All-22: Babin’s Last Game In Green

Brandon Graham said Tuesday’s release of Jason Babin made him realize that in the NFL, “just when you think you’re safe, you’re gone.”

Babin hit the pillow Monday night as the team leader in sacks, and woke up (temporarily) unemployed.

Did his performance against the Panthers weigh into the Eagles’ decision to let him go? We took a look at the All-22 tape to figure it out.

One thing you can’t knock the 32-year old for is his effort. On Wednesday his old teammates talked about how Babin would always bust it, and the following play from the second quarter Monday is a good example. Cam Newton pitches to Jonathan Stewart, who takes off to his left. Babin is lined up wide on the other side of the field.

But it’s Babin who tracks Stewart down.

Babin was able to generate some pressure in this one. He played 40 snaps against the Panthers and finished with a sack and a pair of quarterback hits. On the play below he shakes free and is able to get a shot on Cam Newton. The quarterback is unable to follow through, and his pass intended for Steve Smith falls incomplete. (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie can be credited with his solid coverage on Smith as well.)

Now onto the not-so-good.

The following play is a good example of the burden Jim Washburn‘s Wide-9 can put on the rest of defense, particularly the linebackers. Here the Panthers run a draw to DeAngelo Williams.

Babin’s positioning and aggressive approach has opened up a gaping hole. It is up to Mychal Kendricks to read the play properly, avoid big ‘ol number 61, and make an open-field tackle. Fortunately for the Eagles, he did.

Next up you will see Babin rushing off the edge as Newton surveys the field.

In his quest to get to the quarterback, he continues to push his way inside. In the process he loses the edge, and the fleet-footed Newton scrambles loose.

With nothing but daylight, Newton is able to pick up the first down.

Finally, take a look at this third-down play with two minutes remaining in the game. Carolina has an eight-point lead and is already in field goal range, but this is the defense’s last chance to try and get the ball back in the offense’s hands. The pass rush starts off well for the Eagles, as both Cullen Jenkins and Babin spring free.

Babin will attack a little too sharply to the inside, however. In the next frame, you can actually see him push off Jenkins as Newton rolls out beyond the pressure.

Haven broken the contain, Newton flicks one to Mike Tolbert for an 11-yard gain and a first down. After the play, Babin slaps his chest twice as if to suggest, “My bad.”

That was his last meaningful play in an Eagles uniform, as Newton took a couple knees to run the clock out.

Overall, you can’t call it a poor performance from Babin. He made a few plays, got some pressure. He was also out of position a few times, though that has some to do with Washburn’s design as well. The decision to release him couldn’t have been made off this game, in other words. This was a big-picture move, and a sign that a philosophy shift is right around the corner.

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Eagles Must Now Deal With Character Issues

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Brent Celek.At this stage of the season, you are just looking for that flicker. Signs of anger and pain and resistance to the losing culture that has seeped through the walls.

The front office will be evaluating more than talent as they sift through the wreckage of this season. They will be evaluating effort, and resolve, and want-to. And that’s just sad.

“At the end of the day it’s about locker room accountability,” said a fired-up Troy Vincent after his Eagles Hall-of-Fame induction ceremony. “The talent is here. When you hear someone talking about play-calling, just play the call that has been made. I was asked a question about someone hustling; why are we talking about a professional hustling to the football?

“And people know, the third eye in the sky doesn’t lie.”

History will not look favorably on this 2012 team. They will be labeled underachievers and their character will come into question. It already has.

That is not to say that it’s all rotten apples. There are definitely some prideful individuals on this team that agonize over what is happening.

“I’m so pissed off right now I can’t even explain. By the end of the game I was just ready to fight,” said Cullen Jenkins. “It’s weighing on you over and over again. We have to give ourselves something — the coaches, the fans, we have to put on a performance, do something. Seven straight now? It’s hard to comprehend that.

“I’m so mad right now. Out of all the losses, it feels like I’m more angry right now than any of them. With all the bad stuff that has happened to still have a chance, even if it’s a far chance, to still have chances, you have to look for any kind of positive or motivation you can get. And to keep blowing them away or whatever, it’s frustrating.”

It is telling that guys like Jenkins held out hope up until this point, and that this Carolina loss stung the worst because it crushed the last strand of that hope for a winning season.

“I can’t stand it. This is what I do. This is my livelihood. I could be doing other things but this is what I do and I want to succeed at it. I want to be the best in the league at it, I want to help my team win games,” said Brent Celek. “It’s all about winning a Super Bowl. I grew up at a young age dreaming of winning a Super Bowl, and when you are in a situation like this, it pisses you off. I doubt we have a chance now, and that’s annoying.

“There’s not many of us that can get to this level, and when you get to this level you’ve got to give everything you’ve got on every single play to win football games.”

Is everybody on this team giving it that kind of effort?

“There are some guys on the team that I’m not really close  with so I don’t know them too well and can’t talk about that,” said Celek. “But that’s up to them. I hope they do. I really do. And if they don’t, they better start caring because it’s embarrassing for them, too.”

Vincent was asked about the 3-13 season that he went through in 1998, and what it was like to look around the locker room knowing your teammates may not be there next year.

“Well, in some cases, I wanted some of the guys out of the locker room,” Vincent replied. “You know. As a player, you know who’s there. You know who you can line up and fight with and the coaches know. It’s not a secret and, the fans, you identify them every week that you play. You want those guys removed; it’s just not your responsibility, your role to do so.”

That falls in the hands of management.

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Eagles Decline, By the Numbers

Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Jason BabinJeffrey Lurie was banking on a rebound season. He looked at the players on this roster and envisioned a rise in production across the board that would take this team out of mediocrity and back to elite status.

Instead, the output has dipped. Very few on the roster are even flirting with the possibility of having a career year. Some have fallen off dramatically.

To illustrate, we compared individual performances from last season with the projected totals for 2012. (The projected numbers are under the premise that the player would appear in the exact number of games this season as they did in ’11.) Some players are pulling their weight. Others, not so much.

First up, the rushing game.

2011 Rushing
Carries
Yards
Average/Carry
Touchdowns
LeSean McCoy27313094.817
Michael Vick765897.81

2012 Projections
Carries
Yards
Yards/Carry
Touchdowns
LeSean McCoy2661,1254.23
Michael Vick824435.41

LeSean McCoy is putting up good numbers, especially given the circumstances. But there is no doubt he misses Jason Peters and company. As you can see, Michael Vick‘s yards/carry was down pretty significantly prior to suffering the concussion.

Speaking of Vick, here are the passing numbers:

 
Completion %
Yards
TD
INT
Fumbles Lost
2011 Vick59.83,30318143
Projected 2012 Vick58.53,12716157

There is not one category that he was/is on pace to get better in. The lost fumbles really jump off the page.

Next up, the receiving game.

2011 Receiving
Catches
Yards
Touchdowns
DeSean Jackson589614
Jeremy Maclin638595
Brent Celek628115
2012 Projections
Catches
Yards
Touchdowns
DeSean Jackson661,0373
Jeremy Maclin526496
Brent Celek668142

DeSean Jackson is seeing a statistical rise post-contract, though the big play and touchdown totals are lower than desired. Brent Celek looks to be having a similar year, but this doesn’t account for his seven drops.  Jeremy Maclin‘s numbers are the most alarming considering that 2011 was the stronger campaign, and it was a season where he was dealing with a health scare for much of the year.  Maclin was expected to break out this season, but he went the other way.

The sharpest statistical decline can be found along the defensive line. The defense had 50 sacks last year. They are currently on pace for 26 in 2012. That is due in large part to the dip in production from Trent Cole, Jason Babin and Cullen Jenkins.

2011 Pass Rush
Sacks
Hurries
Trent Cole1144
Jason Babin1837
Cullen Jenkins5.525

2012 Projections
Sacks
Hurries
Trent Cole241
Jason Babin745
Cullen Jenkins327

It is interesting to note that the hurries from last year to this season are pretty similar, but the sacks are way down. Like many of their teammates, they are not finishing the job.

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DL Production: Cole Gets Shut Out

Here’s our weekly look at the Eagles’ defensive line production.

The Eagles had quite a few “close but no sack” moments against Robert Griffin III. In fairness to Jim Washburn’s unit, Griffin makes defensive linemen look silly on a weekly basis.

Here are the numbers. Sacks, hurries (a stat kept by the coaches) and pressure percentage (frequency with with each player notches a sack or hurry, given the opportunities).

 
Pass-Rushing Opportunities
Sacks
Hurries
Pressure Percentage
Trent Cole16000%
Jason Babin151113.3%
Fletcher Cox13107.7%
Cullen Jenkins12000%
Mike Patterson120216.7%
Brandon Graham80112.5%
Derek Landri70228.6%
Darryl Tapp70114.3%
Cedric Thornton2000%

We know the Eagles are not looking forward to facing Griffin for years to come. I’m guessing they’re not going to enjoy going up against left tackle Trent Williams either. Williams held Trent Cole to no sacks and no hurries. Cole has a total of seven hurries in the last four games. He doesn’t have a sack since Week 3 against the Cardinals.

Jason Babin was actually very active. He had one sack and was really responsible for the other one. Babin’s pressure forced Griffin to step up, and Fletcher Cox was the first person to touch him. Babin also had four tackles.

My upcoming All-22 post is going to focus a lot on Cox. He is coming on strong. The rookie had 10 tackles. He’s had two double-digit tackle games in the last month. No other Eagles defensive lineman has one all season. Cox was all over the place against the Redskins, even though it might not show up in the numbers here.

Brandon Graham only had eight opportunities, but he hasn’t done much in the last two games (one tackle, two hurries). This was the most active Mike Patterson’s been since returning (two hurries, three tackles). Derek Landri had two hurries in his previous five games, but notched a couple in this one. Darryl Tapp had five tackles.

Going forward, it looks like Vinny Curry is going to get a shot against the Panthers, per a CSNPhilly.com report by Geoff Mosher. So who does he bump? The Eagles could go with five defensive ends and sit Cedric Thornton, who’s being phased out anyway. Or they could have Curry take Tapp’s place behind Cole.

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Veterans Must Protect the Innocent

Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins.Cullen Jenkins always has a light tremble in his voice following a loss, making it so the pain is audible. Reporters gravitate to him because he gives emotional, unfiltered responses and can strike  into the core of the issue.

On this night, he spoke of his own personal failings.

“I was brought in here, especially coming from a championship team, to try and help instill [a certain mindset]. Not maybe, I’m not doing a good enough job of it,” said Jenkins.

Cultivating a winning culture has not been a problem for the majority of Andy Reid’s tenure. When you stepped into the Eagles locker room you stepped into a winning locker room. Newcomers adapted and learned and passed it down, and on it went.

Suddenly, the Eagles are faced with a crisis. There has not been a playoff win since 2008. There are no remaining members of the 2004 Super Bowl team. Their record is 11-15 over their last two seasons. The young players don’t know what it is to win regularly on this level, and the veterans that do haven’t been able to pass it down. The winning culture has eroded.

To say the rest of the season is totally devoid of meaning is wrong. There can be some long-term harm done if the team continues to implode.

“If we give up then there is no hope, and we can’t do that. You can’t allow it as a veteran,” said Jenkins. “There are a lot of young guys on this team, they’re going to grow into what they see happen. They are going to grow into the type of players they see around them, the veterans, because that’s what they’re going to know. And it’s up to us to set a good example for them so they know what to expect, how to act and how to react during tough times.”

This roster will look decidedly different in 2013, to be sure. But many of the neophytes will be here for the era that’s to come. Guys like Fletcher Cox and Mychal Kendricks and Brandon Boykin and Nick Foles. The hope is that there are at least a couple building blocks in there that can positively shape the future.

They are impressionable, and what they see over the next six weeks will influence them as players. It is incumbent upon the veterans, then, to handle themselves the right way and send the proper messages.

“I just want to go out there and win,” said DeSean Jackson. “For the city and for myself, the team, our pride. We live and die off this game. This is what we love to do. Anything we can do to get a win, that’s really all I care about. I’m  going to continue to go out there and do what I need to do help that.”

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Eagles’ Frustration Bubbles To the Surface

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean JacksonEvidence of this team’s growing frustration surfaced towards the end of the first half Sunday.

The Eagles had overcome a 3rd-and-17 courtesy of  a 21-yard pitch-and-catch between Nick Foles and Damaris Johnson. They were down 11 and desperately fighting for momentum. But the drive fizzled out when Brent Celek dropped his second pass of the game on a 3rd-and-5.

DeSean Jackson, who watched that play from the sideline along with Jeremy Maclin, grew animated.

“It was very frustrating, just once again continuing the same mistakes, penalties and turnovers,” said Jackson. “After a while you’re almost like tired of it. You have to figure out a way to get it going. I just tried to spark something, being very angry and letting people know it’s not OK  to continue to keep making these mistakes.”

(Just to be clear, Jackson never said he was responding to the drop or not being on the field. It seemed to be more about the offense’s ineptitude overall. They had already turned the ball over twice by that point.)

Jackson and Riley Cooper had some words for one another and were gently separated by coach Duce Staley. All was apparently forgiven by halftime, as the two hugged it out in the locker room and moved on.

“This is a family,” said Cooper. “In any family there is going to be bickering.”

The reason behind the bickering?

“We just want to score,” Cooper said.

As the spiral continues, questions about this group’s character rage all the louder. While the players licked their wounds at their respective locker stalls in Washington Sunday, each was asked about the perception that the team has lost its fight. Every one insisted that is not the case. Cullen Jenkins said the emotion is there, it’s just not being utilized properly.

“I know there is  plenty of toughness on the team. I don’t know if we’re channeling all the toughness in the right areas,” said Jenkins.

“Sometimes when people get frustrated, you’ve got to bottle it up and make sure it stays a positive. You keep positive with it and don’t get frustrated, don’t get down too much and let it keep affecting you. We have to make sure that we’re always channeling the frustration and everything in positive ways.”

That will be an increasingly difficult task from this point forward.

“This is our job, this is what we’re supposed to do,” said Brent Celek, “and we’re failing at it.”

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Eagles DL Production: Cox Provides a Bright Spot

Here’s the weekly breakdown of how the Eagles’ defensive line performed against the Cowboys.

You should know the deal by now, but just in case, “hurries” are tracked by the coaches. Pass-rushing opportunities are charted by Pro Football Focus. And pressure percentage measures how often a player notches a sack or hurry.

 
Pass-Rushing Opportunities
Sacks
Hurries
Pressure Percentage
Trent Cole22029.1%
Fletcher Cox221631.8%
Jason Babin21014.8%
Cullen Jenkins19105.3%
Cedric Thornton8000%
Brandon Graham70114.3%
Derek Landri70114.3%
Darryl Tapp7000%
Mike Patterson4000%

It was just last week in this space that we wrote about Fletcher Cox being in a pass-rushing rut. The rookie went through a four-game stretch in which he managed no sacks and just two hurries. Cox has been the Eagles’ best defensive tackle against the run all season. But, as we wrote, the key to the second half of the season was to hone his pass-rushing skills.

Well, he’s off to a good start.

Cox had a sack and six hurries against Dallas. Statistically speaking, it was the most productive game any Eagles defensive tackle has had as a pass-rusher all season. Details on that below, but Cox’s development is one of the few positive storylines to follow with this team the rest of the way.

Jason Babin and Trent Cole combined for just three hurries all game. Eagles defensive ends as a group combined for just four hurries (and no sacks).

Jenkins had a sack. But once again, the Eagles got nothing from their backup defensive tackles. It’s probably well past time to tighten the rotation and give Cox a significant increase in snaps.

Here’s the player-by-player breakdown:

Jason Babin – Babin was not effective against inconsistent right tackle Doug Free. He had no sacks, one hurry and zero tackles. In his last three games, Babin has one sack, four tackles and four hurries. The Eagles simply have not gotten the production from him they were counting on this year. Against Dallas, Babin and Cole pressured Tony Romo in the second, forcing him to step up on an incompletion. Both he and Jenkins had a shot at Romo on the 25-yard completion to Miles Austin in the third. As I detailed with the All-22, that was a huge, game-changing play.

Trent Cole – No sacks, but Cole was OK in this one. He pressured Romo, but the QB scrambled to his left and found the fullback for a 17-yard pickup in the second. It looked like Cole hit Romo on the 49-yard completion to Dez Bryant. And he got a hit on Romo on 3rd-and-1 in the second. The Cowboys picked up 15 yards with a draw right at Cole in the second. Those seem to work about 95 percent of the time against the Eagles. Overall, Cole had two hurries and four tackles.

Cullen Jenkins – He probably should have gotten the sack on Romo in the second. The Eagles got pressure from all directions, and Romo just went down. It looked like Jenkins and Cole touched him first, but Cox got credit for the sack. Jenkins got a sack later on a well-executed twist with Cox. He failed to bring Romo down on the 25-yard completion to Austin. Jenkins got knocked to the ground on a Lance Dunbar 5-yard run at the end of the first quarter. Overall, one sack and three tackles.

Fletcher Cox – I mentioned him at the top. Cox got credit for a sack in the first, although it could have just as easily gone to Jenkins or Cole. He got a hit on Romo, who was forced to step up in the second. Nice twist with Jenkins, pressuring Romo into a sack in the third. Great hustle, instincts and athleticism in the third, rushing Romo, recognizing he was going to scramble and finishing with a hit as the quarterback threw the ball away (pictures of the play in the All-22 breakdown). As well as Cox played, he somehow let Romo out of his grasp on the 25-yard completion to Austin in the third. He twisted outside and pressured Romo on the touchdown to Bryant. Overall, the numbers are starting to show up for Cox. A couple weeks ago against the Falcons, he had 11 tackles – the most of any Eagles defensive lineman this year. Overall, he leads all Eagles linemen with 40 tackles. And he’s tops among the team’s tackles with 20 hurries (to go along with a pair of sacks). Keep your eye on No. 91 the rest of the way.

Brandon Graham – Strange snap breakdown for Graham. Overall, he was on the field for 24 plays, just four fewer than Babin. But 17 of those 24 were running plays. He only got seven chances to rush the passer. Graham got blocked by Jason Witten on the toss to the right that picked up 5 yards in the first. Good hustle, but missed the tackle on Felix Jones’ touchdown. He was pretty much unblocked, but still got to Romo quickly, helping lead to the Mychal Kendricks sack in the second. If the Eagles are going to start looking ahead to 2013 at some point, Graham should be playing more than Babin.

Darryl Tapp – Zero sacks, zero hurries and four tackles. Tapp also missed a tackle on the Jones touchdown. Later, he hustled to bring Jones down after a 4-yard run in the third. Tough to justify playing Tapp over second-round pick Vinny Curry at this point.

Derek Landri – No sacks, one hurry and five tackles. It sure seems like teams have had a lot of success running in Landri’s direction this season. The veteran got handled on Jones’ 13-yard run in the first. Later, he deflected a Romo pass up in the air.

Cedric Thornton – Nothing as a pass-rusher, but finished with five tackles.

Mike Patterson - No sacks, no hurries and one tackle. Of course, probably not realistic to expect Patterson to make an immediate impact, given how much time he’s missed.

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All-22: The Unpredictable Eagles Defense

Here are some plays that stood out after having looked at the All-22 tape of the Eagles’ defense against the Cowboys:

Play 1: On the 11-yard touchdown to Felix Jones, I counted four different Eagles who had a chance at him, and none of them came through. First up was Nate Allen, who could have dropped him for a loss.


Take note of where Brandon Graham is, by the way. More on that in a second.

Next, Darryl Tapp and Nnamdi Asomugha both miss.


And finally, it’s Graham’s turn.


One bright spot among the comedy of errors: There’s been a lot of talk about whether Eagles players are consistently trying. I think that Andy Reid is telling the truth when he says the effort is there. Check out where Graham came from here. Yes, he missed the tackle, but he never quit on the play and really hustled to get to Jones.

On the other hand, this is what Todd Bowles is talking about when he says he’s putting players in the right positions, but they just have to make plays sometimes.

Play 2: Remember the whole “We’re not going to be predictable” storyline that got repeated after Juan Castillo was fired? Well, Bowles lived up to it here. I’d say blitzing Asomugha, your $60M corner, on third-and-long qualifies. Take a look at who the sixth man is at the line of scrimmage.


According to Pro Football Focus, Asomugha had not blitzed once all season prior to Sunday. On this play, the Cowboys sent three receivers into routes, and they were all downfield since it was 3rd-and-15. The Eagles rushed six and were able to collapse the pocket.


Of course, the pressure wasn’t exactly due to Asomugha’s great pass-rushing prowess. He’s back there behind No. 63. Trent Cole, Cullen Jenkins, Fletcher Cox and DeMeco Ryans all got pressure on Romo. Cox got credit for the sack, although it probably should have gone to Cole or Jenkins. Romo just kind of went down, and they appeared to be the two who touched him first.

Play 3: It led to a sack the first time, so why not try it again? Here’s Asomugha at the line of scrimmage on 3rd-and-14 in the third.


But the guy to highlight on this play is Cox. Here you see him generate a pass-rush off the snap.

The impressive part is he recognizes that Romo is scrambling to his right, so he spins and starts giving chase.


The big man can move. He catches up with Romo and hits him as he throws the ball away.


Strength, instincts, athleticism all on display here for the Eagles rookie. Really nice play.

Play 4: Game-changing play in the third. The Cowboys faced a 3rd-and-5 from their own 39, down 17-10. In one instance, it looked like Cox would have a sack. In the next, the Cowboys were closing in on the game-tying score. Cox starts from his normal spot at left defensive tackle.


But he’s going to loop all the way around Cole at right defensive end. This kind of move is going to take some time, but the Eagles get Romo to hitch, and Cox has a clear path to the quarterback, even though the Eagles didn’t blitz.


He fails to bring Romo down, but it looks like Jason Babin and Jenkins will be able to finish the play.


You can’t even see Romo in there, but he escapes again, with Babin and Jenkins on the ground.


In the back end, Mychal Kendricks was closing in on Miles Austin when Romo first wanted to get him the ball.


Kendricks bit on the pump-fake and ended up on the ground. When Romo escaped, and it looked like Babin and Jenkins were closing in, he pump-faked again. That got Allen to come up. You always hear analysts talk about coming back to the ball when the quarterback’s in trouble, but Austin did the opposite and streaked down the field.


You see Austin in the yellow circle. You also see Kevin Ogletree (red circle) behind Brandon Boykin for what could have been a 61-yard touchdown. Those things happen when the quarterback buys six seconds to throw the ball.

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DL Review: Cox In a Pass-Rush Rut

Here’s the weekly breakdown of how the Eagles’ defensive line performed against the Saints.

You should know the deal by now, but just in case, “hurries” are tracked by the coaches. Pass-rushing opportunities are charted by Pro Football Focus. And pressure percentage measures how often a player notches a sack or hurry.

 
Pass-Rushing Opportunities
Sacks
Hurries
Pressure Percentage
Trent Cole200315.0%
Cullen Jenkins19015.3%
Jason Babin181216.7%
Fletcher Cox13000%
Cedric Thornton12018.3%
Brandon Graham12108.3%
Derek Landri120N/AN/A
Phillip Hunt10000%
Mike Patterson8000%

Brandon Graham and Jason Babin both had sacks and forced fumbles. Other than that play, though, Graham was quiet as a pass-rusher with no hurries. Babin had a couple hurries, and Trent Cole had three.

The Eagles got nothing from the interior pass-rush. Rookie Fletcher Cox is in a pass-rushing rut. He had zero hurries and has just two (no sacks) in his last four games. Cox has one sack and 14 hurries on the season. He’s been outstanding against the run; Cox’s 38 tackles are tops on the team among defensive linemen. But the Eagles could really use more production from him against the pass.

No defensive tackle had more than one hurry. That’s a problem.

Mike Patterson saw his first action of the season. Phillip Hunt filled in for Darryl Tapp, who was with his wife, waiting on the birth of their first child.

Below is the player-by-player breakdown.

Jason Babin – He played hard and came away with a sack and three hurries. Babin beat the right tackle one-on-one and forced a Drew Brees fumble in the fourth. He got good pressure on Brees and hit him on a third down near the end of the first half. He did a good job reading screen and tackling Chris Ivory after a 2-yard pickup in the third. Against the run, the Eagles were hurt by counters to the defense’s left side all game long. Babin got caught inside on an 8-yard Ivory run in the second, but to his credit, he hustled to the ball and eventually made the tackle. He also got caught inside on a 7-yard counter by Mark Ingram in the third.

Trent Cole – Cole was active throughout, but as I pointed out with the All-22, he missed opportunities for a monster game. He had a season-high seven tackles to go along with three hurries. Cole dropped Ingram for a 3-yard loss in the first. He had a good bull-rush and hit Brees, helping to force an incompletion late in the first half. Cole tackled Ingram after a 3-yard gain in the third. And he stopped Pierre Thomas after a 2-yard run in the red zone in the third.

Brandon Graham – Tough to evaluate him in this one. Graham had the huge sack/forced fumble, but wasn’t a factor the rest of the time. He failed to recognize a 9-yard screen to Jimmy Graham in the second and got caught inside on Ivory’s 22-yard touchdown run. Later, Graham had a chance to bring Ingram down near the line of scrimmage, but couldn’t make the play on a 7-yard run. He drew a holding penalty in the second. On the sack, he got to Brees in about 2.2 seconds.

Phillip Hunt – After playing zero snaps against the Falcons, Hunt filled in for Tapp. He made a decent inside move to force Brees to his left on an incompletion in the first. Good hustle to bring Thomas down after a 7-yard run on the next play. And Hunt stopped Ivory for no gain in the third.

Cullen Jenkins – One hurry and four tackles. Jenkins got good penetration and helped cause a 3-yard loss on the first defensive play. He got past the guard and knocked Brees down on the next play. Jenkins also played some defensive end. Overall, a pretty quiet game.

Fletcher Cox – A quiet game for Cox too. He had four tackles – dropping Ivory for a 1-yard loss in the fourth and tackling Ingram after a 2-yard run in the fourth.

Mike Patterson – Patterson looked understandably rusty with zero tackles and zero hurries. He got blocked on Thomas’ 9-yard run in the red zone in the second.

Derek Landri – Not much of a factor. He assisted Cole in bringing Thomas down after a 2-yard run in the third. Other than that, didn’t notice him doing much.

Cedric Thornton – Three tackles, but didn’t give the Eagles anything as a pass-rusher with just one hurry.

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Eagles-Saints Injury Report

Here is the injury report for Monday night’s game between the Eagles and Saints:

SAINTS

Out 
RB Darren Sproles (hand), WR Courtney Roby (shoulder)

Probable
LB David Hawthorne (hamstring), WR Joe Morgan (chest)

EAGLES

Out 
WR Mardy Gilyard (hamstring), G Danny Watkins (ankle)

Questionable
S Nate Allen (hamstring), DT Cullen Jenkins (knee)

Probable
DB Brandon Boykin (toe), DE Phillip Hunt (calf), LB Mychal Kendricks (trap)

* Note: Allen did not practice Friday or Saturday. He did travel with the team and is considered a game-time decision. David Sims will get the start at safety if Allen can’t go.

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