Man Up: T. Cole shines; D. Patterson makes plays
Trent Cole didn't have any sacks Sunday, but he was once again the Eagles' best defensive player.
Man Up: T. Cole shines; D. Patterson makes plays
Here's the player-by-player breakdown of the Eagles' defensive performance in their win against the Redskins Sunday night:
Juqua Parker- He picked up his fifth sack of the season and first sack since Week 3, bringing Donovan McNabb down in the third quarter. Parker played about 54 percent of the snaps. He and Trent Cole got good pressure on McNabb in the red zone in the third, forcing him to roll out and throw incomplete. And Parker played inside at times when he was on the field with Graham. As Sean McDermott continues to mix up his defensive looks, he had Parker and Cole switch places with Stewart Bradley and Ernie Sims on a third down in the third. Parker and Cole dropped back into coverage while the linebackers went after McNabb.
Brandon Graham- He played more than Parker (59.6 percent of the snaps), although Graham was on the field late in the fourth quarter while Parker got a breather. So really, the two split time almost evenly, and they even appeared on the field together at times. Graham beat his man on third down in the second and brought good pressure on the final play of the first half, which resulted in a a Trevor Laws sack. It looked like Chris Cooley held Graham on the fourth-quarter Redskins touchdown run, but he didn't get the call. Graham played mostly at defensive end, but did see some time inside.
Mike Patterson- He did not play well in the first matchup, but Patterson was active early in this one. He made a good solo tackle on Keiland Williams' 4-yard run in the first. And Patterson later brought Williams down after a 2-yard gain. He was blocked on the 4-yard Williams run that set up the second touchdown. As a pass rusher, Patterson fought through a double team to get some pressure up the middle on first down in the second, and drew a holding penalty. Overall, a good performance, even though he played less than a third of the snaps.
Brodrick Bunkley- Quiet game from Bunkley, although he played more than Patterson.
Antonio Dixon- He played more than Bunkley and Patterson. Dixon got to Williams on a first-quarter run, but couldn't wrap him up for a loss. He got double-teamed on a 16-yard Darrel Young run in the fourth.
Trevor Laws- Laws picked up his third sack of the season, taking McNabb down on the final play of the first half. He played about 56 percent of the snaps.
Darryl Tapp- He made the most of his 28 snaps. Tapp had his hands on McNabb but couldn't bring him down on third down in the second. He stuck with McNabb after he escaped the pocket and batted down a pass on a third-down play in the third. And Tapp got good pressure inside in the fourth, forcing McNabb out of the pocket.
Trent Cole- Despite failing to pick up a sack for the first time in four weeks, Cole was the Eagles' best defensive player. He got his hands on McNabb on a second-quarter throw, but couldn't bring him down. Cole got good pressure on a the final play of the first half as Laws sacked McNabb. Cole and Parker forced McNabb to roll out and throw incomplete on a third-down play in the red zone in the third. And Cole crushed McNabb on a 1st-and-goal throw that was incomplete in the second half. On Patterson's pick-six, Cole was in McNabb's face, and I believe he knocked him down. Against the run, Cole and Bradley combined to stop Williams after a 3-yard gain in the first. Classic Cole play in the third: He got in the backfield, unblocked, but the run was up the middle. Cole chased Williams down through all the traffic and tackled him from behind. McDermott lined him up like a blitzing linebacker up the middle at times.
Stewart Bradley- There were ups and downs for Bradley. He made a good tackle on Williams after a 4-yard run in the first. Bradley and Cole combined to stop Williams after a gain of 3 later in the quarter. And he dropped Williams for a 3-yard loss in the red zone in the third. The big hiccup was on the 71-yard completion to tight end Fred Davis. Bradley was knocked down on the play, leaving Davis wide open. He had trouble with a lineman on a 9-yard Williams run in the third. And he got taken out on the Williams TD run in the second half. Bradley lined up as a defensive end at times, switching places with Cole.
Ernie Sims- He came on a blitz and nearly had a sack on the Coleman interception in the first. Sims had pretty good coverage on Williams on a second-down incompletion in the first. He was called for a penalty after tackling the running back on a screen attempt in the red zone in the third and left the game in the second half with an injury.
Moise Fokou- He had another solid outing, even though Fokou played less than a third of the snaps. He did a good job stuffing a hole on Williams' 3-yard run in the first. And Fokou was in McNabb's face, not fooled on a play-action fake, in the third. Also in the third, he was beat in coverage on a 28-yard gain. Fokou was in good position and looked back at the quarterback, but just couldn't make a play on the ball.
Keenan Clayton- He played 12 snaps - all in the second half. Clayton and Sims lined up on the line of scrimmage, but then dropped back into coverage on the Patterson pick-six. Interesting personnel grouping from McDermott on that play. The Eagles had only three true defensive linemen on the field, but sent Bradley, Joselio Hanson and Quintin Mikell after McNabb.
Akeem Jordan- He stepped in for an injured Sims in the fourth quarter and notched a pair of tackles.
Asante Samuel- McNabb didn't throw in his direction much. It looked like Samuel slipped on 3-yard TD pass to Young in the second.
Dimitri Patterson- Let's get the bad out of the way first. Patterson was beat on the 76-yard completion to Anthony Armstrong in the second. His coverage wasn't as bad as I initially thought. Patterson was with Armstrong, but looked like he took a bad angle to the ball, and McNabb made a nice throw. Now, the good. Patterson had two interceptions, including the pick-six in the third. He actually had a chance for a third INT, but the ball slipped through his hands as McNabb took a shot deep in the fourth. Against the run, Patterson had a big hit on Williams on 3rd-and-3 in the first, dropping him after a gain of 1.
Joselio Hanson- He was on the field for nearly 70 percent of the snaps, but I don't remember the Redskins ever throwing in his direction.
Trevard Lindley- He got on the field at the end of the fourth quarter when the Eagles rested Samuel.
Kurt Coleman- It's sometimes difficult to judge safety play on TV, but I thought Coleman delivered an encouraging performance. He appeared to be in the right places and came away with his first career interception in the first quarter. Coleman got bowled over by Williams on the 6-yard touchdown run in the second, but he certainly did not look like he was lost in his first career start.
Quintin Mikell- He sniffed out a WR screen, dropping Armstrong after a gain of 1 in the first. It looked like Mikell took a bad angle on the 32-yard Williams TD run in the third.
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