Jonathan Taylor rushed for 49 yards and a touchdown on the opening drive for the Indianapolis Colts. He went untouched on a 28-yard scamper right through the heart of the defensive line, blowing by Fletcher Cox and Milton Williams.
It wasn’t an ideal start, not for a Philadelphia Eagles team looking to fix their porous run defense. They came into Week 11 ranked near the bottom of the league in that department. Enter Linval Joseph. Long regarded as one of the best run stuffers in football, the two-time Pro Bowler decided enough was enough. Taylor would pick up only 35 yards over the next three quarters as the Eagles committed themselves to fix their most glaring weakness.
“It was awesome, it was awesome,” Sirianni said. “I’ll be interested to see what the narrative is, right? If it’s they are still 31st in yards per attempt. I’m not sure we are anymore. But, and obviously, Linval did a great job and it was awesome to see him come in and get reps. When he comes off the field excited, I get excited. And so I love that juice.”
The Eagles moved up from 31st to 24th in yards per attempt (4.6). Meanwhile, Joseph was the highest-graded player on the Eagles roster at 87.9. He finished with four total tackles and teamed up with fellow newcomer Ndamukong Suh on a combined sack. Howie Roseman’s mid-week additions proved their worth immediately.
“And [Ndamukong] Suh did a great job,” Sirianni said. “Tracy Rocker, our defensive line coach, to get those guys ready to play in that short amount of time is a tribute to Coach Rocker and a tribute to Suh, and a tribute to Linval, that they were able to do it. And, obviously, so appreciative of Howie [Roseman] and his staff for getting those guys in here.”
Newcomer Ndamukong Suh Studied ‘Night & Day’
The Eagles signed Ndamukong Suh off the street on Thursday, three days before kickoff against Indianapolis. There was doubt he would even suit up in Week 11. Not only was he active on gameday, Suh played 17 snaps and finished with 3 total tackles and half a sack. He told NFL Media’s James Palmer that he studied “night and day” so he would be ready to go.
“Studied night and day and then just came out here and did what I did,” Suh said. “I knew what I was coming into, got a bunch of great guys obviously. [Javon Hargrave] Graves, hell of a player; Fletcher [Cox], hell of a player; BG [Brandon Graham], [Robert Quinn] Quinn, all those guys … and I just wanted to come in, support them, and be one of the guys.”
Linval Joseph: ‘Dreaming About This Moment’
Linval Joseph admitted that he signed with Philadelphia for the sole purpose of adding another Super Bowl ring to his jewelry collection. He looked at the Eagles’ roster and saw an opportunity where he could make an immediate impact. He showed why on Sunday by shutting down the Colts’ dangerous rushing attack, adding half a sack and one quarterback hit on 26 snaps.
“I promise you, I’ve been dreaming about this moment,” Joseph told reporters. “You get an opportunity, come on a team, being a sparkplug, helping the team win. And everything that happened today I promise you I had a dream about it. Just to come out and dream about it, envision it, really go through it … God is good.”