Sunday, September 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Man Up: Graham, Samuel lead 'D'

Asante Samuel and Brandon Graham were among the standouts for the Eagles on defense in their 27-17 win over the Giants.

Man Up: Graham, Samuel lead 'D'

Quintin Mikell and the Eagles forced five turnovers against the Giants, including this fumble by Ahmad Bradshaw. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Quintin Mikell and the Eagles forced five turnovers against the Giants, including this fumble by Ahmad Bradshaw. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

Here's the player-by-player breakdown of how the Eagles' defense performed in their 27-17 win over the Giants Sunday night at the Linc:

Brandon Graham- Among defensive linemen, only Trent Cole played more than Graham, who was counted on even more this week after Juqua Parker left with the hip injury. Graham was excellent against the run. He combined with Quintin Mikell to stop Ahmad Bradshaw after a gain of 2 in the second. Graham tripped up Bradshaw, stopping him for no gain later in the quarter. And he stripped Bradshaw, creating a turnover. Against the pass, Graham got decent pressure on the play where Mikell was called for pass interference. He executed a nice spin move in the fourth, forcing Manning to escape the pocket and throw incomplete.

Juqua Parker- He gave it a shot, but only played eight snaps in the first half because of the injury. A big hole opened up between him and Patterson on Bradshaw's 17-yard run in the second.

Antonio Dixon- He was outstanding against the run. Dixon brought Bradshaw down for a loss of 2 on the game's first play. And he stopped Bradshaw after a 2-yard gain in the fourth. As a pass rusher, Dixon nearly had a sack in the third. He forced Manning to escape the pocket and flip the ball to Bradshaw for a gain of 2.

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Mike Patterson- He was very good against the run also. Patterson stuffed Bradshaw after a gain of 2 on the Giants' first possession. And he dropped Bradshaw after a 1-yard gain in the third. A big hole opened up between him and Parker on Bradshaw's 17-yard run in the first.

Brodrick Bunkley- He continues to rotate in. Bunkley was OK, but did not stand out as much as Patterson or Dixon. He thought he had a fumble recovery in the fourth, but the refs overturned the call.

Trevor Laws- He played the most of any of the interior linemen. Laws stopped Jacobs for no gain in the red zone in the second, but was otherwise fairly quiet.

Darryl Tapp- He played three different positions along the defensive line - left defensive end, right defensive end and right defensive tackle. Tapp and Sims dropped Bradshaw for no gain in the second. And he recovered the Eli Manning fumble in the fourth.

Trent Cole- He had a pretty quiet game. The Giants often gave Shawn Andrews help, but Andrews held his own one-on-one also. I'll break down the details of that matchup in a later post. Cole was held on the 15-yard completion to Hakeem Nicks in the first, but the refs didn't call it. He stopped Brandon Jacobs after a gain of 2 in the first. And Cole broke through, forcing Manning to give the ball up before he was ready on a screen attempt in the fourth.

Stewart Bradley- Bradley had ups and downs. He did a nice job on a Bradshaw 2-yard run in the first. And he broke up a pass intended for Kevin Boss in the second quarter on third down. He had a chance for a sack in the fourth, but couldn't bring Manning down as he threw incomplete to Jacobs. Bradley was blocked on Bradshaw's 17-yard run in the first. And Boss beat him for a gain of 15 in the third.

Ernie Sims- Sims also had ups and downs. It won't show up in the stat sheet, but he closed a potential running lane for Bradshaw on the play where Mikell made the tackle for no gain in the first half. Sims and Tapp stopped Bradshaw for no gain in the second. He was blocked on Bradshaw's 17-yard run in the second. Sims bit on play-action and got beat for a 22-yard completion to Jacobs in the fourth.

Moise Fokou- The tight end blocked him on a 6-yard Jacobs run in the second. He dropped Jacobs for a loss of 2 in the second. Fokou played nearly half the snaps.

Keenan Clayton- He only played a couple snaps, but on one of them, Clayton blitzed and then hustled downfield to strip Nicks. The Giants recovered, but it was still a nice play. He's been active for three straight games.

Asante Samuel- He continues to be one of the league's best defensive playmakers. Samuel had a pair of picks and a fumble recovery. Yeah, yeah, he did fumble the one INT back, but he said that's never happened to him before. And I believe him. Samuel almost got beat for a 35-yard gain on the Giants' first possession, but Nicks couldn't get both his feet in bounds. He was called for an illegal hit on Derek Hagan in the second.

Dimitri Patterson- He was solid once again. Patterson gives up some completions, but is consistent and has shown he can make plays. He bit badly on play-action on a 15-yard completion to Nicks in the first. Manningham beat him for a gain of 9 when Manning got outside the pocket in the second. Patterson had pretty good coverage on Nicks, but was beat for a 10-yard gain on the Giants' first scoring drive. Manningham beat him for a gain of 10 on 3rd-and-7 in the third. He did an excellent job on a screen to Nicks in the third, fighting off a block and stopping the play for no gain. And Patterson had good coverage on Nicks on a throw over the middle in the fourth. He gave up the one big play against the 'Skins last week, but other than that, almost all the completions are in front of him. And he's proven to be a sure tackler.

Joselio Hanson- He nearly had an interception in the second, breaking up a pass intended for Hagan. Hanson got beat by Hagan on the 5-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Quintin Mikell- He was active against the run. Mikell stuffed Bradshaw for no gain in the first. And he brought him down after a gain of 2 in the second. But Mikell had some lapses in coverage. He was called for a 31-yard pass interference penalty, setting up the Giants' first touchdown. And Mikell had a chance to bring Nicks down after a gain of 1 on third down in the fourth, but missed the tackle as he ended up gaining 18. He had good coverage on Hagan on a 4-yard completion in the second and made a nice tackle on Bradshaw after Manning flipped it to him for a gain of 2 in the third. Mikell also did a good job to break up a pass intended for Hagan in the fourth.

Nate Allen- He got away with some contact, covering Boss in the end zone on third down in the second quarter, but Allen forced the Giants to attempt a field goal by breaking up the pass.

Kurt Coleman- He got on the field for one play in the first half when Mikell was sidelined. For that play, three of the Eagles' 11 defensive players were rookies.


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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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