A Defensive Laughingstock: Jonathan Gannon’s tenure with the Eagles needs to come to an end
There are no more excuses. Yesterday’s loss to the Los Angeles Chargers should be Jonathan Gannon’s final game as the defensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles. It is just plain embarrassing at this point. The Eagles are on pace to break numerous records with just how horrible they are against the pass, and yet Jonathan Gannon has done nothing to help this team.
Justin Herbert did exactly what Derek Carr did and so many others this season. Jonathan Gannon’s ideals of a refusal to give up the big play have such a massive flaw in it that it does not work. This team is almost incapable of producing a stop unless the offense makes mistakes. Every time they play an intelligent quarterback, things end up in flames when they can be easily adjusted.
For reference, the Eagles have allowed five quarterbacks to complete 80% of their passes this season. Over the last 70 YEARS, they have only allowed six QBs to accomplish this feat before this season. SEVENTY YEARS. Philadelphia has not won a single one of these games, so it’s not like they are just doing what is needed to succeed.
Alongside that, the Eagles are also leading the league with the highest completion % with opposing teams catching 75.5% of their passes. If this pace continues, they will have broken the previous NFL record held by the 2016 Detroit Lions.
This football team is not capable of winning against a decent football team, and it has been shown week in and week out. Nick Sirianni has finally figured it out. Game planning wise this loss was not on him. Philly ran the ball heavily, but it worked wonders, and it was player miscues that left points on the board. However, they had a solid showing outside of that.
They’re both young coaches, but at least one of them shows signs of growth and learning. Your franchise defensive tackle shouldn’t be forced to go to the podium to critique your defensive game planning. Let me ask this. Fletcher Cox said his responsibility was to defend screens, and that’s why they don’t attack upfield. How come teams continue to kill Philadelphia will screen passes
Opposing teams vs Jonathan Gannon’s defense this season:
|Team:||Screen Receptions:||Screen Yards:|
On paper this doesn’t look like a whole lot of yards or a majority of the opposing team’s offense. But each of these games they ran screens excessively, or they averaged over ten yards per catch, which is egregiously high.
Almost every team they have faced has killed the Eagles with screens, and it hasn’t changed one bit. Jonathan Gannon decided to blitz a little against the worst team in the NFL, and even then, he stuck in his soft zone coverage. The Eagles blitz on just 13% of their plays, 30th in the NFL. Philly blitzed nearly 30% of the time this week, but still stuck in that stupid coverage that Herbert and Los Angeles exploited every play.
The only decent adjustment Jonathan Gannon made was benching Alex Singleton and cutting Eric Wilson, which anyone in Philadelphia who was watching could tell you needed to be done. There are no excuses anymore, Gannon’s time in Philadelphia needs to come to an end. Simple coaching has gone by the wayside, with the Eagles being tied for the most missed tackles in the NFL with 61.
There is far too much talent on this defense to play as passive as Jonathan Gannon is. The Eagles’ defensive line is loaded, led by the best defensive tackle in football. Darius Slay and Avonte Maddox have had tremendous seasons, with the new starting linebackers being sufficient for the time being. Without a doubt, more talent needs to be added, but they will never succeed with the coaches put in place.
Mandatory Credit: Getty Images