Saturday, December 27, 2014

Man Up: Allen, Sims and Graham

Here's our player-by-player look at the Eagles' defensive performance Friday night against the Bengals.

Man Up: Allen, Sims and Graham

Trent Cole tackles Bengals running back Cedric Benson. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)
Trent Cole tackles Bengals running back Cedric Benson. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

Here's the player-by-player look at the Eagles' defensive performance Friday night against the Bengals. I went through the first three quarters and have notes on all the first- and second-team players.

I did the offense on Sunday in case you missed it.

Trent Cole - He was impressive against the run, chasing Terrell Owens out of bounds on an end around and bringing Cedric Benson down after a 1-yard gain in the first. He brought pressure on a 3rd-and-10 incompletion. Cole actually dropped back into coverage three times, more than any other lineman. When the Bengals tried to set up a screen, they barely touched Cole, allowing him to get to Carson Palmer easily and blow the play up before it got started.

Brandon Graham - He played 14 of 36 snaps with the first-team defense. Graham was used in a variety of ways. He got good pressure on Carson Palmer on a couple of third downs in the first. He was also used as an inside pass rusher. Against the run, Benson found a big hole between Graham and Trevor Laws for an 11-yard gain. Graham lined up at left defensive end with the second-team base defense and dominated in the third quarter. He came up with a sack and made two very nice plays against the run.

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Mike Patterson - He did his usual solid job inside, hustling to stop Benson from behind after a 7-yard gain. Patterson also stopped Benson for no gain in the second.

Brodrick Bunkley - Similar, solid job on the inside. Nice play to drop Benson for a 1-yard loss in the first.

Juqua Parker - He played 25 of 36 snaps with the first team. Parker was blocked on a 7-yard Benson run, but it looked like the right tackle got away with a hold. Parker dropped back into coverage once, and it was on the Patterson interception. Good hustle, coming from the left defensive end position to the right side to bring down Benson after a 4-yard gain in the second.

Daniel Te'o-Nesheim - He played eight snaps (all inside) with the first team, and did not play at all with the second team. Te'o-Nesheim got decent pressure up the middle on a couple third downs. I've written before about how Sean McDermott likes to move him around pre-snap. On one play in the second, Te'o-Nesheim started with his hand on the ground at left defensive tackle, moved back like a linebacker and then came back up to right defensive tackle in between Laws and Trent Cole, standing up at the line.

Trevor Laws - Like Graham, he played 14 snaps with the first team. He played a lot in the nickel package, but also saw some snaps in the base defense. I didn't see him stand out much though. Laws played inside with the second team and dropped James Johnson after a short gain.

Antonio Dixon - He played right defensive tackle with the second team. I thought Dixon did a pretty good job against the run, causing disruption and allowing his teammates to make plays.

Darryl Tapp - He played at right defensive end with the second team and did a good job on a 1-yard run in the third. Tapp moved inside in the nickel.

Ricky Sapp - He came in for a pair of snaps in the second-team nickel at right defensive end. Sapp got good pressure on J.T. O'Sullivan, knocking him down on a third-down play.

Moise Fokou - He did not play any linebacker through the first three quarters and only saw a pair of snaps at left defensive end with the second-team nickel. Fokou did not get to the quarterback on either play. He was also called for a special-teams penalty.

Stewart Bradley - The big play was the hit on Chad Ochocinco that resulted in a Dimitri Patterson interception. Bradley was called on to blitz just once. In coverage, he was a step behind Benson on a 13-yard gain. Bradley made a good tackle on Jordan Shipley after a 7-yard gain. He was cut down on the 6-yard Bernard Scott touchdown run. Bradley and Ernie Sims were on the field for every defensive snap in the first half.

Ernie Sims - Not a very good showing for Sims. He had a lot of trouble with linemen, who blocked him at the second level. On an 11-yard Benson run, the right tackle let Parker go past him since it was an inside run and blocked Sims out of the play. On another play, the left tackle did the same thing. Sims was blocked on the 17-yard tight end screen and was nowhere near the ball on a 7-yard Scott carry to his side. Sims blitzed three times. On the first interception, the left tackle picked him up instead of Allen, who also blitzed from the right side. He and Allen also blitzed on the second interception.

Akeem Jordan - He looked very active against the run - tackling Benson on a 3-yard carry and taking the tight end on and forcing Benson out of bounds after no gain on another play. Jordan was blocked by an offensive lineman on the 6-yard Scott touchdown run. He blitzed once.

JaMar Chaney - He got all the reps at middle linebacker with the second-team base defense, but didn't do anything to stand out.

Omar Gaither - He played on the outside with the second team. Gaither also picked up a penalty on special teams.

Keenan Clayton - He played with both the second-team base defense and the second-team nickel. Clayton continues to impress in coverage, making a good tackle on Johnson on a third down and intercepting a screen pass in the third.

Ellis Hobbs - Tremendous job in run support, combining with Bunkley to drop Benson for a 1-yard loss in the first. Hobbs had decent coverage on Ochocinco on a 3rd-and-10 incompletion, although a better throw and catch would have resulted in a first down. He was beat by Ochocinco on a 13-yard gain, but was all over him. Great tackle on Benson, knocking the ball loose with 30 seconds left in first half. Overall, a good performance.

Joselio Hanson - Hanson had ups and downs. He was beat by Ochocinco on a 16-yard in route and also by Owens on the 43-yard pass to the outside. Hanson broke up a pass to Shipley on a third down and another one intended for Owens deep. He did a good job in run support, forcing Benson out of bounds after no gain. Hanson blitzed once from the slot, something we saw quite a bit of last year.

Dimitri Patterson - Nice job by Patterson, coming up with an interception in the first. He played with the base defense in the third and was beat on a 22-yard gain, but then forced a fumble, which the Bengals recovered. Patterson played 14 snaps with the first team, coming on the field in nickel situations.

Trevard Lindley - Lindley played with the second-team base defense, but it was hard to judge his performance. Didn't see the Bengals throw his way.

Geoffrey Pope - He played in nickel situations with the second team.

Quintin Mikell - Really good job in run support. Mikell made a play on a 2-yard Benson run and forced Benson out of bounds for no gain on another occasion. He also came up with an interception at the end of the first half. Mikell was dinged-up and left the game for one play before returning.

Nate Allen - I thought he had a very good showing. Allen was bowled over by Benson on an 11-yard carry in the first, but helped create an interception with his blitz off the right edge on the very next play. In coverage, he closed nicely on an incompletion to Owens in the second and did a good job helping Hobbs on another deep ball to Owens. Allen blitzed three times, and on two of them, the Eagles came away with interceptions. Against the run, he delivered a pretty good hit on Benson after a 4-yard carry and knocked the ball loose on another play, although Benson was ruled down.

Quintin Demps - He took Mikell's place when he came out for a play in the first. Demps was on the field mostly with the second team though. He picked up a penalty on special teams.

Kurt Coleman - He was the second-team safety with Demps.


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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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