Two games do not define a defense. While the Philadelphia Eagles are struggling to generate any kind of a pass rush to start the season, the sacks are expected to come. Defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon isn’t worried about the numbers.
Not yet. The Eagles wound up registering two sacks on seven quarterback hits versus Minnesota. They have three total sacks on the year which ranks them No. 23 in the NFL right now. According to Gannon, the defense is winning at a high rate even if the production isn’t there. Fletcher Cox and Josh Sweat both got to Kirk Cousins in Week 2.
“I think we’re winning at a high rate. I think if we keep winning at a high rate the production will come,” Gannon told reporters. “You saw a couple sacks. The strip sack by Fletch, Sweaty ended the game, a couple of those picks were four-man rushes. Some guys won. They hit the quarterback. I like where we’re at right now and that’s another part of our game just like every part of our game that we’re always going to try to continually improve on and make it better.”
‘Swing for the Fences’ on Robert Quinn Trade
The fact of the matter is that the Eagles don’t blitz often, preferring to get pressure with their four-man front which is already down a man. Derek Barnett is out for the year with a torn ACL. There has been chatter in recent days about the team looking to replace Barnett.
Here’s another player to watch: Robert Quinn. The All-Pro pass rusher for the Chicago Bears has been on the subject of trade rumors dating back to training camp. If the Bears — a team already in rebuild mode — start to free fall over the next few weeks, look for him to be available at the trade deadline.
Chase Senior of Chat Sports went into great detail on how Quinn might fit into Philadelphia’s plans. He speculated that the Eagles might “swing for the fences” on a Quinn trade. The 32-year-old might be getting up there in years but his numbers haven’t fallen off. He was a Pro Bowler in 2021 when his 18.5 sacks ranked second-best in the league. Bottom line: Quinn can still compete at a very high level.
“There are teams out there like the Birds who need pass-rushing help, and he has three years remaining on his contract,” Senior said of Quinn. “Now considering the age at 32, and considering the base salary here … little bit lofty, a little bit expensive, but this guy can still play and he’s been getting it done for a really long time.”
Quinn’s base salary would be a major sticking point: $12.8 million (2022), $13.9 million (2023), $12.9 million (2024). He also brings huge cap hits on what looks like an albatross of a contract for an aging veteran. However, this is a lights-out pass rusher with 102 career sacks since 2011.
Jason Pierre-Paul Officially Signs in Baltimore
Scratch Jason Pierre-Paul off the list of potential pass-rushing options for Philly. The Baltimore Ravens are signing him to a one-year contract assuming he passes a physical. ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first to report the move.
Pierre-Paul, a three-time Pro Bowler, recorded 2.5 sacks last season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He has 91.5 sacks during a fantastic 12-year career, largely spent with the New York Giants. Heavy’s Matt Lombardo called Pierre-Paul a “best fit” for the Eagles in free agency. Obviously, talks between the two sides never got serious enough to warrant a contract.