Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Man Up: Bradley looks ready

Here's a player-by-player look at the Eagles' defensive performance against the Chiefs.

Man Up: Bradley looks ready

Brandon Graham shoves Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel during the second quarter. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Brandon Graham shoves Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel during the second quarter. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

Here's the player-by-player look at the Eagles' defensive performance against the Chiefs. The write-ups don't include the final quarter and a half when the starters and many of the second teamers were out of the game.

Brandon Graham- He got his first start and had some good moments. The truth is the Chiefs dumped the ball off to their backs constantly (nine of 16 completions) so there weren't as many opportunities to get to the quarterback. Graham brought pressure off the edge in the first, forcing Matt Cassel to step up and take a hit, resulting in a fumble. Graham had a chance to recover it, but couldn't come up with the ball. The Chiefs tried to block him with a tight end on the play. Good hustle to come from the other side of the field and chase Jamaal Charles out of bounds after a 13-yard gain. Graham nailed Cassel on a third down in the second, forcing a rushed throw that was batted down by Trent Cole. He drew a holding call in the third and also had a couple nice plays against the run near the line of scrimmage. Graham played exclusively outside. He was on the field for 36 of the first 39 plays before the backups came in.

Brodrick Bunkley- He was probably the most impressive defensive lineman. Strong showing by Bunkley. He went right past the center and helped force a Cassel fumble in the first. It would have been a sack, but Cassel got just past the line of scrimmage for a short gain. On another play, he combined with Ernie Sims to crush Cassel after a 2-yard gain. Bunkley was good against the run too.

Mike Patterson- Quiet game, but he joined Bunkley and Akeem Jordan on the forced Cassel fumble.

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Trent Cole- It's a different defense with him off the field. Cole recovered the Charles fumble on the first play from scrimmage. He batted down a Cassel pass on third down in the second and crushed Dexter McCluster on a 1-yard gain. He's consistently great for this defense. We should find out later today what the extent of his injury is. Cole was on the field for 19 plays before leaving.

Darryl Tapp- He's the backup for Cole, which meant a lot of action (23 plays) at right defensive end. Tapp did not have many stand-out moments. He got good pressure on Cassel on one play in the third, forcing him out of the pocket. At the end of the first half, he had a chance to bring Charles down, but couldn't make the play, which resulted in a 20-yard run.

Daniel Te'o-Nesheim- He played inside with the first-team nickel and left defensive end with the second-team base defense. I didn't see him get much push at either spot. Te'o-Nesheim dropped back into coverage on a 3rd-and-13 in the third. He stood up and rushed like a blitzing linebacker up the middle on a 2nd-and-10 also. Bad moment against the run when he was blocked one-on-one by a tight end as McCluster scampered for 10 yards around the edge. Te'o-Nesheim was on the field for 17 plays.

Trevor Laws- Laws played inside on the first-team nickel and the second-team base defense. He got decent push up the middle on a 3rd-and-7 in the first. It was hard to tell on TV, but it's probably safe to assume that he did a good job on the failed QB sneak attempt by Cassel on 3rd-and-2. Laws had a couple good moments agianst the run, including a tackle on McCluster after a 2-yard gain. He was on the field for 20 plays.

Antonio Dixon- Dixon played inside with the second-team base. Like I said with Laws, it's safe to assume he did a good job on the QB sneak.

Stewart Bradley- Outstanding performance by Bradley. He made plays all over the field. Bradley did an excellent job in coverage to break up a third-down pass in the first. He knocked down a Cassel pass at the line of scrimmage in the third. Against the run, Bradley stopped Thomas Jones for no gain on a 3rd-and-2. He also made a nice tackle to stop Jones after a 1-yard gain in the third. There were other little things too, like not biting on play-action on the play that resulted in a Trevard Lindley interception. Bradley was the Eagles' most frequent blitzer, as Sean McDermott sent him after the QB four times. On one of them in the third, Bradley forced Cassel to throw the ball away.

Ernie Sims- In my view, he had a much better game than last week. Sims combined with Bunkley to crush Cassel after a 2-yard scramble. It looked like he was responsible for a tight end, who stayed in to block Cole, on the play. On the Lindley interception, he bit initially on play-action, but did a good job to recover and catch up with the tight end in coverage. Good coverage on Jones near the goal line, although Sims dropped an interception. It was hard to tell what happened between him and Asante Samuel on the touchdown to Dwayne Bowe. Sims' speed was on display in coverage against the Chiefs running backs. He and Bradley played every down through the middle of the third quarter.

Akeem Jordan- He joined Bunkley and Patterson to force the Cassel fumble. Didn't see too many other stand-out plays.

Asante Samuel- How about that hit on McCluster? I had to rewind to make sure that was Samuel. As I stated earlier, the Chiefs didn't throw to the receivers a lot. Samuel had good coverage on Bowe in the second, but gave up an 11-yard completion. He would have had an interception at the end of the first half had Bowe not interfered with him. Looked like Samuel might have gambled on the touchdown to Bowe, but tough to say for sure.

Ellis Hobbs- I'm not sure a ball was thrown his way all game. Hobbs was replaced on a couple possessions by rookie Trevard Lindley at right cornerback.

Joselio Hanson- He was the nickel corner with the first team, but didn't get a lot of action his way. Hanson blitzed once from the slot on a swing pass to Jones. My guess is he'll do that at least once a game in the regular season.

Trevard Lindley- In what was probably the biggest surprise of the game, Lindley saw action with the first team. He was on the field for 20 plays, compared to 23 for Hobbs, but that is probably a bit deceiving. One of the possessions McDermott gave to Lindley was the 16-play drive in the second. By my count, it was seven possessions for Hobbs and two for Lindley. He had good coverage on Chris Chambers, and showed excellent concentration on the interception, which was initially tipped by the Chiefs tight end.

Dimitri Patterson - He replaced Hanson as the nickel corner in the third quarter. Good tackle on a dump-off to McCluster, dropping him for a loss of 3.

Quintin Mikell- Good showing by Mikell. He's been particularly impressive in run support this preseason. Mikell stopped Charles after a 4-yard carry in the first. He got into the backfield, but couldn't make the play on a 13-yard Charles run. Mikell's best play was a screen to McCluster. He took Bowe (a big guy at 6-2) out and then brought McCluster down after a gain of 3 yards. Mikell blitzed once in the third, when the Eagles sent eight players after Cassel.

Nate Allen- His stand-out play was on a screen to Jones in the third. Allen was one of four blitzing Eagles, but he sniffed out the screen and made a good tackle after a gain of 6. Allen once again showed he's a capable blitzer on a 3rd-and-13 in the third, getting a hit on Cassel and forcing an incompletion. On the Lindley interception, he did not bite on play-action and stayed with the RB down the near sideline to take away one of Cassel's options.


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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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