The Philadelphia Eagles haven't exactly been on point offensively, with quarterback Jalen Hurts having his fair share of struggles in the throwing game. But what has kept the Eagles unbeaten through the first three game weeks, following their 25-11 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has been their stellar defense. With Darius Slay still at the top of his game denying the routes of opposing teams' wideouts, the Eagles kept the Buccaneers quiet all throughout the contest.
But apart from Slay, a big part of how the Eagles defense has remained elite has been the stellar play of rookie defensive tackle Jalen Carter. Carter has been on point with his defense at the line of scrimmage. One play, in particular, drew much fanfare; that was when Carter pried the ball loose out of Buccaneers running back Rachaad White. Beyond that electric forced fumble, he also tallied five pressures, a quarterback hit, and 0.5 sacks — an overall incredible game from the 22-year old.
Following the game, Darius Slay gave his Eagles defensive teammate his due props, with the 32-year old cornerback even using some entertainingly colorful language to convey his point.
“That is a grown man. This shit [Carter's early career start] is crazy,” Slay said, per Josh Tolentino of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The Eagles already had an embarrassment of riches on the defensive end last season, so adding Jalen Carter simply made them a more difficult defensive outfit to deal with. Carter, as one would recall, had the talent and prospect pedigree to go higher in the draft than he did. However, talent evaluators had plenty of concerns regarding Carter's behavior off the field. Moreover, Carter didn't exactly rate well during the NFL Draft Combine, even showing up overweight during Pro Day.
But now, Carter is showing that he's well worth his weight in gold for an Eagles team that knows how to put him in a position to succeed. Only 22 years old, he'll surely be a part of the Eagles' defense for the foreseeable future, and as Darius Slay said, he may yet pull off even crazier things the more he gets acclimated to the professional level.