Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Eagles' D bounces back vs. Jaguars

The Eagles' defense rebounded with an impressive effort in Jacksonville, holding the Jaguars to 3 points in the Birds' victory.

Eagles' D bounces back vs. Jaguars

Trent Cole knocks the ball away from David Garrard as he attempts to throw. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Trent Cole knocks the ball away from David Garrard as he attempts to throw. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

Against the Lions and the Packers, Sean McDermott's defense did not reach the goals he set for the team before the season.

But in today's win, they held the Jaguars out of the end zone and looked like a different unit than the one that allowed 59 points through the first two games.

Here's the weekly look at how the defense did in terms of reaching McDermott's goals, plus notes at the bottom on the defensive line, which keyed the effort.

Allow 17 points or less: For the first time since Week 15 of the 2010 season, the Eagles accomplished this one, allowing just 3 points against the Jaguars. The defense came into the game allowing 29.5 points per game. Now that average is down to 21 points per game.

Allow 285 yards or less: The Eagles limited the Jaguars to 184 yards of total offense. Coming into the game, the Birds were giving up an average of 371.5 yards per game through two weeks. Now that average is down to 309 yards per game.

Create two or more turnovers: For the first time all year, the Eagles did not accomplish this one. They had several chances for interceptions, but only came up with one, courtesy of Asante Samuel. The Eagles now have five takeaways through three games.

Limit opponents to less than 44 rush attempts and pass completions (combined): Not including David Garrard scrambles, the Eagles limited the Jaguars to a total of 38. Garrard completed just 13 passes, and the Jaguars had 25 passing attempts. The Eagles had not accomplished this goal in the first two weeks.

Allow no more than three big plays (defined as runs of 10 yards or more, or passes of 25 yards or more): The Eagles were better in this category, but still allowed five big plays. They were all running plays. The Eagles did not allow a pass play of 25 yards or more. In three games, they have allowed three pass plays of 25 yards or more. But they've allowed 14 runs of 10 yards or more.

Limit opponents to 5.5 yards per pass attempt: For the first time all season, the Eagles accomplished this one. Garrard averaged just 3.5 yards per attempt. It'd be surprising if the Birds faced an opposing QB with a lower average this season. As a point of reference, Michael Vick averaged 9.4 yards per attempt.

Again, these are not my goals. These are the ones McDermott and his staff have outlined for the defense.

THE D-LINE ROTATION

I'll take a look at the exact number of plays for each guy later in the week, but there were some significant changes to the rotation this week.

Most notably, Darryl Tapp was active for the first time, and he played well. Tapp had a sack and two tackles for loss, playing inside. He made it impossible for the coaching staff to bench him the next couple weeks. Antwan Barnes ended up not dressing after two quiet games. It will likely stay that way for next week at least.

Trevor Laws delivered the best game of his career, filling up the stat sheet with a sack, two QB hits, two passes deflected and two tackles for loss. Like I said, I have to count the number of plays, but it seemed like Laws was at defensive tackle quite a bit.

Juqua Parker picked up his fourth sack of the season and is playing great football.

Earlier I posted on Vick's impressive performance.


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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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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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