Man Up: Bradley, Lindley and the Eagles' D
The Eagles' defense gave up several big plays and allowed Jay Cutler to post the highest QB rating of his career. Here's the player-by-player breakdown.
Man Up: Bradley, Lindley and the Eagles' D
The Eagles' defense was lit up by Jay Cutler, Matt Forte and the Bears. Here's the player-by-player breakdown after having re-watched the game:
Brandon Graham- Graham didn't do much as a pass rusher, starting in place of Juqua Parker. But it's unfair to pin the problems against the run on him. The 61-yarder was to the other side of the defense. Graham, however, was blocked on the edge on Forte's 28-yard run and a 6-yard run. He stopped Forte after a gain of 2 in the third. As a pass rusher, I counted three times where Graham got to Cutler. But the troubling aspect there is that on two of those plays, he was left unblocked, including the play where Graham picked up his third sack of the season. Graham played 68 percent of the snaps.
Mike Patterson- Patterson was much more of a factor as a pass rusher than he usually is. He came untouched to sack Cutler in the second. Patterson pressured Cutler in the third, but he found Devin Hester for a 34-yard gain. He also chased Cutler out of the pocket in the third, but he picked up 12 yards with his legs. Patterson stopped Chester Taylor after a 2-yard gain in the third.
Antonio Dixon- He was an absolute beast against the run. Every time Forte was stopped behind or near the line of scrimmage, it seemed like Dixon was in the middle of it. His penetration led to Ernie Sims stopping Forte after a 1-yard loss in the first. Dixon dropped Forte for a loss of 2 in the second and tackled him after a gain of 2 in the third. He drew a holding penalty on a run play in the third and dropped Forte for a loss of 4. Dixon and Trent Cole stopped Forte for no gain in the fourth, and he brought Forte down after a gain of 1. The 61-yard run was between Cole and Dixon, but Dixon was initially double-teamed. The responsible party on that run is listed a little further down the list.
Trent Cole - Cole followed up a quiet game against the Giants with a strong game against the Bears. He and Dixon were really the only two defensive players who played well. As a pass rusher, Cole had a pair of sacks. He forced Cutler to scramble with pressure in the first. Against the run, Cole was good for the most part too. He dropped Taylor for a 1-yard loss in the first. And Cole and Trevor Laws dropped Forte for a 2-yard loss in the third. Cole stopped Forte after a gain of 1 in the fourth, and he teamed with Dixon to bring Forte down after no gain. There were a couple plays where the Bears got the best of him. One was on the 61-yard Forte run where the tight end boxed Cole out, creating a running lane (although again, he wasn't the primary defender at fault there). And the other was the TD to Johnny Knox where Cole was blocked one-on-one, giving Cutler time to find his receiver.
Brodrick Bunkley- He rotated in on 36 percent of the plays at defensive tackle, but I can't say I noticed Bunkley do anything. Sometimes it's hard to judge defensive tackles, whose job it is to create disruption, but he doesn't appear to be playing anywhere close to the level that Dixon is right now.
Trevor Laws- Quiet game for Laws, who played 40 percent of the snaps. He was not a factor as a pass rusher. The only time I noticed Laws was when he and Cole dropped Forte for a 2-yard loss in the red zone in the third.
Daniel Te'o-Nesheim- He was active for the first time since Week 7 and the third time all season. Te'o-Nesheim played eight snaps - either inside as part of a five-man line or at defensive end, spelling Cole. He was not a factor.
Darryl Tapp- He rotated in with Graham at left defensive end and also played inside. Tapp was on the field for 42 percent of the snaps. He failed to get any pressure on Cutler on the 20-yard touchdown to Knox. Tapp did an OK job on a Cutler rollout and incompletion in the third, but wasn't a factor overall.
Stewart Bradley- Bradley's fingerprints were on multiple big plays. The biggest was the 61-yard run by Forte. Bradley shot through the hole untouched, but failed to bring down Forte, who took off for the monster run. It looked like he took a bad angle and fell down on the 39-yard screen to Hester, although that one wasn't entirely his fault. And he got to Forte but failed to bring him down on the 28-yard run in the third. There were a few bright spots. Bradley's blitz in the first led to Cole's sack on third down. He teamed with Sims to bring Forte down after a gain of 1 in the fourth. And Bradley dropped Forte after a gain of 1. Overall, though, a bad performance.
Ernie Sims- He was the Eagles' best linebacker. Sims dopped Forte for a loss of 1 in the red zone in the first. He later stopped Taylor after a gain of 1. Sims chased Cutler out of bounds after a 1-yard gain in the second. Hester made him miss after a catch, picking up significant yards on the Bears' final drive of the first half. Sims left Hester to chase Cutler, who lobbed it over his head on a 34-yard pickup in the third. Tough to fault Sims too much on that one though. It was a flukey play. He can take blame for missing a tackle on a Forte 9-yard run in the third. Sims broke up a pass intended for Forte in the fourth. That was the play where Cutler lost it and was whistled for a penalty after complaining to the refs.
Moise Fokou- Fokou had ups and downs. He had a chance to bring Cutler down for a loss in the first, but couldn't make the play behind the line of scrimmage on what ended up being a 9-yard gain. He fought off a blocker and tackled Forte after a gain of 3 in the second. Fokou stopped Taylor after a gain of 2 in the third. And he dropped Hester on an end around in the fourth. On the flip side, he was blocked on Forte's 28-yard run and Forte's 6-yard run.
Dimitri Patterson- Patterson had looked like a sure tackler previously, but did not shine in this one. He couldn't get off Earl Bennett's block on the 39-yard wide receiver screen to Hester in the first. Patterson missed a tackle on Bennett, turning a 7-yard gain into a 30-yard gain on the Bears' final drive of the first half. He was covering Greg Olsen in the end zone, but couldn't get his hands on the pass that resulted in a touchdown. It's not his primary job, but Patterson was blocked out of the play on Forte's 28-yard run in the third.
Joselio Hanson- Hanson slipped on the 20-yard touchdown to Knox in the first. He missed a tackle on Bennett's 30-yard catch and run in the second. Hanson had some bright spots. He broke up a pass intended for Bennett in the end zone in the second and got his hands on a Cutler third-down pass with 4:26 left in the fourth. Had Hanson moved a second sooner, he could have had a pick-six, and the Eagles would have been down one score.
Trevard Lindley - It was a rough go for the rookie, who saw his most extensive action of the season. Lindley was targeted often by Cutler. He was playing way off Knox on a 14-yard completion in the red zone in the first half. It's unclear whether he was in the right place on the Bennett TD at the end of the first half. Bennett beat him for a gain of 10 on 3rd-and-8 in the third. And Forte beat him for a 16-yard catch on 2nd-and-13 in the third. Lindley was beat by Knox and then slipped on a 34-yard completion in the fourth. It was clear that his gameplan was to keep receivers in front of him, but Lindley gave too big of a cushion and did not do a good enough job as a tackler.
Quintin Mikell- Mikell had some rough moments too. He was run over by a lineman on the 39-yard screen to Hester in the first. And Mikell couldn't close fast enough on the TD at the end of the first half. He made a nice play on a 1-yard Taylor run in the first. And Mikell dropped Cutler for a loss of 3 on what looked like a botched handoff in the third.
Nate Allen- The Allen who had three interceptions in the first four games has gone missing. It looked like he was late closing on Bennett on the Bears' first touchdown pass. Allen was whistled for a horse collar tackle in the third on a Hester catch and run. And he missed a tackle on the Knox 34-yard catch and run in the fourth.
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