Sunday, December 21, 2014

Man Up: Issues for DRC, Eagles CBs

In case you missed it from Sunday, I counted 13 missed tackles by the Eagles and charted all of them.

Man Up: Issues for DRC, Eagles CBs

Eagles defenders struggled to keep up with Fred Jackson. (David Duprey/AP)
Eagles defenders struggled to keep up with Fred Jackson. (David Duprey/AP)

In case you missed it from Sunday, I counted 13 missed tackles by the Eagles and charted all of them.

Meanwhile, here is the player-by-player breakdown of the Eagles' defensive performance during Sunday's loss to the Bills.

Jason Babin - He didn't have a sack for the first time all season, but I'd argue that had more to do with the Bills' gameplan and Ryan Fitzpatrick than the Eagles' lack of a pass rush. Babin had a pair of QB hits and had ups and downs against the run. He got pressure on Fitzpatrick on a third down, but the Bills QB found Stevie Johnson for an 8-yard gain. Babin got to Fitzpatrick on the Jamar Chaney interception too. Against the run, he hustled to bring Fred Jackson down after a couple of 4-yard gains. And Babin dropped Jackson for a 2-yard loss in the second. However, Jackson found a big hole between Babin and Cullen Jenkins for a 9-yard gain in the second. Later, the right tackle sealed him, and Jackson got around the edge for 22 yards in the third. The 5-yard Brad Smith touchdown went right between Babin and Derek Landri. He was also called for offsides in the second.  

Cullen Jenkins - He had the Eagles' only sack, his fifth of the season, bringing Fitzpatrick down on a third down in the fourth and forcing a punt. Jenkins helped bring Jackson down after a 1-yard pickup in the fourth and was in the middle of the third-down stop before the Juqua Parker penalty. I’m not sure if he was banged-up at the time, but Jenkins didn’t look like he was going full speed after Jackson on the 49-yard screen pass.

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Mike Patterson - He made a couple nice plays against the run, getting excellent penetration on a Jackson run in the first that resulted in a 4-yard loss, and later tackling Jackson after a 1-yard gain in the third.

Darryl Tapp - He saw his most extensive action of the season, but didn't do much. Tapp couldn’t get to the ballcarrier on Jackson’s 15-yard run to the left sideline in the first. He later got stiff-armed by Jackson on an 11-yard run in the fourth. As a pass-rusher, Tapp got a good hit on Fitzpatrick on third down in the third.

Juqua Parker - I don't know what I can add that hasn't already been said about the final offsides call. Let me just add that Sunday was the 137th time Parker stepped on the football field as a pro. The Bills sent their punter on the field before calling timeout. Fitzpatrick had been under center for a full 11 seconds at the time that Parker jumped. I don't want to pile on Parker. I'm sure he feels terrible. I just don't get how that can happen.

Phillip Hunt - He played about 20 snaps and was pretty much a non-factor. Hunt and Landri got to Fitzpatrick on an incompletion in the first, but that was the only time I noticed him.

Trevor Laws - He had a couple nice plays near the line of scrimmage. Laws and Nate Allen brought C.J. Spiller down for a loss of 2 on a shovel pass in the third. Laws dropped Jackson for a loss on the final drive where the Bills were trying to run out the clock.

Derek Landri - He played about 16 snaps in his debut and had a couple good moments early. Landri stopped Jackson after a gain of 1 in the first. He and Hunt got good pressure on Fitzpatrick in the second on an incompletion down the near sideline.

Jamar Chaney - He seemed to be in the middle of all the Bills' big gains, but at least Chaney looked like a linebacker capable of making plays this week. Let's start with the good. He intercepted Fitzpatrick’s pass in the second, creating the Eagles' only turnover. Chaney and Rolle combined to stop Jackson after a 4-yard gain in the third. He and Page stopped Jackson after a 2-yard gain in the third and again after a gain of 1 on 3rd-and-4 in the red zone. Chaney blitzed and batted down a Fitzpatrick pass in the fourth. Now the bad. He missed a tackle on Jackson’s first-quarter touchdown. He got blocked to the ground on the 49-yard screen pass to Jackson.  He got taken out by an offensive lineman on Jackson’s 22-yard run in the third. The Bills spread the Eagles out with five receivers, and somehow Chaney got lined up with Johnson, who made a simple move on him and picked up 12 yards to set up Buffalo’s fourth touchdown. He got blocked into the end zone on the very next play, a 5-yard touchdown run by Smith. And Chaney got blocked to the ground on Fitzpatrick’s dumpoff to Jackson that picked up 20 yards in the third.

Brian Rolle - He was OK. The Bills ran to the sideline on his side, but Rolle couldn’t shed his block as Jackson picked up 15. Rolle got blocked on the 5-yard Smith touchdown run in the third. He dropped Jackson for a 4-yard loss in the first. He made a nice tackle on Jackson after a short gain on a screen pass in the second. And he dropped Naaman Roosevelt for no gain after a completion in the third. Rolle is definitely one of the Eagles' best options at linebacker, and at the very least, he goes hard on every play.

Moise Fokou - The Eagles were in nickel for most of the game, meaning Fokou only played about 12 snaps. He and Coleman brought Jackson down after a gain of 2 in the fourth. That's the only time I noticed him.

Asante Samuel - Not a good game for Samuel. He was beat by Donald Jones on what should have been a 4-yard gain on third down in the first, but Samuel missed a tackle. And then Nnamdi Asomugha missed a tackle. And then Joselio Hanson missed a tackle. Jones ended up gaining 19 yards to set up the Bills’ first touchdown. Later, Samuel was playing way off of Johnson on 3rd-and-7, and Fitzpatrick hit him for an 8-yard completion. He had good coverage on Johnson on a deep ball that was incomplete in the second. And he had pretty good coverage on Nelson on a 2nd-and-5 throw in the second. It looked like Samuel was trying to press Johnson in the third on a 3rd-and-8 play, and he made no contact. It sure appears that Juan Castillo and the coaches are guessing in terms of how to utilize these corners the best. They haven't found a scheme that's been successful, and we're five weeks into the season.

Nnamdi Asomugha - He wasn't perfect, but Asomugha played more man and was the best of the Eagles' three cornerbacks. He had an excellent series in the second quarter, stopping Jackson after a 4-yard gain; dropping Smith for a 3-yard loss on a Wildcat play; and tackling Spiller short of a first down after a 5-yard completion. In previous weeks, when he and Samuel didn’t have a receiver to their side, they would drop back as safeties. That didn't look like it was the case this week. Instead, they just moved to the other side of the formation and played the slot receiver. Asomugha had a chance to drop Spiller for a 5-yard loss, but failed to bring him down on what ended up being an 8-yard gain. He was called for a facemask penalty on 3rd-and-11 in the third, extending Buffalo’s drive. He didn’t exactly look like he wanted much contact after Page missed a tackle on Naaman Roosevelt's 20-yard gain in the third. And as I mentioned above, he was one of three Eagles who missed a tackle on Jones’ 19-yard grab in the first.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie - I have to believe the coaches are going to have a lot to say to him after they watch the tape. He missed a tackle on a screen to Jackson in the second. He was beat for a 5-yard gain on 3rd-and-4 near the end of the first half, then missed another tackle. He looked confused in the third, giving up a 7-yard completion to Roosevelt on 3rd-and-4. The very next play is the one that Rodgers-Cromartie will likely hear about. He was covering Roosevelt in the slot, playing WAY off of him. Fitzpatrick couldn’t have made an easier throw for a 7-yard gain. But after the catch, Rodgers-Cromartie, who at the time was the closest defender to Roosevelt, made pretty much no effort to tackle him, instead waiting for Rolle and Kurt Coleman to make a play. It ended up being a 16-yard gain. Rodgers-Cromartie literally made contact with no one on the play. Earlier in the game, he dropped an interception. Rodgers-Cromartie seems to be at his best when chasing down receivers and running backs after huge gains. Not exactly what the Eagles envisioned his role being when they acquired him from Arizona.

Joselio Hanson - He played about 11 snaps, mostly in the dime package, but I believe he was in nickel for Rodgers-Cromartie at one point. Hanson was the third Eagle to miss a tackle on Jones’ 19-yard grab in the first. There looked to be confusion between Hanson and Samuel on the Nelson touchdown in the second. The Bills made a great call on 3rd-and-5 when the Eagles were in dime, spreading the field with five wide receivers. That meant Chaney was lined up in the slot, and there was a huge hole between Jenkins and Patterson. Fitzpatrick just kept the ball and pushed forward for 10 yards. I'll be surprised if we don't see teams do that on a weekly basis going forward.

Nate Allen - He was perhaps the only bright spot on defense. Allen was credited with 13 tackles (10 solo). There were certainly ones where he was the last line of defense, making tackles after gains of 11, 15, 20 and 22. But nine of Allen's 13 tackles were within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. Two were for loss. He tackled Johnson after Rogers-Cromartie missed in the second. He darted into the backfield on a Spiller run in the third, but couldn’t make the tackle. He and Laws brought Spiller down for a loss of 2 on a shovel pass. He did an outstanding job in the fourth, sniffing out a screen and dropping Jackson for a 3-yard loss. He hustled and brought Johnson down after a 4-yard gain on 3rd-and-7 in the fourth, giving the offense a chance to tie the game. And he assisted on the third-down tackle before the Parker penalty.

Jarrad Page - He just missed too many tackles. It's really that simple. Page was in position time and again to make plays, and he didn't do so. Page missed a tackle on Jackson’s 7-yard run to start the game. On the first-quarter touchdown, he appeared to have read the play perfectly, shooting into the backfield as the ball was snapped, but Page ran right past Jackson, who scampered into the end zone. He had a chance to drop Jackson for a loss in the third, but whiffed, and it turned into a 6-yard gain. His missed tackle in the fourth turned a 7-yard catch by Roosevelt into a 20-yard gain. He missed a tackle on Jackson’s 11-yard run in the fourth. He delivered a good blow on Jackson after a 2-yard gain in the third. He stopped Jackson after a gain of 4 in the first. He and Chaney stopped Jackson after a gain of 1 on 3rd-and-4 in the red zone in the third.

Kurt Coleman - He replaced Page at one point in the fourth. Coleman and Fokou brought Jackson down after a gain of 2. I wouldn't be surprised if he's back in the starting lineup, alongside Allen, against the Redskins.


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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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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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