Yesterday I noted that the Eagles are dealing with substantial injuries to their defense. It began in week 12 against the Bears when Pro Bowl CB Asante Samuel missed the first of three games. He came back for their games against the Giants and Vikings, but rookie 2nd round FS Nate Allen was hurt against the Giants and is out for the season. Rookie 1st round DE Brandon Graham is also injured and out for the season. They also lost their starting middle LB Stewart Bradley in week 13 and he's not expected back against the Packers. They will have Samuel back, but it's clear that their defense is battered.
According to NFL.com, during the regular season, the Eagles defense allowed 327 yards per game, an 80.8 QB rating against, 4.2 yards per carry, 34 turnovers (just over 2 per game), and as a team allowed 23.6 points per game. Here's how they did in weeks 12 through 16 (week 17 against the Cowboys is not included because Andy Reid rested nearly his entire team and the box score looked like a preseason game):
|Opponent||Total Yards||QB Rating Against||Yards Per Carry Against||Points Allowed By Defense||Turnovers Forced|
It's clear that the Eagles defense did not play well down the stretch. The only two quarterbacks they slowed down were QB Jon Kitna and QB Joe Webb, and they did their best to make Webb look like a competent NFL quarterback. Except for their performance in shutting down the Giants rushing attack, they've played worse than their season averages in recent weeks.