Eagles fans can relax, their defense will be just fine. A week after the first team defense gave up 21 points in the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Philadelphia Eagles first team defense shut out the Cleveland Browns in the first half of Thursday nights game.
Coming in to Thursday night, Browns quarterback Colt McCoy had lead the Browns on five touchdown drives on their first nine offensive series couldn't do much against a stout Eagles defense. McCoy finished 9-for-18 for 89 yards and one interception.
The Eagles defense looked a lot like the defense we expected to see throughout the preseason. The defense line wreaked havoc on the quarterback and the secondary shut down the passing game.
The Eagles defense can take the momentum from Thursday nights game into what should be a very promising regular season.
The Eagles defensive line took control of this game early with outstanding pressure on Colt McCoy. The line finished the game with four of the Eagles five sacks. The front four also held Browns first team running backs Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty to just 53 yards and zero touchdowns.
Mike Patterson picked up a sack in his first live action since suffering a seizure in practice. Phillip Hunt and Derek Landri both also had sacks. Both players are fighting for a spot on the roster and both players continue to demonstrate excellent pass rushing skills.
Overall, the line got the job done even without starting defensive tackle Antonio Dixon in the lineup. A couple really good players on the defensive line will have to be cut. Someone like Phillip Hunt or Derek Landri or even Juqua Parker will be released due to all the depth the Eagles have here.
The Eagles linebackers did a 180 this week against the Browns. Last week the Eagles linebackers were eaten up against the run and missed a few open field tackles. This week the Eagles linebackers racked up seven tackles in the first half including five from Casey Matthews.
Matthews and outside linebacker Jamar Chaney were outstanding in pass coverage as well.
The linebackers have been the biggest question marks for the Eagles since they acquired Nnamdi Asomugha in free agency and they started to answer some of those questions. The linebacking core of Moise Fokou, Chaney and Matthews got the job done against the Browns.
All three players looked like solid starting linebackers and all three solidified their starting jobs going into the regular season.
The Eagles secondary showed us just how great they are capable of being. Asante Samuel jumped another receivers route for his first interception of the preseason and Kurt Coleman racked up five more tackles to make it 16 in the last two halves.
Nnamdi Asomugha did give up a reception, finally, but it was called back due to offensive passing interference.
Nate Allen still looked a bit sluggish, recovering from his torn patella in his knee that he suffered last December. He must likely will start the season as a backup to Jarrad Page.
The Eagles secondary absolutely dominated this game, holding the Browns to just 89 passing yards in the first half.
It appears Juan Castillo has this unit on the right track. He is a first time defensive coordinator in the NFL with a lot of new players to work with. This defense should continue to get better as the season goes on.