Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Man Up: Struggles all around for Eagles' D

The player-by-player breakdown of the Eagles' defensive performance against the Chargers:

Man Up: Struggles all around for Eagles' D

Moise Fokou tries to stop Chargers TE Antonio Gates in the fourth quarter as Eagles CB Dimitri Patterson (left) watches on Sunday.  (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Moise Fokou tries to stop Chargers TE Antonio Gates in the fourth quarter as Eagles CB Dimitri Patterson (left) watches on Sunday. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

The player-by-player breakdown of the Eagles' defensive performance against the Chargers:

Trent Cole - Did you notice him lining up at left defensive end instead of right defensive end? He and Juqua Parker flip-flopped, but it didn't seem to do Cole much good. He was a non-factor, failing to pick up a sack and not getting any pressure on Philip Rivers. The Chargers were able to successfully run at Cole also, which has been a rarity this season. Blocks on him were key in both of LaDainian Tomlinson's touchdown runs.

Jason Babin - He pressured Rivers on a play in the first, but put up a zero in the sack column for the first time in four games.

Mike Patterson - Probably his least effective game of the season. Patterson was blocked on Tomlinson's second TD run, which opened up a hole. It's rare to see him handled the way he was on a 6-yard Tomlinson carry in the second. Patterson was also blocked on a draw to Darren Sproles. He did get good pressure on Rivers in the first quarter.

Victor Abiamiri – Lined up inside to combine with Darren Howard on one of the team's two sacks on the day.

Broderick Bunkley - The Chargers also had success blocking him. Bunkley was blocked on a 9-yard Tomlinson run in the third and a 4-yard gain in the first. Not a good day for the Eagles' defensive line.

Trevor Laws - He was part of the defensive tackle rotation. Laws dropped Tomlinson for a 2-yard loss in the third quarter. He got some crunch time minutes during the Chargers' final game-ending drive.

Darren Howard - He combined with Abiamiri for a sack in the first. Howard got fooled on a Wildcat run by the Chargers on their second possession, which picked up 10 yards.

Antonio Dixon - Not much to say about him. Dixon replaced Patterson on the second possession.

Juqua Parker - As  I mentioned above, he flip-flopped with Cole quite a bit. Parker made a nice hustle play, coming from across the field to help bring Tomlinson down on a first-quarter run. He picked up a sack in the fourth, rushing from his normal position on the left side.

Chris Gocong - Not a good showing from Gocong as he played the middle for the first time since high school. He was nowhere near the ballcarrier on several running plays. He looked out of position on the Chargers' first touchdown pass to the fullback and was blocked completely out of the play on the first Tomlinson run. Really wasn't a factor at all against the run. Gocong also missed a tackle on Antonio Gates in the first, which allowed him to pick up a first down.

Moise Fokou - A day of ups and downs for Fokou. On the bright side, he led the team in tackles. Fokou showed great instincts in spots, like when he stuffed Sproles on a 3rd-and-1 in the second quarter. On the downside, he was called for another personal foul penalty and missed a tackle on Gates early on, which allowed him to pick up a first down.

Will Witherspoon - A new position and a quiet day for Witherspoon. He was blitzing along with a defensive back (Sheldon Brown?) on the Chargers' first TD. Witherspoon has not had success as a blitzer this season, and the Eagles' defense as a whole rarely got pressure on Rivers with the blitz. Witherspoon was also coming on a blitz during Rivers' TD to Legedu Naanee.

Tracy White - He was not on the field too much but did chase down Sproles short of a first down. Does White have some sneaky speed, or is it just me?

Asante Samuel - Just an embarassing effort on the Chargers' first touchdown. Samuel had a real chance to bring Tolbert down at the 5, but didn't really try. He also got beat on the Rivers TD to Naanee. And Samuel slipped on a crucial 3rd-and-2 during the Chargers' final drive, allowing Naanee to pick up 18 yards and the first down.

Sheldon Brown - Before he injured his hamstring, Brown got beat by Gates on a couple plays early. He fell down on a big play to Malcolm Floyd, which set up San Diego's second touchdown. Updated: As some of the early commenters notes, Floyd gave Brown a little shove on the play.

Dimitri Patterson - Where to begin with Patterson? The highlight had to be him celebrating a tackle with under a minute left. The defense had just given up a 6 minute, 42 second drive, and the Chargers were about to kick a field goal. The Eagles were seconds away from losing, but that fact seemed to get away from Patterson, who ran down the field after he made the tackle. Quintin Mikell had to chase him down and remind him there was a game still going on. Earlier, he celebrated a pass deflection on a play where Rivers took a shot downfield, knowing the Eagles were offsides. Unbelievable. As for his play, Patterson was beat by Sproles for a third-down conversion in the third, and Jackson and Gates got the better of him on the game's final drive.

Ramzee Robinson - The newest Eagle was offsides on a 3rd-and-2 in the third quarter. Other than that, nothing notable.

Quintin Mikell - I think he was the only bright spot on defense. Mikell had one of his better performances of the season. He made a couple nice plays to break up passes and nearly had an interception in the third quarter. Mikell also had some highlights against the run. He stuffed Tomlinson for a loss on the play where Robinson was offsides.

Sean Jones - Pretty quiet overall. I mentioned the blitz problem earlier. Sean McDermott sent Jones on the touchdown to Naanee, and he didn't get there.

Macho Harris - He had a big-time hit on Sproles in the second quarter. That's about it.

Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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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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