EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — It’s not hard to understand why the Eagles’ defensive line is dominating.
Fletcher Cox has it figured out.
“We got dudes. We got some guys,” Cox said with a smile. “You really look at it, there’s a lot of experience in that room and guys that complement each other so much.
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“There’s no drop-off. We got Alfa and we got Bravo. We don’t call it 1s and 2s. We call it Alfa and Bravo. There’s no drop-off when Bravo is in the game.”
The Eagles pass rush dominated in waves on Sunday, piling up seven sacks in the blowout 44-22 win over the Giants at MetLife Stadium. The Eagles are 12-1 and its vaunted defensive line is peaking as the playoffs near.
It addition to stifling the Giants’ run game, the Eagles terrorized Daniel Jones and then Tyrod Taylor for four quarters.
Brandon Graham led the Eagles on Sunday with 3 sacks, while Fletcher Cox, Josh Sweat, Haason Reddick and Milton Williams each chipped in 1 apiece.
The Eagles have had 6+ sacks in back-to-back weeks for the first time since 1998. And through 14 weeks of the 2022 NFL season, the Eagles lead the entire league with 49 sacks.
This is the second-highest total ever for the Eagles through 13 games behind the 1987 season, when guys like Reggie, Clyde and Jerome were ruining games for opposing quarterbacks.
“I just feel like we’re hungry,” Graham said. “If anything, those boys motivated me even more today to make sure I make my rushes count. Haason [Reddick] was beating up on 73 today. You could see him on the sideline mad, because he was one step away every time.
“It’s cool that once we do what we’re supposed to do and that’s to stop the run. Everybody knows our strength as pass rushers and how hungry we all are to go out there and make them count. I’m just thankful for the group because we’re all motivating each other.”
The Eagles have five players with at least 6 sacks:
Haason Reddick: 10
Brandon Graham: 8 1/2
Javon Hargrave: 8
Josh Sweat: 7 1/2
Fletcher Cox: 6
Reddick, who came to the Eagles as a free agent this offseason, has been exactly as advertised. And on Sunday he became the first player ever (since sacks became an official stat in 1982) to have double digit sacks in three consecutive seasons with three different teams.
Reddick is also the first Eagle to hit double digits since Cox in 2018 and the first Eagles edge player to do it since Connor Barwin in 2014.
“It’s a blessing. I put in a lot of hard work,” Reddick said. “I had to overcome a lot of obstacles to get to where I’m at right now. As I said earlier, none of this would be possible without God. I feel like he’s been with me every step of the journey. It’s been a tough one. I’m just happy to be where I’m at now.”
Sweat has really come on strong recently too. After having just 2 1/2 sacks through the first 8 games of this season, Sweat has 5 in 5 games.
“I don’t know, man,” Sweat said. “I’ve been rushing well all year. It’s just coming to me. Quarterback holding the ball a little longer. You know, Eagles have been plagued by quick pass and stuff like that. I just felt like it was my time to go ahead and just get it done.”
And then there’s Graham, who missed most of last season with an Achilles tear. He’s playing minimal snaps this year as a part of the Eagles’ rotation and he’s no longer a starter, but he just keeps producing.
Graham, 34, has never had a 10-sack season but he has a real shot at it this year. That would mean a ton to him and it would be even more impressive if he does it coming off the bench.
But that’s just how this rotation is cooking right now.
“That’s the beauty of it,” Sweat said. “You can rest up while the other guys are rushing. And everybody gets a chance to make it happen.”
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