January 29, 2024   2 MIN READ

Figured Him Out?

Five Seasons Since Last Great Vic Fangio Defense


Has the Vic Fangio defense been “figured out?”

It’s been a question making the rounds since the Eagles announced the hiring of the longtime defensive coordinator, who was the NFL’s 2018 Assistant Coach of the Year while coordinating the defense of the NFC North champion Bears.

Fangio, who was defensive coordinator of the Dolphins this past season, produced the 10th-ranked overall defense and 22nd-ranked scoring defense although Miami suffered multiple injuries to many of their best defensive players.

Vic Fangio

GETTY IMAGES: New Eagles DC Vic Fangio inherits a defense that ranked seventh-worst in 2023.

In his 23-year career as a defensive play caller, Fangio has produced a top-five total defense five times and a top-five scoring defense six times.

But his last great defense was 2018 with the Bears, who ranked third overall and first in scoring. Since then, his defenses with Denver and Miami have ranked 12th, 21st, eighth and 10th, respectively.

Twice in the last four years, his scoring defenses have ranked in the 20s.

In Philadelphia, Fangio inherits a defense that ranked seventh-worst in the NFL in 2023, leading to firing of coordinator Sean Desai, who had his play calling duties stripped away mid-season.

Interestingly, the Eagles – who’ve been running Fangio-style defenses for the past three years – might be one of those teams who have figured Fangio out.

The Eagles have won their past five games against Fangio, going back to 2023 – including a 31-17 win at the Linc this past season:

What’s that saying? If you can’t beat ’em …

– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.

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