More Sports:

December 19, 2022

Who won the week in Philly sports: Haason Reddick is the Eagles' best edge rusher in years

Haason Reddick's 12 sacks are leading an Eagles defense that looks better by the week

Haason Reddick is the perfect encapsulation of "From Here." 

Reddick, a Camden native who walked on at Temple before making a star turn in the NFL over the last couple of seasons, is anchoring the Eagles' most dominant pass rush in decades, since the heyday of Buddy, Reggie and Kelly green. 

Reddick had two sacks in the Eagles' win at Chicago on Sunday, smothering Bears quarterback Justin Fields along the way. The Birds have recorded six or more sacks in three-straight games and, despite stiff competition, Reddick is the biggest force for Jonathan Gannon's defense right now. An ideal blend of athleticism and technique, it's laughable in retrospect that poverty franchises like Arizona and Carolina could let him slip through their grasps. 

The Eagles' prize free agent signing from this offseason is not just the team's best edge rusher in the 2022 season, but the best they've had in more than a decade. 

Due to an "off day" by Jalen Hurts' lofty MVP standards, I'm giving Reddick the prestigious honor of "winning the week" in Philly sports. On a team with major offensive star power, Reddick is having a slightly under the radar campaign in the city's consciousness. Let's shed some light on the man making life hell for opposing QBs. 

You're the Best Around 🎵

Watching Reddick go to work against the Bears, I was left wondering the last time the Eagles had an edge rusher as good as Reddick. No disrespect to Brandon Graham and his decade-long consistency and legendary Super Bowl heroics, but Graham has never had a regular season quite like the one Reddick's having. 

With three games left to play, Reddick has 12 sacks. That's already the most of an Eagle since Connor Barwin's 14.5-sack year in 2014. Barwin's an awesome dude and was a key contributor during the Chip Kelly years, but that performance felt a little bit like an outlier than a true representation of who he was on the field.

The most before that were Jason Babin's 18 sacks in the disastrous 2011 "Dream Team" season. I'm not giving that guy credit for anything.

You'd have to go back to Trent Cole's 12.5-sack seasons in both 2009 and 2007 after that. 

Calling it as I see it: Reddick is the team's best edge rusher since Cole's peak. Cole amassed a whopping 63 sacks and 90 tackles for loss from 2006 to 2011, making two Pro Bowls and receiving a Second-Team All-Pro nod. Cole is one of the most overlooked NFL defenders of the 21st century. 

Reddick, at 28 and on a three-year contract, will be playing his prime in Philadelphia. A Pro Bowl selection for Reddick this year is a must. I don't expect the accolades to stop after that with the way Reddick has gelled on this defense. 

Put Some Respect on His Name 🗣️

Over the last three seasons, Reddick's 35.5 sacks are the third-most in the NFL behind perennial Defensive of the Player of the Year candidates Myles Garrett and T.J. Watt (via Stathead). 

Reddick isn't exactly on that elite level, but he just produces and produces. Once again I ask: how did the Cardinals and Panthers let this guy go? Maybe he's not a tier-1, DPOY-type player, but he's just slightly outside that picture. If not for playing in Arizona and Carolina to begin his career, his profile would be much larger around the league and among football fans. 

Feastin' 🍗

As our own Jimmy Kempski likes to say, this Eagles pass rush is "feastin'." Look at the way Reddick destroyed the Bears on Sunday:

Bears right tackle Alex Leatherwood has a good 70 pounds on Reddick, but No. 7's speed rush is too much for the third-year offensive lineman. Wrapping up Fields and not letting him use his elusiveness to break free is huge. 

He can make plays in the run game, too:

Reddick sets the edge, stays in his lane on this misdirection play and causes chaos. While Avonte Maddox was credited for the forced fumble in there, Reddick was probably more responsible for the takeaway. Reddick recovered the ball as well. 

On a day when the Eagles' offense didn't play like the best unit in the NFL, the Birds' defense held things down. No one was more integral in that than Reddick.

The next step for Reddick putting himself into Eagles lore: A big performance on Christmas Eve against Dallas. 

Who won last week: Jalen Hurts 1️⃣

Won the Week 2022 Tally:

Howie Roseman: 6

Jalen Hurts: 5

Bryce Harper: 4

Rhys Hoskins: 4

Haason Reddick: 2

Rob Thomson: 2

J.T. Realmuto: 1

Phillies: 1

Eagles fans: 1

A.J. Brown: 1

Nick Sirianni: 1

Avonte Maddox: 1

Eagles: 1

Kyle Schwarber: 1

Tyrese Maxey: 1

Tobias Harris: 1

Joel Embiid: 1

Follow Shamus & PhillyVoice on Twitter: @shamus_clancy | @thePhillyVoice

Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports

Add Shamus' RSS feed to your feed reader