The Eagles' defense put on a clinic in the team's 31-6 victory over the Jets at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday afternoon, going three quarters without giving up a single point in arguably the best performance of the season. The Eagles produced 10 sacks, two touchdowns, two interceptions, and a fumble recovery. Defensive end Brandon Graham led the team with a career-high three sacks.
"It felt good. Honestly, I'm just happy we all went out there and had one of those games we've been dreaming about as a defensive line," Graham said. "We're coming together at the right time, especially after all the emotional games we have played. We need one like this."
Graham's 45.5 career sacks are now the sixth most in team history. The last time the Eagles had a player record three sacks in a single game was Fletcher Cox on December 30, 2018 at Washington.
"As a defensive lineman, that's the dream, to hit (the quarterback) and sack him as many times as you can," Graham said. "Hitting him is cool, but getting him down and changing the field position is even better. I'm just happy I was able to get him on the ground after how many times I came close."
Along with the pressure on quarterback Luke Falk, a pick-six late in the first quarter by linebacker Nathan Gerry helped the defense continue its dominance. The fourth-and-1 pass was intended for Jets running back Le'Veon Bell, but Gerry grabbed it out of the air and returned it 51 yards for his first career touchdown to make it 14-0 with 5:04 remaining in the first quarter.
"Once I saw (Bell) take off, I knew that's where the ball was going," Gerry said. "We knew how they were going to attack us on the short yardage, especially on third and fourth down. We knew how they were going to try and attack us, so we just found a play. We had a blitz call and just made a play on the ball."
In the fourth quarter, cornerback Orlando Scandrick, making his Eagles debut, solidified the defense's contributions to the win with a strip-sack and fumble return for a touchdown. The 12-year veteran ran the ball 44 yards to the end zone after recording his second strip-sack of the game.
"I was just finishing the play and not being satisfied with the sack," Scandrick said. "I wanted to finish it and the first thing towards finishing the play is forcing the fumble, then once the fumble is out, just to put points on the board as a defense. I'm so happy to be back. Like I said, it was a humbling experience just being at home for those four weeks. I'm just happy we won."
Scandrick spent the summer with the Eagles at Training Camp, but was released at the end of August. The Eagles brought him back on September 27, and on Sunday he made his name known on an afternoon when the team was without Ronald Darby (hamstring), Avonte Maddox (concussion, neck), and Sidney Jones (hamstring) was active but did not play.
"He comes in, digests the game plan, and had a great week of practice," safety Malcolm Jenkins said of Scandrick. "Obviously, good play today. He gives us a lot of security to be able to go and communicate, have another veteran out there, and he can make plays too."
Take a look at the best photos from the Eagles' Week 5 matchup against the Jets.