Leading up to the Philadelphia Eagles match-up with the Kansas City Chiefs in Arizona, Sports Talk Philly and Eagledelphia will compare the personnel of the two teams each day until gameday is here.
In this edition of our week-long comparison, we will look at the front seven that the Eagles and Chiefs will field for the big game.
Philadelphia DL/LB | Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Josh Sweat, Jordan Davis, Robert Quinn, Milton Williams, Ndamukong Suh, TJ Edwards, Haason Reddick, Kyzir White, Nakobe Dean, Christian Elliss, Kyron Johnson, Patrick Johnson
The Philadelphia defensive front has genuinely been unstoppable this season with the exception of their three losses. Early in the season, the defense settled into a rhythm of creating takeaways and turnovers and never looked back. There’s not really a standout player that had a season above the rest, but each player contributed greatly when it mattered most.
Brandon Graham, who really built a case for Comeback Player of the Year with 11 sacks, 35 tackles and 16 quarterback hits, among other great stats, came off an ACL injury last season. One player that’s been stable on the Eagles for years has been T.J. Edwards, continuing to fly under the radar having a fantastic season with 99 solo tackles, two sacks and five quarterback hits, among other stats.
Offseason additions contributed greatly to the success of the team. Haason Reddick and Jordan Davis, just to name a few, brought some much-needed help to the Eagles defense.
Overall, the pass rush has been complete, with the Eagles becoming the first team to have four players with 10 or more sacks in the same season. Reddick had 16 while Graham, Josh Sweat and Javon Hargrave all added 11 of their own. Fletcher Cox, who had his best season since 2018, added seven of his own while Milton Williams has begun to build on his early career success and added four more in his second season.
In total, the team added 24.5 sacks from the interior defensive line – a consideration that may weigh heavily in this game.
Kansas City DL/LB | Frank Clark, George Karlaftis, Malik Herring, Carlos Dunlap, Mike Danna, Chris Jones, Joshua Kaindoh, Brandon Williams, Khalen Saunders, Derrick Nnadi, Willie Gay, Leo Chenal, Darius Harris, Nick Bolton, Jack Cochrane
The Chiefs have pieces of a great defensive line, but those key playmakers stick out from the rest. Those three are Frank Clark, Nick Bolton and Chris Jones. In their respective playoff run against two great AFC quarterbacks, these three managed to contain the opposing quarterbacks.
Bolton had a total of seven tackles and seven assists and Jones had four tackles, two assists and one sack. The player that shines above the rest on the D-line in the playoffs is Clark with five tackles, one assist and two and a half sacks.
Do I think the Chiefs defensive line is challenging? Yes, but those numbers – even combined – are awfully low in comparison to the Eagles team that tackles and pressures. Philadelphia has been dominant in creating turnovers throughout the season, and the Chiefs defense is going to need to do the same.
The Eagles have a clear edge. The team’s defense is stacked with a defensive coordinator who learned how to use the talent to continuously apply pressure and create turnovers this season. I think the Eagles defense would match up nicely to the Chiefs offense. Creating pressure on Mahomes is going to be important early on. On the opposite side of the ball, the Eagles offensive line would likely match up well covering the three major defensive playmakers.