“I love this defense”: Jalen Carter gushes about Eagles as rookie DT continues to dominate 


Through the first three weeks of the 2023 NFL season, one would be hard pressed to find a rookie playing any better than Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Jalen Carter.

Carter, the ninth overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, hasn’t been playing like he has only appeared in three regular season games. His Week 3 performance on Monday Night Football clearly demonstrated why he was once considered the best prospect in his draft class.

Carter recorded two tackles, half a sack, a quarterback hit and two forced fumbles in Philadelphia’s 25-11 road win over the previously unbeaten Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1).

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Minnesota Vikings v Philadelphia Eagles

The 22-year-old from Apopka, Florida, said after the game that a few dozen of his family members and friends from his hometown were in attendance for Monday night’s game. They certainly weren’t disappointed with what they saw.

Carter was an intimidating nuisance against the Bucs up front, finishing with a team-high five pressures in the win. The Eagles’ defense held the Bucs to only 174 yards of offense on the night. Carter’s forced fumbles came on consecutive plays just before halftime, the second of which the Eagles recovered.

“This defense is awesome,” Carter told Sportskeeda after the game. “I love this defense. Everybody trusts one another, plays their roles, and does what they have to do.

“When one goes down, it’s the next man up and we don’t worry about who it is, we trust him as much as the guy who started the game. I love this defense.”

Numbers don’t lie: Eagles’ Jalen Carter continues to wreak havoc

Monday was just the latest standout performance early in Carter’s young NFL career. Through three games, Carter is tied for second among NFL defensive tackles with 15 total pressures, according to Next Gen Stats. The only interior D-lineman with more is former Eagles standout Javon Hargrave (18), who signed the San Francisco 49ers in free agency.

Perhaps most notably, Carter has generated six pressures while being double-teamed, which ranks second among all NFL defensive players behind only Micah Parsons (seven).

The Eagles defensive line led the NFL with 70 sacks in 2022 but might be even better this season with the addition of Carter.

NFL players, writers, broadcasters and analysts have all marveled at Carter’s performance through three games. Three-time All-Pro defensive back Tyrann Mathieu said on X (formerly Twitter) during Monday’s game that Carter has “Chris Jones ability.”

That’s not to be taken lightly. Jones, a former teammate of Mathieu’s, is a four-time Pro Bowler and reigning All-Pro with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Former NFL defensive back and current ESPN analyst Matt Bowen said Carter “created disruption” against the Bucs.

Chris Simms, a former NFL quarterback and current analyst at NBC Sports, raved over how Carter wins with athleticism and hustle to collapse the pocket and dominate at the line of scrimmage. But that’s not all.

On a defense that features six-time Pro Bowl tackle Fletcher Cox, All-Pro cornerback Darius Slay, and other standout players, Carter may already be the best of the best, according to Simms. Oh, and Carter reminds him of a Pro Football Hall of Famer.

“He’s the best defensive player on their team already,” Simms said of Carter on NBC Sports. “He’s the best defensive player on the field already… He’s a new-age Warren Sapp to me.”

That’s high praise because Sapp — who also hails from Apopka, Florida — was the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1999 with 12.5 sacks and a seven-time Pro Bowler, helped propel that team to the NFC Championship Game. Sapp finished his 13-year career with 96.5 sacks and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013 – his first year of eligibility.

And if Carter continues along his current NFL trek, he just one day might join Sapp in the hallowed halls of Canton, Ohio.

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Edited by Souryadeep Mazumder
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