattle is outside of the top 10 in rushing yards per game.
“Well, I don’t mean to make light of it because stopping the run is obviously something that’s important to you going forward, but it’s part of the game,” Schwartz said when asked about stopping the run in the first playoff game. “It’s like rushing the passer. It’s like playing pass defense. It’s tackling. It’s just part of what we do. I do think that playoff time, the ability to stop the run can be a big thing, in particular, because we’re going to be playing games here at the Linc [Lincoln Financial Field], and maybe it’s nasty weather. Not every game in January is ideal conditions, and sometimes it’s tough to throw the ball. We’ve all been around games like that, and teams have to lean more on the run game. So I think it can be important going forward. I don’t mean to make light of it, I’m just not a big stat guy. Just whatever it takes to win the game, we’re happy to do, and if that means playing it the way we played Sunday or playing the way we played the week before, both wins count the same.”