Last year an underrated aspect of the Eagles Super Bowl run was how impressive their defensive line was. This year, they lost a group of names from that team and a big injury to Timmy Jernigan shook up the depth of the group.
This year Jernigan has only been able to play in three games because of his health. This obviously impacted the Eagles front seven and the group struggled early in the year.
However, Jernigan came back for the last two games and heads into the playoffs as healthy as he has been all year. The Eagles are undefeated with Jernigan on the field and are a different defense with him.
What has been amazing with Jernigan is how stout they are in run defense. The Eagles allow 46.3% of runs to grade successfully without Jernigan. That number plummets to 23.5% with him on the field. That is some impact.
He is expected to be on the field Sunday, and will present an interesting test for the Chicago Bears, who just got Kyle Long healthy in time to figure out their running game against the Minnesota Vikings.
The Vikings run defense has been better than Philadelphia but at the same time Jernigan may make the differnce. He will be a player to watch on Sunday.