Week 12: Eagles Pass-Rusher Rankings

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Oakland RaidersAs Connor Barwin finished up with the media last Sunday and got ready to head for the showers, he noticed his teammate Trent Cole had a crowd of reporters around him.

“Hey Trent, say the Bearcats played really good today,” Barwin yelled to a grinning Cole, his fellow Cincinnati alum. “Say that. Tell ‘em how the Bearcats showed up.”

Against the Redskins, Barwin and Cole both set season-highs in tackles. They combined for 21 total, along with three sacks, a batted pass and a forced fumble. All in all, a pretty good day at the office for the Eagles’ starting outside linebackers.

As a team, the Eagles had four sacks and eight tackles for loss against the Redskins.

Below is our weekly look at the overall pass rush. We’ve added some wrinkles this time around. Last week, many of you pointed out that there is more to rushing the passer than sacks and hurries. And that’s true. So I’ve added batted passes, along with forced holding/intentional grounding calls.

There’s probably a good way to weight some of these vs. others, but for our purposes, they all count equally. The pressure percentage number at the end shows the frequency with which each player affects the play when rushing the passer, taking opportunities into account.

 
Sacks
Hurries
Batted
Penalties
Chances
Pressure %
Vinny Curry472214210.6%
Connor Barwin48913196.9%
Fletcher Cox319204115.8%
Brandon Graham14021205.8%
Bennie Logan24001733.5%
Trent Cole37113353.6%
Clifton Geathers0300973.1%
Cedric Thornton17203343.0%
Damion Square0010462.2%

* Sacks, hurries and batted passes are tracked by coaches. I counted up the holding and intentional grounding calls. Pro Football Focus provided the pass-rushing opportunities. And I calculated the percentages.

Notes:

* Through 11 games, Curry has been the Eagles’ most efficient pass-rusher. And he’s gotten more opportunities recently, averaging over 30 snaps per game in the last three. Curry is tied for the team lead with four sacks.

* Barwin’s pressure percentage number really jumps when you start to count batted balls. He has nine on the season, while the rest of the players on this list have totaled eight. Barwin had the huge sack/forced fumble in the red zone last week. He also had a season-high 12 tackles.

* Cox has really played well after a slow start. He was all over the field against the Redskins, finishing with six tackles, two hurries and a batted pass. He also nearly had a pair of interceptions. One was ruled a fumble recovery, and the other hit the ground.

* Graham has been pretty quiet, although he had a nice tackle-for-loss last week. His pressure percentage gets a boost from having drawn a couple holding penalties earlier in the season.

* Logan has three hurries in three starts (four overall). That’s the same number that Isaac Sopoaga had in eight starts. Logan has also been significantly better against the run.

* Cole had his first multi-sack game of the year and also chipped in with a season-high nine tackles. In the last two games, Cole has 17 tackles. That’s the same number he had in the previous six games combined.

* And Thornton is a good example that numbers don’t always tell the whole story. He had six tackles last week, and his pressure led directly to Cole’s second sack. He’s been arguably the Eagles’ most consistent defender all season long.

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