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Report: Eagles Make Sudden Coaching Change Ahead of Seahawks Game

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Matt Patricia


The Eagles are making a coaching change, promoting Matt Patricia.

The Philadelphia Eagles are making a coaching change prior to their upcoming game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Following an embarrassing defensive performance in a 33-13 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, the Eagles are making a change to their personnel. Heading into their game in Seattle, Philadelphia will have assistant Matt Patricia call in defensive plays instead of defensive coordinator Sean Desai, according to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports.

“A little @Eagles scoopage today: Philly very quietly made a change at defensive coordinator this week moving out Sean Desai to another position and replacing him with Matt Patricia,” reports Glazer on Sunday, December 17. “Desai remains with the team in different capacity but Patricia now runs and calls the defense.”

Why Eagles Are Making Move at Defensive Coordinator

As noted by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Desai will actually move to the coaching booth with Patricia being on the sidelines calling plays into the green dot player.

Prior to the move, Patricia  has spent his first season in Philadelphia consulting with all three phases of the Eagles. He’s best known for his tenure with the New England Patriots where he served in a variety roles on both offense and defense — including defensive coordinator and the offensive play-caller during the 2022 season — during 16 seasons spent in New England.

Patricia also spent time as the head coach of the Detroit Lions between 2018 and 2020, amassing a 13-29-1 record during his tenure in Detroit.

The move comes with the Eagles’ defense being in a free fall. Philadelphia has allowed at least 33 points in three straight games, resulting in two consecutive blowout losses to their top rivals, the Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers.

After ranking as one of the top defensive units last season en route to a Super Bowl appearance under ex-defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon — they ranked eighth in points, second in yards allowed and led the NFL in sacks — their defensive unit has been the biggest weakness this season. The 2023 Eagles rank 28th in points and 23rd in yards this season.

Eagles’ Pass Rush Has Also Seen Major Decline in 2023

Perhaps most surprising is the decline in pass rush this season compared to last season. Philadelphia lost one key defensive lineman — defensive tackle Javon Hargrave — from last season’s team and actually added some additional pass-rushing help in two-time national champion Jalen Carter from the University of Georgia in this year’s draft. However, after recording the third-most sacks in a single season (70.0) in NFL history, the Eagles merely rank 16th in the NFL with 37 sacks, allowing an opposing passer rating of 97.5, the fourth-highest in the league.

With Philadelphia now technically behind Dallas in the NFC East — both hold 10-3 records, but the Eagles lose out on the tiebreaker — they’ll hope a change to Patricia will change their fortunes during the stretch run of the season.

The Eagles have the third-easiest remaining schedule (.365 winning percentage) in the NFL with just one opponent possessing at least a .500 record entering Week 15 — the Vikings at 7-7 — and the other three teams being the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers. By comparison, the Cowboys have the 10th-hardest remaining schedule (.566) with remaining games against the likes of the Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills.

DJ Siddiqi covers the NFL for Heavy.com, with a focus on the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He has covered the NFL and NBA for Forbes, ClutchPoints, CBS Sports, 24/7 Sports and Bleacher Report before joining Heavy. More about DJ Siddiqi

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