The Eagles Secondary was poised to become a force to be reckoned with as the team ran onto the field to face the Falcons and after a bumpy start it looked as though they might be just that. But then Nolan Carroll went down with a season ending injury, Byron Maxwells struggles and injury woes continued and the Secondary began to lose its footing..and whilst as a unit they have struggled up massively, giving up more than 400 yards in six straight games it actually worked out very well for one man in particular.
Rookie Cornerback Eric Rowe was enjoying a quietly content rookie season. A big game against Washington, some big pass breakups and the occasional mistake summed up what any rookie season should look like…and then the Lions game arrived. For whatever reason, Billy Davis decided to leave Eric Rowe alone on Megatron island and the result was embarrassing as the young Utah alumnus was schooled by one of the leagues finest. But that and the rest of this season was exactly what he needed.
Time after time, Rowe was dropped in at the deep end with cinder blocks tied to his ankles and expected to swim and break free. From Sammy Watkins to DeSean Jackson, he’s had to cover some of the NFL’s toughest threats and the result is a rookie corner who hasn’t had time to beat himself up or get down after an embarrassing performance against Megatron..instead he’s physically HAD to bounce back because there is nobody else.
The 23 year old has recorded three or more tackles in each of his last four games and the progression has been rapid to say the least. By lining up against the best, he’s learned what it takes to cover the best and that’s something very few rookie corners get to experience consistently in their first season.
Rowe gave up just three receptions out of seven balls thrown his away against Washington for an impressive 46 yards and a 65.2 passer rating. Not only that but on the first play of the game, Rowe covered Jackson and one play later Jackson was lined up against Biggers..even the Redskins knew that Jackson would be stranded when running down “Death Rowe”.During his first four career starts as an Eagle, Rowe only allowed a 57.3 QB rating..it’s safe to say he’s cut himself loose from the Cinder blocks.
It isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, there have been some bumpy moments along the way but when your Defensive Coordinator lines you up against Megatron fully knowing how it’s going to end one week and then you face Tom Brady and the Patriots seven days later..it takes stern stuff to not only avoid crumbling, but come out swinging and arguably save the Eagles a victory when it mattered most.
Eric Rowe showing great coverage in the Pats final drive when the game was on the line https://t.co/gQCHd9FeNi
— Philly Sports Network (@PhiladelphiaSN) December 8, 2015
Since that fateful game against the Lions, Rowe has emerged as a diverse Defensive threat. His play in recent weeks isn’t only indicative of strong character, but a willingness to learn and adapt. If Rowe hadn’t displayed those traits then the Eagles season would have been over weeks ago.
— Smilez (@Slicksmilez) December 14, 2015
The Eagles Secondary might be disjointed, it might lack depth..it might even see a change in personnel over the coming months..but what they overpaid for in Byron Maxwell..they found in their second round draft pick and his baptism of fire.