Philadelphia Eagles Season Relies highly on Defense

Craig Garrison SrSenior Analyst IAugust 8, 2008

Donovan McNabb hasn't played a full 16-game season in four years, and he has only done it three times in his entire career. So what, you say? If McNabb goes down this year, there is no one who can take this team to where it needs to go. That's what.

Kolb looked sharp, on about every OTHER play anyway. Feeley didn't even look sharp that much. If, and when McNabb goes down this year, the offense will become anemic again. Westbrook can't do it on his own you know.

And by the way, McNabb looked as good as he ever has. Eagles fans, say your prayers, rub your good luck charms, and see your favorite witch doctor, whatever it is you need to do to keep McNabb healthy. Good luck with that.

One thing Eagles fans can count on for the 2008 season is Jim Johnson's defense. For nearly 10 years (he joined the Eagles in 1999, but "10 years" sounds better) he has provided the Eagles with the longest run of success the Eagles have ever had.

That won't change this year. Many thought this defense was done last year after losing master safety Brian Dawkins, and they were. It was Johnson who turned them around once again. No matter how many injuries the Eagles defense suffers, Johnson has been able to pull his team up and still be pretty good.

Since Johnson took over in 1999, he has only finished two seasons outside the league's top 15. Quite an accomplishment considering that at times, his defense has been terrible for long stretches during the season. Usually due to injuries, these "dips" in overall performance have lasted as long as five games, and still he has pulled them up to become good again by the time the season ends.

In conclusion, this year will be no different. With the signing of cornerback Asante Samuel, and keeping fellow cornerback Lito Sheppard, Johnson's defense could be the best, most talented he has ever coached.

Time will tell for sure, but it sure did look like the defense we are used to seeing in the Eagles loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in both teams preseason opener. Very aggressive, attacking, and flying to the ball. They weren't perfect, but they looked good enough to compete in the best division in football.

And the Eagles will need it.