Man Up: Bradley bounces back
Here's the player-by-player breakdown of the Eagles' defensive performance in Sunday's win over the Falcons.
Man Up: Bradley bounces back
Here's the player-by-player breakdown of the Eagles' defensive performance in Sunday's win over the Falcons after I re-watched the game:
Juqua Parker- Pretty quiet game for Parker. After totaling four sacks in the first three games, he's gone without one in the last three. Parker dropped back into coverage five times, more than any other defensive lineman. On the Tony Gonzalez touchdown in the fourth quarter, it looked like the Falcons' tight end was Parker's responsibility, at least initially. Only Trent Cole played more than him among defensive linemen.
Brandon Graham- He left the game in the fourth quarter, but continues to see his playing time decrease. Graham played just 20 snaps and didn't do much. He brought Michael Turner down after a 4-yard gain in the second, but that's the only time I noticed him.
Mike Patterson- He did not register a tackle, but the interior of the Eagles' line played well, as the Birds limited the Falcons to 65 yards rushing and 3.4 yards per carry. Patterson played both right defensive tackle and left defensive tackle, depending on whether Antonio Dixon or Trevor Laws was lined up next to him.
Antonio Dixon- A second straight solid performance by Dixon in place of Brodrick Bunkley. He and Cole dropped Turner for a 4-yard loss in the third. Dixon did a good job on a 3rd-and-2 in the first. And he tackled Turner after a gain of 4 in the second. Good hustle by Dixon to chase Jason Snelling down after a 7-yard reception in the first. He played just under 47 percent of the snaps.
Trevor Laws- He was a big part of the defensive tackle rotation, playing over 64 percent of the snaps. Laws did a good job stopping a Snelling run for no gain in the first. His pressure forced Matt Ryan to scramble on a third down in the first. Laws batted down a third-down pass in the fourth. He was a part of both the base and nickel packages. On one play in the fourth, Laws and Darryl Tapp lined up as linebackers, switching places with Stewart Bradley and Ernie Sims, before rushing the passer.
Darryl Tapp- Tapp continues to play well. He played mostly inside but also spelled Cole at right defensive end. Tapp brought Ryan down short of a first down on a third-down scramble in the first. He dropped back into coverage four times, forcing Snelling out of bounds on one of those plays. Tapp recovered the fumble on the Falcons' final drive.
Daniel Te'o-Nesheim- He got into the game four times, dressing for the first time this season. The package Te'o-Nesheim was used in was one in which the Eagles went with five defensive linemen. On two of the four plays, he dropped into coverage. Strange nugget: The four plays he was on the field for resulted in two sacks, an interception and an incompletion on third down.
Trent Cole- Strong game from Cole. Against the run, he was excellent. Cole dropped Turner for a 3-yard loss in the first and combined with Dixon for a 4-yard loss in the third. He also stuffed Snelling for no gain in the first. As a pass rusher, he hit Ryan from the blind side to force an incompletion in the second. He also had a pair of sacks.
Stewart Bradley- After a poor outing against the 49ers, Bradley bounced back and was very good against the Falcons. He blitzed quite often (seven times), picking up a sack in the first quarter. Bradley assisted Sims in stopping Turner after a gain of 2 in the first. He got off a block and assisted on another tackle after a 4-yard Turner run in the second. Bradley looked very good in coverage as well. He was on Gonzalez on a third down in the first and had him blanketed in the end zone at the end of the first half. Bradley also broke up a pass intended for Snelling in the third quarter. He led the Eagles with seven tackles.
Ernie Sims- Sims was OK. He stopped Turner after a 2-yard gain in the first. The run defense was a team effort, with certain players eating up blocks and others making plays on the ballcarrier. Sims and Bradley lined up as down linemen before dropping back into coverage on a third down in the fourth.
Moise Fokou- There's no arguing that Fokou has provided an upgrade on the strong side over Akeem Jordan the last two games. He assisted Mikell, stuffing Turner in the first. Fokou did a good job on a 2-yard Turner run in the third also. He made a good tackle on the Falcons' second tight end after a gain of 1 in the first and blitzed in the second, hitting Ryan and forcing an incompletion. Fokou was called for an illegal contact penalty in the second.
Asante Samuel- Ryan probably threw at him more than any opposing quarterback this season. Samuel had one interception and three near-interceptions. He broke up a pass intended for Michael Jenkins on third down in the first. On one of the near-picks in the third, Samuel wanted an offensive pass interference penalty, and there probably should have been one called. He missed a tackle on Roddy White and gave up a 12-yard completion on 3rd-and-10 in the second. Samuel was also called for defensive holding on the Falcons' second touchdown drive in the fourth.
Ellis Hobbs- He gave up a big play early on the 42-yard completion to Jenkins. Hobbs couldn't handle the Gonzalez shove on the second TD. He also gave Jenkins a big cushion for an 11-yard completion on 3rd-and-8 in the third. On the bright side, Hobbs broke up a pass intended for Harry Douglas in the first. And he nearly came up with an interception in the fourth.
Quintin Mikell- He played up in the box quite a bit. Mikell stopped Turner for no gain in the first and after a 1-yard run in the second. He broke up a pass intended for Gonzalez in the third. Mikell was the most frequent blitzer, going after the quarterback eight times. Good game overall.
Joselio Hanson- Hanson had a bad stretch at the end of the first half when the Falcons completed an 18-yard pass right by him. He was then called for pass interference in the end zone, helping to set up Atlanta's first touchdown. Overall, he held his own, though, breaking up a pass intended for White on 3rd-and-2 in the third and making a good tackle on White after a 3-yard gain in the third. Hanson stepped in at right cornerback when Hobbs was sidelined briefly in the first half.
Dimitri Patterson- He was only on the field for a couple snaps. In the fourth, Hobbs sat out a play, and Patterson made a good play to break up a deep ball intended for Jenkins in the end zone.
Nate Allen- Not Allen's finest performance, but he was OK. Allen missed a tackle on the 42-yard completion to Jenkins in the first. It looked like he was a little late getting over to Jenkins on the 21-yard completion in the fourth. In run support, Allen stopped Turner after a gain of 4 in the second.
Kurt Coleman- I have to double-check, but I'm pretty sure this was the most action Coleman's seen all season. He was on the field for 15 snaps as a third safety and sixth defensive back. Getting Coleman in the game allowed Sean McDermott to blitz Mikell or play him almost as a linebacker in coverage.
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