Eagles DL Production: Checking In On Graham, Curry

Philadelphia Eagles DE Brandon Graham.Coming off an outstanding performance in Week 15 against the Bengals, the Eagles’ defensive line was not nearly as impressive Sunday afternoon against the Redskins

The D-Line failed to sack Robert Griffin III, although the Eagles certainly pressured him at times. Alfred Morris had 91 yards rushing, but he needed 22 carries (4.1 YPC).

Once again, the defense got no help from the other two phases. Washington’s five scoring drives started at its own 28, its own 41, its own 47, midfield and the Eagles’ 25. This is nothing new. Opponents have dominated the Birds in terms of field position all year long.

Focusing back on the pass-rush, here’s a look at opportunities (from Pro Football Focus), sacks, hurries (as tracked by the coaching staff) and pressure percentage (frequency with which each player notched a sack or hurry).

Pass-Rushing Opportunities
Pressure Percentage
Trent Cole21029.5%
Brandon Graham18015.6%
Cullen Jenkins15000%
Derek Landri13000%
Fletcher Cox11019.1%
Cedric Thornton11000%
Phillip Hunt6000%
Vinny Curry4000%

A lot of zeroes on that board.

Trent Cole led the Eagles with two hurries. Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox added one apiece. Everyone else was shut out.

The Eagles made the decision to sit Darryl Tapp and give his snaps to Vinny Curry. But they’re also playing the starters (Cole and Graham) more, which resulted in Curry only getting four opportunities to rush the passer.

Below is the player-by-player review.

Brandon Graham – He didn’t produce eye-popping numbers, but I thought Graham played well once again, with a hurry and five tackles. He got pinched inside on Santana Moss’ 12-yard end around in the first, but hustled to eventually bring him down. Graham showed good discipline on a play-fake in the first, chasing Griffin to the sideline on a 4th-and-2 incompletion. Really nice job breaking up a shovel pass in the second. And Graham shoved the right tackle back before stopping Morris on a 1-yard gain in the second. He forced Griffin out of the pocket on a third-down incompletion in the second. And Graham came from the back side to tackle Morris after a 2-yard run in the fourth. Active game, and the effort has been outstanding all season.

Trent Cole – He had a tough matchup with Trent Williams and was up and down, finishing with two hurries and five tackles. Good read on the end around, but couldn’t make the tackle as Joshua Morgan picked up 7 in the first. He tackled Morris after a 1-yard run in the second. Good pressure on a third-down play in the second where Williams got away with a hold. Cole couldn’t get off of Williams’ block on Morris’ 9-yard run in the third. He tackled Morris after a 5-yard run in the third. Cole batted a pass at the line of scrimmage and shoved Griffin to the ground in the third. He tackled Morris after a 1-yard run in the third, but was blocked by Chris Cooley on Morris’ 14-yard run in the fourth.

Fletcher Cox – The reason he didn’t see more snaps is because Cox suffered a concussion. He had a hurry and three tackles before being sidelined. Cox combined with Graham to stop Morris after a 1-yard run in the second. He chased and hit Griffin on the next play – a third-down incompletion. And Cox got into the backfield on Morris’ 5-yard run on 2nd-and-27 in the third. Already a very good player. Has a chance to be a Pro Bowler based on what we saw during his rookie campaign.

Cullen Jenkins – Very quiet game. No sacks, no hurries, two tackles. Todd Bowles went out of his way to praise Jenkins last week, but didn’t see much out of the veteran in this one.

Derek Landri – With Cox sidelined, he saw increased snaps. Landri had a quiet game as well with no sacks, no hurries and two tackles. A huge hole opened up between him and Cole on Morris’ 14-yard run in the fourth.

Cedric Thornton – Two tackles for Thornton. He did a good job stuffing Morris for no gain in the second. And Thornton brought Morris down after a 2-yard run in the fourth on the Redskins’ final drive. He was called for an illegal block in the back on Colt Anderson’s interception.

Phillip Hunt – He spelled Graham at left defensive end, but did not have a good showing. Hunt got caught way upfield and left Morris with all sorts of room on his 10-yard touchdown run in the third. He had a chance to tackle Griffin behind the line of scrimmage on an option play in the first, but couldn’t get a hold of him. Hunt had a chance to sack Griffin in the second, but let him escape.

Vinny Curry – As I mentioned above, Curry did not play a lot – 11 snaps total. He only had four chances to rush the passer and was a non-factor there. Against the run, Curry had ups and downs. He did a really nice job of slipping past Williams, getting penetration and forcing Morris inside, where Thornton made a tackle for no gain in the second. But Curry was blocked to the ground by Williams on Morris’ 4-yard run in the second. Overall, he’s had some nice moments against the run, but Curry has zero sacks and zero hurries. He’s had 32 chances to rush the passer, per PFF.

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  • xlGmanlx

    I wonder where Curry would be at this point in the season if he could have dressed all those games and got some playing time. What a waste of a rookie season.

    • Johngiam

      yeah man, I’m with you! Forget the fact that he was a 2nd round pick that a lot of coaches around the league think very highly of…what’s even worse is, at a time where defense EFFORT WAS IN QUESTION, this kid is a die hard EAGLES FAN, you know at the very least HE CARES..You know, even when it was horrible around here, that taking the field as an EAGLE meant the world to him..and that’s one player that you didn’t have to worry about effort or quitting…..how we didn’t go to him sooner, and completely waste a year of development is just a disgrace. We sat thru Babin and Cole underperforming and this kid wasn’t even given a chance to dress lol….On the flip side, hopefully that means that Washburn didn’t get a chance to poison him as much as he did with the rest of the line. I’m hoping that curry spent more time on the scout team, taking reps in the traditional read and act team that opposing teams used, instead of wasting his time drilling the Washburn way of doing things..you know pin your ears back, completely leaving your teammates hanging, disregarding any notion of a run game, and trying to hit a specific spot in the backfield as fast as possible?…Since I’m a glass half full sort of guy, I’m trying to find the silver lining in wasting a season of development in our highly touted 2nd round pick.

      Anyone know Vinny Currys real size? I always hear such conflicting reports in regards to him…we need a change in Philosophy! I want REGGIE WHITE SIZED ENDS as opposed to Trent cole size ends that seem to wear down in the second half of every season regardless of how good is backups are…..How does everything we do blowup in our face? ugh we need to go in a completely different direction…we finally decided to solidify the locker room, and take care of veterans, extending older players that we didn’t to extend….and now they decided to show flashes of aging!…if it weren’t for contract extensions just being given, I would cut guys like Trent cold, and Todd Heremans immediately if I couldn’t get trade value for them. Don’t mean to be screwed, but I want a change in Philosophy, I want to play a different brand of football

      • Johngiam

        as young as we are, I would like to go younger! We tried to outsmart everyone and skip a rebuilding stage, and just “retool” a few seasons back, and it just completely blew up in our faces. I don’t believe that there are shortcuts in life. It’s not like it’s the nba, where you need 5 years of rebuilding to turn your franchise around..but this won’t be a one offseason fix…however, if things go the right way, the right players are acquired, the right coach is hired, the right players are drafted, and our young players reach their full potential. Especially Foles….It isn’t out of the realm of POSSABILITY that in two seasons we can get back to being contenders. The process needs to be respected. impatience gets you closer but no cigar. impatience can cause mistakes that set you back years. Nothing keeps you from winning a Super Bowl more then a revolving door at QB….so just because fans saw the instant success of some rookie QBs, they better get behind St. Nick, hope the team around him improves and pray that the next coach will do more then just talking about putting him I a better position to be successful. hell a coach with some common sense, and who does not repeatedly go against the grain, and actually chooses to attack opponents weaknesses…A coach who isn’t so stubbornly set in his ways that he isn’t capable of making the proper adjustments on the fly…The quickest route to contending is hoping that Foles can be groomed into that guy..if we start the revolving door at QB, it will be a mess. fans better hope that Foles grows into THE MAN, if not just having to go thru a qbs rookie year all over again with another guy, sets us back another year..and this isn’t an exact science, so if the next qb doesn’t develope, then what? Half a decade of this slop before we can even think about being relevant? the quickest path to even thinking about a Super Bowl is finding THE BEST MAN TO GROOM FOLES, build the team around him ti put him in the best situation possible, and hope that Foles makes that drastic year two leap that Most of the franchise bs have historically made..Foles should be supported with an open mind, and be given next year to develope and prove that he is or isn’t a franchise guy…I agree that there should be competition, but I strongly disagree in bringing in mediocre competition like Alex smith or Matt Flynn at the cost of 6millionper season. If fOles doesn’t become better then Alex smith, we will be screwed anyway! Smith hasn’t been able to win the only thing that matters with a stellar defense, and an offense tailored around a gat mauling line and a run game….If you can’t win a Super Bowl under those conditions then what in the world would a 4-12 TEAM want with him?.. I do not think we are in a position this year to swing and miss in the 1st 3 rounds of the draft..we need to walk away from those rounds with GUARENTEED HELP! And None of these crops of quarterbacks offer much of any sort of guarantees at the next level…I think the way to go is keep Trent Edwards, and find Kirk Cousin type competition for jolly ol SAINT NICK in the 4th or 5th round…and if Nick doesn’t prove to take a significant step next year and really grab the franchise by the throat, we will most likely be bad again, andbehig up in a draft in ahead with much better qb prospects available then this one….

        like I said, it will all come down to player development, and making all the right decisions this offseason and the next.

        • morganc

          dude you need your own blog. these comments are way too long.

        • aub32

          So if Foles doesn’t work out are you saying that we are doomed to have to have a revolving door at the QB for the next 5 years. I’m sorry, I must’ve missed the notice that no prospect coming out in the near future could ever hope to be as good as Foles. Give me a break. In a league where 3 rookies are going to the playoffs there’s no telling what a QB picked in the top 2 rounds could do versus what Foles can do. Also, what if Foles goes 8-8? Do you get rid of him? That’s not exact;y prime draft position. There’s no guarantee we will in a better spot or that the prospects will be better next year. This time last year Barkley would appear to be the Luck of this draft. Now, no one is excited about him. In this league you go with the best option available, and to me Foles does not appear to be it right now. Therefore, whatever resources need to be spent *draft or cap room) in an effort to find the best guy for the job.

          Also, your point about Smith is asinine. The 49ers have only been playing that well the past 2 years. Last year he was one game away from the SB, and it’s not his fault the punt returner fumbled. He did out gun Brees the game before to get them that far. Football is the ultimate team sport, and contrary to your belief other players besides the QB can lose you a game.

    • Elias Rappaport

      Could’ve had Wilson. IT KILLS ME!