On Tuesday morning, Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis met with the media to discuss the win over Buffalo and look ahead to another huge challenge with the Arizona Cardinals coming to town.
Here are five takeaways from Davis' press conference ...
Winning Games Is The Most Important Thing
The Eagles have allowed over 400 yards of offense in each of their past two games, but more importantly, the Eagles came away victorious in both contests. According to Davis, the Eagles are always looking to improve their stats, but getting the win is always priority number one.
"If you told me you were going to give up 45 points and win the game, I'd say I'd take it," Davis said. "The win is what we have to have. Now do we want to have the points way down? Absolutely. Do we have pride in how many points and yards we give up and red zone and third down and run game and yards per attempt? Absolutely, but the win is what we have to get. We have to do whatever it takes at the end of the day to win that game."
On The Cardinals' Game In 2014
In 2014, the Eagles and Cardinals met in Arizona and the game was decided in the final few minutes. Quarterback Carson Palmer found the speedy John Brown for a 75-yard strike, that proved to be the difference in the game. According to Davis, that loss serves as a great learning experience for this year's team.
"We know that Arizona is going to take six to eight shots a game," Davis said. "That's what they do and that's part of the reason why they're the number one offense in the NFL in a lot of categories right now. We've got to stay disciplined. That one, we didn't have good eye discipline. We were in Quarters coverage and really should have had two guys deep on it, and they have great speed and ran behind us and it was a great vertical thrown on us to put them ahead and win the game. ... They make a lot of plays down the field. We've got to go out and make those plays."
On The Rise Of Ed Reynolds
One of the more unexpected aspects of the Eagles' defense over the past couple of weeks has been the play of Ed Reynolds, a player who spent his first year and a half in the NFL on the Eagles' practice squad. Now, the safety is making plays on the active roster, and after getting beat on a deep throw early in Sunday's game, he recognized the same play later to seal the win.
"Ed's getting better and better every week," said Davis. "You saw it the other night. It was the exact same call that he got beat on the touchdown that we had the interception on at the end of the game. He was the post safety, meaning he had to come out of the post and make a play on a vertical route down sideline. His technique and depth and everything about it the second time was so much better than the first time, and that's the growth you're looking for in young guys."
Fletcher Cox Continues To Dominate
While Reynolds' play may have caught the fans by surprise, the stellar play of Fletcher Cox shouldn't. According to Davis, he's seen Cox playing at a high level since the first day that he and the rest of the coaching staff got here in 2013. Davis is ready for Cox to get even more recognition.
"Fletcher is a very well-rounded defensive lineman," Davis said. "He can give you a good two-gap and hold the point on a double team. He can convert the run into a pass rush, and then on the pass rush he has a couple of nice moves. He's giving people fits and hopefully he'll get the Pro Bowl recognition that he deserves.
"He's not overlooked by his peers. The players will vote him in, coaches will vote him in. Anybody who puts the tape on or has gone against him, I think that's a no-brainer. They will vote him in."
Cardinals Receivers Provide A Big Test
The Eagles' defense faces one of its biggest challenges on the season this weekend in trying to slow down an Arizona receiving corps that is among the best units in the league. Davis believes the Eagles will need to play a disciplined game in staying with the receivers since it's impossible to provide coverage over the top against all of them.
"The quarterback is not picking one guy over another," Davis explained. "Their three receivers (Brown, Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd) are outstanding and they've got the top three targets, so the ball is going to the receivers. (Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians) does a great job of saying 'Okay, who do I have this week and how can I spread the ball out?'
"You can only pick one to give help to or possibly two in some zones, but they're not a selfish group. They all run their routes with discipline and they just let Carson pick them. They spread it out so as soon as you give help to someone, the ball goes to someone else. As soon as you move help there, it goes back the other way so that's part of the reason they're putting 400 yards up per game and 31 points because they spread it around and take what you give them."