Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Washburn effect: Week 2

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan completed 17 of 28 passes for 195 yards, four touchdowns and a pair of interceptions against the Eagles.

The Washburn effect: Week 2

Eagles defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins has three sacks in two weeks. (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)
Eagles defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins has three sacks in two weeks. (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan completed 17 of 28 passes for 195 yards, four touchdowns and a pair of interceptions against the Eagles.

But how much pressure did the Birds' defensive line get on him when he dropped back to pass?

Below is the weekly breakdown of Jim Washburn's group. I took a look back at last week, but also ahead to Sunday's matchup against the Giants.

WASHBURN'S ROTATION

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Let's start with who was on the field - both last week and so far this season.

Player % Snaps last week % Snaps this season
Trent Cole 90%  79.4%
Jason Babin 75%  60.3%
Cullen Jenkins 73.3%  69.8%
Mike Patterson 66.7%  65.1%
Antonio Dixon 36.7%  38.1%
Trevor Laws 30.0%  31.7%
Juqua Parker 28.3%  43.7%
Philip Hunt 13.3%  3.2%
Darryl Tapp Inactive  13.5%

The goal of reducing Cole's snaps and keeping him fresh took a turn last week with Tapp inactive and Parker suffering an in-game injury. He played 90 percent of the snaps, and as we've discussed, was dominant. I still think Washburn will try to spell Cole more once the Eagles have more healthy bodies.

I thought Hunt might get more of a shot, but he only played four snaps last week (not counting kneel-downs). Parker and Tapp were non-participants in Thursday's practice so Hunt could be on the field more against the Giants.

WHO PRODUCED?

Let's start with just last week. You can find sacks and QB hits in the box score, and the Eagles' coaching staff keeps track of hurries, so those are the three categories we'll go with:

  Sacks QB Hits Hurries
Cole 1 2 8
Jenkins 2 2 0
Babin 1 2 4
Patterson 0 0 2
Dixon 0 0 1
Parker 0 0 0
Laws 0 0 0
Hunt 0 0 0

This is a great example of sacks not always telling the whole story. Cole only had one, but he was all over Ryan with eight hurries.

Jenkins is clearly the Eagles' best interior pass rusher and picked up a pair of sacks.

And Babin continues to get to the quarterback with a sack and four hurries.

Hunt actually got some pressure on Ryan in the handful of snaps he was on the field for, but he was not rewarded with a hurry by Eagles coaches.

Here's the cumulative breakdown through two games:

  Sacks QB Hits Hurries
Cole 2 4 11
Babin 3 6 6
Jenkins 3 4 3
Patterson 0 0 3
Tapp 1 2 3
Dixon 0 0 1
Parker 0 1 1
Laws 0 0 0
Hunt 0 0 0

Babin and Jenkins are tied for the team led with three sacks. Babin has the most QB hits, and Cole has the most hurries.

Washburn generally uses an eight-man rotation, but it's really been a three-man show. Cole, Babin and Jenkins have accounted for eight of the team's nine sacks and 14 of the team's 17 QB hits.

As with everything else, it's good to base these numbers on opportunities. Below are percentages on how often each defensive lineman has notched a sack or hurry, based on number of chances to rush the quarterback.

  Sacks+Hurries Pass-Rushing Opportunities Pressure Pct.
Cole 13 59 22.0%
Babin 9 43 20.9%
Jenkins 6 53 11.3%
Patterson 3 48 6.3%
Tapp 4 8 50.0%
Dixon 1 24 4.2%
Parker 1 30 3.3%
Laws 0 19 0%

Tapp's numbers are obviously a bit misleading since he's only had those eight pass-rushing chances in the first game.

Babin and Cole have high percentages. Jenkins too, especially for a defensive tackle. Maybe we'll see him get some snaps at defensive end this week?

Parker has been by far the least effective defensive end, from a pass-rushing standpoint. Laws has not been a factor in limited action.

WHAT ABOUT THE BLITZ?

The Eagles blitzed on just two of 33 pass plays last week (6.1 percent). Through two weeks, they've blitzed on just nine of 73 dropbacks (12.3 percent).

Again, this is no longer the Jim Johnson or even the Sean McDermott defense of the past.

On one blitz last week, the Eagles sent Jamar Chaney and Brian Rolle. On another one, thy sent Casey Matthews and Moise Fokou. That was it. The Eagles didn't blitz any of their defensive backs against Atlanta.

For what it's worth, Ryan was 0-for-2 on the two blitz throws. Through two weeks, opposing quarterbacks are 2-for-8 for 49 yards and a sack against the Eagles' blitz.

Looking ahead to this week, I don't expect the Eagles to blitz Eli Manning. Manning completed 60 percent of his passes and had a QB rating of 100.1 against the blitz last year. From what I saw in the Giants-Rams game Monday night, the Eagles' front four should be able to have success getting to Manning without extra pressure.

If you missed my 15 things to know about the Eagles-Giants macthup, click here.


You can follow me on Twitter or become a fan of Moving the Chains on Facebook.

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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