Monday, April 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Man Up: Chaney, LBs step up

Rookie linebacker JaMar Chaney stepped up in his first career start against the Giants. Here's the player-by-player breakdown.

Man Up: Chaney, LBs step up

The Eagles´ defense stopped the Giants on five of seven second-half third-down opportunities. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
The Eagles' defense stopped the Giants on five of seven second-half third-down opportunities. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

Here's the player-by-player breakdown of the Eagles' defensive performance against the Giants:

Juqua Parker- He didn't do much as a pass-rusher, but was outstanding against the run. Parker dropped Ahmad Bradshaw for a loss of 3 in the first and stopped Brandon Jacobs after a 2-yard gain in the second. Perhaps his biggest play was the stuff of Bradshaw on 3rd-and-1 in the third. Parker came close to a sack/forced fumble on a 3rd-and-12 in the second, but Eli Manning escaped and completed the pass. He played more than any other lineman except for Trent Cole.

Mike Patterson- The Eagles limited the Giants to 3.2 YPC and didn't give up a run of more than 11 yards. Patterson was a big part of that. He was on the field for 75 percent of the snaps and was solid in the middle. Patterson got good pressure on Manning on a deep ball to Manningham in the first half, and he hustled to the sideline to pick up the Mario Manningham fumble in the third.

Antonio Dixon- I say it every week, but he's probably the single biggest reason the Eagles' run defense has improved. Dixon was solid in the middle throughout the game, playing just about half the snaps.

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Trent Cole- I'm going to need to double-check this, but my initial count says Cole did not come off the field at all. As in, not even a single snap. He was all over the place, particularly in the fourth when he made some great plays against the run. Cole got good pressure on a 3rd-and-21 play in the first. He was close to Manning on a deep ball to Hakeem Nicks. On a key third down in the fourth, Cole chased Manning out of the pocket and made him throw it away. And he got good pressure off the edge on second down during the final drive. Cole dropped back into coverage five times, more than any other lineman. That's too much. On one play, he lined up inside and Darryl Tapp moved outside. No sacks, but Cole played an outstanding game. 

Trevor Laws- Clutch. Laws came up huge when the Eagles needed him. On the Giants' final drive, he tipped a pass on first down and powered through two linemen for a sack on third down. In the first, he pressured Manning on a play where the Eagles only rushed three. Nice effort overall.

Darryl Tapp- Once again, he played all over the place and had success. Tapp got push up the middle on a 3rd-and-21 in the first. He hit Manning on the first touchdown pass to Manningham. And Tapp tipped a Manning pass that resulted in a Quintin Mikell interception.

Daniel Te'o-Nesheim- The rookie dressed and got on the field for seven snaps, playing mostly at left defensive end for Parker. He dropped back into coverage once.

Brodrick Bunkley- The run defense is not as good when he's on the field instead of Dixon, but Dixon probably needs a breather every now and then to be effective. Bunkley made a nice tackle on Jacobs after a 1-yard gain in the first. He played about 26 percent of the snaps.

JaMar Chaney- I'll try to keep this in perspective since it was only one game, but Chaney was impressive. According to ESPN.com's unofficial stats, he had 16 tackles - 12 of which were solo. Chaney was all over the Giants' run game. Bradshaw came into the game with an NFC-best 34 carries of 10 yards or more. His longest carry in this one was 9. Chaney had a lot to do with that. He also stopped Jacobs after a gain of 2; Bradshaw after a gain of 3; Jacobs after a gain of 1; and Jacobs on a 3-yard loss. At times, Chaney got blocked by offensive linemen, but he did an excellent job of shedding the blocks and making plays. In coverage, Chaney tackled Bradshaw after a 3-yard completion. He blitzed effectively in the second as Manning threw up a jumpball that was nearly intercepted. Chaney showed good speed to chase Manningham out of bounds on the key fumble in the third. Was he perfect? No. Chaney was called offsides on a 3rd-and-2. And the touchdown to Kevin Boss was probably on him. But overall, he exceeded expectations and delivered an extremely encouraging performance.

Ernie Sims- Sims hadn't been playing well, but he bounced back in this one. Sims got in the backfield and allowed his teammates to drop Jacobs for a 3-yard loss in the second. He was in on the 3rd-and-1 tackle of Bradshaw. And Sims showed good speed, bringing Bradshaw down near the sideline after a gain of 3 in the fourth. In coverage, he was beat by Boss in the first, but Manning's pass was off-target. Sims broke up a pass intended for Jacobs in the third. Overall, the Eagles linebackers were a real bright spot.

Moise Fokou- This was one of his best games of the season. Fokou's' sack in the first was huge. The Giants had just intercepted Vick and were in field-goal range, but Fokou dropped Manning for an 18-yard loss, and they ended up punting. He blitzed again in the fourth and got his hands on a Manning pass, forcing an incompletion. Fokou held up nicely against the run also, finishing with an unofficial 10 tackles (8 solo). The one blemish was in coverage when Fokou was beat for a 36-yard gain by Boss in the fourth.

Akeem Jordan- He was only in one play but made it count, stopping Jacobs for no gain. Sims had been shaken up, but came right back in.

Asante Samuel- The Giants took a shot at him deep on the first series, but Manning overthrew Manningham, and they didn't throw in Samuel's direction much the rest of the game. Samuel made an excellent tackle on Derek Hagan to stop him short of the first down after a 9-yard completion in the third.

Dimitri Patterson- It's unfair to pin the defensive struggles on one guy, but if you take away the big plays Patterson allowed in the first half, this would have been an outstanding performance by Sean McDermott's unit. Patterson got beat by Manningham on a 35-yard touchdown in the first. He was beat again by Manningham and missed a tackle on a 33-yard score. And Nicks beat Patterson on the third TD of the first half. To his credit, Patterson rebounded in the second half. I don't think he is as bad as he looked on Sunday, but the Eagles need him to step it up down the stretch.

Joselio Hanson- I don't have a single note written down for him, which likely means the Giants didn't throw in his direction. Hanson has been quietly playing very well in coverage. It's possible that he could get a chance to play in the base defense instead of Patterson, but I'm not sure McDermott will make the switch.

Quintin Mikell- Active game for Mikell. He showed good athleticism and concentration on the first-quarter INT. Mikell was strong against the run too, dropping Bradshaw for a 3-yard loss in the first. He missed a couple tackles - one on the Manningham TD and another on a 15-yard completion to Boss. Mikell nearly had a second INT on the Giants' final drive, but couldn't come up with it. He made a good play to break up a pass intended for Boss on third down in the red zone, forcing a Giants field goal.

Nate Allen- Tough break for Allen as he suffered an injury late in the second quarter and will miss the rest of the season. Before then, he nearly came up with an interception on a deep ball on the Giants' first series.

Kurt Coleman- He played two-thirds of the snaps. When Allen was healthy, Coleman filled in as a third safety in a special package where the Eagles went with just one cornerback, taking Samuel off the field. There was also a four-safety, zero-linebacker formation he was a part of. After Allen was injured, Coleman took over as the free safety. He had an INT go through his hands in the first quarter. And Coleman's strategy seemed to be to keep everything in front of him and not take any chances. That resulted in some third-down conversions for the Giants, but no huge plays in Coleman's direction. He had an effective blitz in the red zone, getting to Manning on a third-down incompletion. He had another big third-down blitz in the fourth. And Coleman dropped Bradshaw for a loss of 2 in the fourth.

Colt Anderson- I did not expect to see him on the field. Anderson played 12 snaps - first in the four-safety formation and then in the three-safety, one-cornerback formation after Allen was injured. Didn't notice him do much though.


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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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