Monday, December 22, 2014

A closer look at Chaney's 16 tackles

Eagles linebacker JaMar Chaney opened eyes with his 16-tackle performance last week against the Giants. NFL Network's Brian Baldinger had high praise for the Birds' rookie.

A closer look at Chaney's 16 tackles

Rookie Jamar Chaney collected 16 tackles against the Giants.  (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)
Rookie Jamar Chaney collected 16 tackles against the Giants. (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)

First of all, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all the MTC readers out there.

Hope everyone is enjoying the day with their families and friends.

Just in case you needed something to read on your new laptop, IPad, smartphone, etc., I'm here to help.

Eagles rookie JaMar Chaney opened a lot of eyes with his 16-tackle performance last week against the Giants.

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It was the most tackles by an Eagles player in a single game all season.

But was his performance as impressive as that number indicates?

The answer, for the most part, is yes. But it still warrants a closer look.

Linebackers and defensive backs can pile up high tackling numbers, but they don't always reflect how well they're playing. For example, back in Week 2, Omar Gaither had a game-high 11 tackles against the Lions, but did not play well. Eight of the 11 tackles came after Detroit had completed passes when Gaither was in coverage.

Chaney's 16 tackles were much different. He was making plays against the run for all four quarters. Twelve of Chaney's 16 tackles were against the run; four against the pass. And 11 of his 16 tackles were within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. Impressive.

That's not to say Chaney was perfect. He had some issues in coverage, although I'm not sure he had any more issues than the Eagles have had with their linebackers against the pass all season.

Chaney was on the field for 66 of 72 snaps. That's one difference (albeit a small one) between him and Stewart Bradley. When Bradley's healthy, he stays on the field for every snap. There is not a scheme employed by Sean McDermott that takes Bradley off the field.

McDermott said earlier this week that Bradley's the starter when he gets healthy, but I would be surprised if he didn't find a way to get Chaney on the field if he continues to play this well.

One guy who is out in front driving the Chaney bandwagon is NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger. Baldinger said on Daily News Live last week that Chaney is playing the best middle linebacker the Eagles have seen since Jeremiah Trotter was in his prime. Baldinger wrote about Chaney in an NFL.com blog post this week also:

Jamar Chaney is already one of the best MLBs in the league after his first start. He was phenomenal in every phase of the game on Sunday against the Giants, in terms of recognition, physicality, getting off blocks, stopping the run downhill and sideline-to-sideline speed. It’s no knock on Stewart Bradley, but Chaney gives the Eagles their best play from the position in years. He was all over the field. When your MLB is fast and plays fast, it makes the entire defense look fast.

As for Sunday night, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said running back Adrian Peterson will "probably make it." He's officially listed as questionable with a bruised knee and thigh.

And finally, if you missed it, check out video of DeSean Jackson going undercover at Modell's. Hilarious footage, and impressive performance by DeSean.


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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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Reach Sheil at skapadia@philly.com.

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