Can Jonathan Gannon and the Eagles’ defense stop the 49ers’ offense?

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 26: Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon and Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (91) chat during the game between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles on December 26, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Winning a playoff game 38-7 normally would give the coaching staff a fair amount of leeway as they prepare for their next round of action.

Not for Jonathan Gannon though.

The Eagles’ defensive coordinator has been ridiculed the last two years since coming to the team for his lack of aggressiveness and record against good quarterbacks. His next battle against the 49ers though could be a turning point in changing the narrative of his top defense though.

Schematically they get the ball to guys in space, and then they have the guys that are touching the ball, those are part of their unique skill sets where they can break tackles, they can run away from people, they can make people miss in space, and I’m not just talking about one or two guys. It’s really everybody that’s touching the ball.” Gannon told reporters Tuesday.

Even with the challenge that San Fran brings, the Eagles’ defensive coordinator isn’t going to shy away from the talent on the team either.

It’s going to be a big-time challenge, and it’s going to be fun because we’re good, too, and we have some of the best players in the world at our positions, too. We’ll look forward to that challenge, and we’ll be fired up on Sunday afternoon.” Gannon said.

Gannon’s defense has been one of the best in football over the last two seasons. Led by Darius Slay and other All-Pro selections, the Eagles are 2nd in the league in yards given up and the top of the league in passing yards.

But going against one of the top offenses in football will mean everyone on the defense will need to step up. San Francisco may be starting a rookie quarterback, but that doesn’t mean Brock Purdy can’t play and hurt the defense in key moments.

He’s (Purdy) a really good player. He plays extremely fast. He knows where to put his eyes. He gets out of trouble at a pretty good clip, and what I mean by that, is you see some free runners or the pocket breakdown and guys have a hard time getting him on the ground. He doesn’t take a lot of sacks, but he makes quick decisions, he’s accurate, and he gets the ball out of his hand.”

Eagles’ defense holds the keys

The Philadelphia Eagles’ defense could be the key to determining if the end up in Super Bowl LVII or not. A win not only would keep their season going, but would cement Gannon’s legacy as one of the best defensive coordinators in team history as well.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire