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Haason Reddick, Javon Hargrave lead Eagles continued charge as top defensive line

Anyone on the Philadelphia Eagles roster will be honest if you asked them about Sunday’s victory over the Chicago Bears..It wasn’t pretty. Regardless, the team moved to 13-1 and within one result away from clinching both the NFC East and the No. 1 seed in the conference.
Haason Reddick and Javon Hargrave were among the standout defensive players on Sunday in a 25-20 victory at Soldier Field, helping the Eagles registered six sacks and continue their dominance as the league’s best front. Reddick, Hargrave, and Josh Sweat each registered two sacks apiece, taking the Eagles’ team total to 55 through 14 games.
Bears second-year quarterback Justin Fields did his best to make things happen for the hosts, but the Eagles defensive line became the latest to frustrate Fields in the gritty win.

“We went after him,” Sweat said. “No sense sitting back and letting him throw the ball. We trusted that we could get to him and we did.”

“We all got a chance to eat today and we did that,” Reddick said. “I had fun out there. I feel like I could have had another two or three of my own, but it didn’t phase me one bit out there. We got ourselves a big win and that’s all that matters.”

Unlike weeks past against the Green Bay Packers, Tennessee Titans, and New York Giants, the Eagles were put to the test by Chicago, a team that has already been eliminated from postseason contention. The Bears did well to use Fields’ versatility and David Montgomery’s power to keep the Eagles off balanced, keeping the game competitive into the fourth quarter.

However, the Eagles growing list of pass-rushing options were able to do what they do best, get after Fields on key plays and not let the quarterback beat them with his legs. Fields still finished the game with 95 rushing yards on 15 carries, but the Eagles believe they did well to keep his output from being a lot more productive.

“We put in a lot of work, man,” Reddick said. “We feed off each other’s energy, that’s another thing. It’s like, once one guy goes and gets one, another guy goes and gets one. Next thing you know, we all getting sacks.”

“It was tough trying to keep him in the pocket today,” Hargrave said of Fields. “He made a lot of plays with his feet. You’ve got to make sure you don’t get too high in your rushes and you don’t want to leave your lane. We communicated well today. We knew he was going to make some plays. He’s just that good. But we made some plays, too.”

The Eagles defensive front have gone from 31st to 1st in sacks over a span of 12 months under Jonathan Gannon, becoming one of the more consistent pass-rushing teams in the league. Whether its Reddick, Hargrave, Sweat, Brandon Graham, or many others, the Eagles have plenty of guys willing to share the load of getting after the opposing quarterback.

Saturday’s trip to Dallas will put another one of the league’s top dual-threat quarterbacks on the radar of the Eagles defensive line as Dak Prescott tries to keep the Cowboys alive in the divisional race. The Eagles have already defeated Dallas once this season with Cooper Rush under center but will have to be wary of Prescott’s ability to make things happen with his arm and legs.

No matter the opponent, the Eagles defensive line will be ready to go to continue being a top force in the NFL this season.

“We’re going to fight and keep coming,” Hargrave said. “All of us. It’s not one or two or three guys. We have a whole lot of guys who want part of this.”

You can follow Larry Henry on Twitter (@lhenry019) and e-mail him at [email protected].

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