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Eagles Need To Figure Out Run Defense To Remain On Top

The Philadelphia Eagles showed in Week 12 why they are considered by many people to be the Super Bowl favorites this season. Despite facing some adversity against a game Buffalo Bills squad, the Eagles were able to pull out a victory.

Their 37-34 overtime victory will go down as an instant classic and arguably the best game of the 2023 regular season. Philadelphia trailed by as many as 10 points in the second half and saw their lead disappear with under two minutes remaining when Josh Allen hit Gabe Davis for a seven-yard touchdown.

Jalen Hurts and the offense did not panic, moving the ball down the field to give Jake Elliott a chance to send the game to overtime. Despite brutal weather conditions, he drilled a 59-yard kick, keeping their hopes alive to win.

NFL News & Rumors: Nick Sirianni, Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles Updates

In overtime, the Bills drove the ball down the field but stalled out, having to kick a field goal. Allen was unable to connect with Davis again on a zero-blitz look. The Eagles faced a similar situation during their drive but Hurts was able to convert, running for a 16-yard game-winning touchdown.

When taking a look at the Eagles’ roster, it is hard to pinpoint any true weaknesses. They are loaded with talent on both sides of the ball and have kept rolling this season despite last year’s coordinators, Shane Steichen and Jonathan Gannon, each getting head coaching jobs.

However, if there was one area that Philadelphia needs to clean up to remain on top of the NFL, it is their rush defense. They came into the game with a top-ranked unit, but Allen and company found success pounding the rock, especially on their final drives of the game.

Buffalo compiled 173 yards on the ground, as Allen scored two rushing touchdowns himself. While some people will chalk that up to the Bills’ ground attack being a unique one because of Allen’s rushing ability, this is two games in a row the Eagles have not been able to find success slowing down the run.

NFL News & Rumors: Nick Sirianni, Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles Updates

In Week 11 against the Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia allowed 168 yards on the ground. The Eagles are playing with fire in that regard, as their struggles against the run could enable their opponents to control the tempo of the game.

It hasn’t cost them to this point, as the Eagles are 10-1 and defeated both of their talented opponents, the Bills and Chiefs. But, that part of their defense will be put to the test in Week 13 when they face off against Christian McCaffrey and the San Francisco 49ers.

That matchup is a massive one. If Philadelphia can win, they would put themselves in a great position to lock down the No. 1 seed in the NFC, making the road to the Super Bowl go through the City of Brotherly Love. If they lose, the 49ers would be one game behind in the standings with the head-to-head tiebreaker in hand.

Figuring out the run defenses as soon as possible would be ideal for the Eagles. It may take more than a few days of practice, but the 49ers will present them with a stiff test to see if they have figured it out.

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