The Eagles are coming off their best full-game performance on Sunday night, as they got the best of the Miami Dolphins, 31-17. The Dolphins were the top offense coming into the game, in total offense, passing offense, rushing offense, scoring offense, and red zone offense. Holding an offense of that caliber to just 17 points is no small feat. I will be breaking down the game fully in the coming days, but for now, let's dive into the newest addition to the Birds' defense.
On Monday afternoon, Howie Roseman pulled off another doozy of a trade as he's beginning to love trading with the Titans. Already having traded for A.J. Brown, which has turned out to be a massive move, Roseman once again dealt with the Titans for Kevin Byard. The Eagles sent safety Terrell Edmunds along with 2024 fifth- and sixth-round picks for the Tennessee safety, which is once again highway robbery.
A lot of the credit for the Eagles' silencing of the Miami offense on Sunday night goes to the defensive front, which ate the hurting Dolphins' offensive line alive. The Dolphins were down left tackle Terron Armstead and center Connor Williams, and also lost starting left guard Isaiah Wynn early in the game. The Eagles' dominant front essentially made Miami one-dimensional, with Jalen Carter, Fletcher Cox, Haason Reddick, Jordan Davis, and Josh Sweat being far too much to handle.
While Darius Slay and James Bradberry have been healthy and as dominant as ever, the rest of the Eagles' secondary has been hurting, especially the safeties. Reed Blankenship has dealt with a rib injury and was out on Sunday, forcing rookie Sydney Brown to make his first career start. Brown was certainly serviceable on Sunday, helping the Eagles to allow only 199 passing yards, a season-low for the Dolphins. He played confidently, and even with the move for Byard, should get solid playing time. Rookie cornerback Eli Ricks from Alabama also played very well, his most notable play coming on 4th and 10, where he batted away a pass intended for Tyreek Hill.
Byard will create an incredible duo with Blankenship once he's fully healthy. Byard is outstanding against the run and a ball-hawk in coverage. In 120 games over eight seasons with Tennessee, Byard recorded 27 interceptions, 63 pass deflections, and 674 tackles. He could be a game-changer for the defense in a similar way that Brown has been a game-changer for the offense. The Eagles have lacked versatility and playmaking in the secondary since losing Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and Marcus Epps to free agency. Byard not only helps the likes of Sydney Brown and others move into a depth role, but it also gives the Birds an embarrassment of riches on defense. Even if teams can block the beasts up front, good luck finding anyone open in a potential No "Phly" Zone secondary.
The Eagles offense hasn't been playing up to the level they were last season, but defense wins championships, and the defense has shown they are championship-caliber. That defense only gets a bigger boost with the addition of Byard. Once Jalen Hurts and the rest of the offense can figure it out (looking at you, Brian Johnson), no team is stopping this team from making the Super Bowl again. Perhaps it will be a rematch of this game. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, though. There is still a season to be played, and anything can happen in football. As they say, any given Sunday, right?
Main Image Credit: From Getty Images