Eagles' defensive struggles on the road are alarming


Every team plays better at home than on the road. For the Eagles’ defense, the disparity is huge. And alarming.

The Eagles are 0-2 on the road this year, allowing 27 and 26 points, but even last year, during the Super Bowl season, the Eagles’ defense wasn’t great on the road. It’s just that the offense often masked those issues.

Here’s the bottom line:

Since opening day of last year, the Eagles have the best home defense in the NFL. It's not even close.

Since opening day of last year, the Eagles have the 11th-worst road defense in the NFL.

And without the offense functioning on the same level as a year ago, those issues have been magnified.

I asked Doug Pederson about the disparity Monday, and even he seemed baffled by it:

“It's a strange dynamic. It's hard to really put a finger on it, quite honestly, because it's the same players, it's the same scheme, same team, and we should end up almost feeding off the environment and all of that. But it's something that we can learn from, we will learn from, and we've got to fix it quick.”

The Eagles are 12-0 at home since opening day last year (not including the meaningless Cowboys game last year) but only 6-4 on the road.

It’s also interesting to note that the offense hasn’t been affected by this. The Eagles are actually averaging more points (27.2) and yards (397) on the road over the last two years than at home (26.7 and 345).

Using the Pro Football Reference team game finder, we can take a detailed look at the Eagles' home-road defensive disparity. It’s really startling how different this unit has been at the Linc and away from the Linc. And these figures include the playoffs but not the Super Bowl, considered a neutral site.


HOME: The Eagles are No. 1 in the league, allowing 12.7 points per game at the Linc since opening day 2017. Nobody else is under 15.

ROAD: On the road that figures nearly doubles, to 24.1. That’s only 19th best in the NFL during the same span.

Yards allowed

HOME: The Eagles allow 281 yards per game at the Linc, third best behind the Vikings and Jaguars.

ROAD: On the road that figure increases to 349, which is 24th best.

Pass defense

HOME: Opposing quarterbacks are completing 59 percent of their passes (sixth best) with a 72.8 passer rating (third best) and 14 TD passes (seventh best) and 14 interceptions (second best).

ROAD: QBs are completing 64 percent of their passes (17th) with a 91.9 passer rating (14th) and 19 TDs (29th) and 10 INTs (seventh best) against the Eagles away from the Linc.

Rush defense

HOME: Opposing backs are averaging 3.6 yards per carry at the Linc, fifth best, and have scored just one TD (No. 1 in the league).

ROAD: That figure goes up to 3.9 on the road (10th best) with eight TDs (15th best).

Third-down conversions 

HOME: Eagles are at 25.8, which is a fraction of a percentage point behind the Vikings for second best in the league

ROAD: That figure goes down to 37.3, still good for 10th best but far worse than the home figure.

Yards allowed per play

HOME: Eagles are third best in the league since 2017 at 4.6.

ROAD: Eagles are 23rd in the league at 5.7.

Big plays

HOME: Eagles are best in the league at preventing big plays at home, allowing just two plays of 40 yards or more in 12 home games since the start of last year.

ROAD: The Eagles have allowed 11 plays of 40 yards or more over the last two years, and only the Texans have allowed more.

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