DL Production: Graham Getting It Done?

Philadelphia Eagles DE Brandon Graham.The Eagles’ pass-rush had some good moments early against the Cowboys, but was non-existent in the second half when Tony Romo completed all 10 of his pass attempts.

After the game, Andy Reid announced that the team was parting ways with Jim Washburn, although he admitted that the game’s results had little to do with his decision.

Meanwhile, Brandon Graham got the start for Jason Babin, and Vinny Curry was active for the second time this season, as the Eagles went with a 10-man rotation.

Here’s the weekly look at production. Hurries (and tackles) come directly from the Eagles’ coaching staff. Pass-rushing opportunities are tracked by Pro Football Focus. And the last column is from me – a measure of how often each defensive lineman notched either a sack or a hurry.

Pass-Rushing Opportunities
Pressure Percentage
Trent Cole220.519.1%
Brandon Graham201.5430.0%
Mike Patterson18015.6%
Cullen Jenkins17000%
Cedric Thornton12000%
Fletcher Cox10000%
Derek Landri10000%
Vinny Curry9000%
Darryl Tapp6000%
Phillip Hunt4000%

Too many zeroes in that chart. Fletcher Cox, Vinny Curry, Phillip Hunt, Cullen Jenkins, Derek Landri, Darryl Tapp and Cedric Thornton combined for no sacks and no quarterback hurries. That’s hard to believe.

To be fair, some of them didn’t have a lot of opportunities, but that’s a brutal lack of production. I don’t see why Tapp should get any snaps ahead of Curry the rest of the way. Also, it should be noted that Cox was playing with a bruised tailbone.

Cole had half-a-sack, a hurry and three tackles, but for the most part, Tyron Smith handled him once again.

The bright spot, of course, was Graham, who had 1.5 sacks, four hurries and eight tackles, which is the most by any Eagles defensive end all season.

Graham got around Doug Free and sacked Tony Romo in the first. He went around Free and hit Romo on an incompletion in the second. Graham hustled to bring down Kevin Ogletree upfield after a couple other defenders missed tackles. And he hustled to bring DeMarco Murray down on the other side of the field for no gain (All-22 of that play here). Active game for Graham, who should see increased opportunities the rest of the way.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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  • Sensei

    I’m glad Graham is finally getting more time love his effort

  • EaglefaninAZ

    Cullen Jenkins. 17 chances and… nothing. Nice game. Lol!

    • The Guru

      He’s lucky Nnamdi is here and Blabin couldn’t keep his mouth shut…..or all the focus would be on him and his lack of production.

    • fran35

      So tired of the Cullen Jenkins show. Overrated and garbage. Poor leadership skills. His ass should have been cut when he got in Reid’s face in the preseason.

    • xlGmanlx

      Or it could be he isn’t a wide 9 type of player. Personally, I think he is just being a professional and not blasting this huge mess they have eroded into. But the beauty of it is, we will know soon enough. He could get cut and never play again, or go to another team and be a starter or some where in between. I know this, there are plenty of good people in sports/everywhere that don’t give 100% when the ship is going down.

  • 1972

    why does cole and jenkins get so many chances? they re terrible. especially cole. this guy has to be cut, hes a shot fighter, i dont wanna hear anything about the wide nine being the problem either. he had 12 sacks last year, he’s old and over paid at this point he has to go.and so does cullen jenkins, this guy claims to be a leader but hes the poster boy for how bad these last two years have been. getting into screaming matches on the side line with the head coach. get his fat a#$ outta here too

  • theycallmerob

    Sheil, love the analysis. Not sure why so many fans still call Graham a bust…the kid was hurt, playing as a backup to a player/line coach who seemed to have MAJOR issues with the team, and is playing for a dysfunctional group overall. And it’s still only his third year. On a team like this, I’ll take his heart and hustle anyday (as shown by the All-22)
    Not every DE can be the next JPP.

    • morgan c

      I agree. I think part of the reason many (including myself) thought he may have been a bust was up until this season. Or I should say, people felt like he was at risk of becoming one, if he didn’t show up this year (which he has). So it was more like “he is ABOUT to be a bust.” And as I said, he has been good this year, and does not deserve that label at all. As to those that still mention him as a wasted draft pick, or a bust of any time, I have no answers to them.
      This guy is a quality NFL starter, and at this point, that’s just a fact. JPP? No. But a quality starter.

  • xlGmanlx

    Doug Free makes everyone look great, but it is promising nonetheless.