Eagles Wake-Up Call: Pass-Rush Rankings
Last week against Oakland, Billy Davis’ unit took advantage of a QB in Terrelle Pryor who was anxious to escape the pocket all game long.
Overall, the Eagles rank 22nd in Football Outsiders’ adjusted sack rate, which takes into account pass-rushing opportunities.
Granted, numbers don’t tell the whole story, but here’s a look at pass-rushing production from a statistical standpoint. Sacks and hurries are tracked by Eagles coaches.
Pass-rushing opportunities are courtesy of Pro Football Focus. And I calculated pressure percentage, which is sacks/hurries per opportunity.
* Vinny Curry continues to make the most of his pass-rushing chances. He’s only had 102 opportunities to get after the quarterback but is tied for the team lead with three sacks. Curry’s snaps continue to increase, and Davis went out of his way this week to mention the improvement the second-year player has made against the run.
* Connor Barwin has broken up seven passes, according to coaches’ stats. That’s easily the most of any front-seven player on the team.
* Trent Cole had probably his most productive game of the year against Oakland, finishing with six tackles, a sack (his first of the season) and two hurries (also a season-high).
* Brandon Graham has been quiet with one tackle, no sacks and no hurries the past two games. But he did draw a holding penalty with one pass-rush. That doesn’t show up in the numbers here.
* Fletcher Cox is tied for the team lead with three sacks. He also leads the Eagles with 16 hurries; no other player on the team has more than eight.
* A couple weeks ago, Chip Kelly identified Cedric Thornton as the team’s best pass-rusher. So the tape and stats don’t necessary align here. He’s been one of the team’s best and most consistent players on defense all season long.
* Bennie Logan gets a bump in playing time, starting for Isaac Sopoaga. His focus is on the run game, and Logan did well in that aspect last week, finishing with four tackles, the most of any defensive lineman.
WHAT YOU MISSED
An All-22 look at Logan, two-gapping and ‘no-run day.’
The injury report has updates on Thornton and Bradley Fletcher.
The national media roundup has Kelly getting “snookered” by Bill Belichick on the Sopoaga trade and Nick Foles being a one-hit wonder.
T-Mac takes a look at how Foles is winning over his teammates.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Chris Burke of SI.com gives the Eagles a B- through the first nine games:
The idea of “Chip Kelly: Miracle Worker” has been replaced by a more conservative line of thinking. That said, the Eagles have turned on the afterburners on occasion (i.e. that Oakland game mentioned above), enough to stick within a game of first place in the East. The arrow is pointing up, even if the record remains below the .500 line.
Tommy Lawlor of Iggles Blitz talks about Bryce Brown in his game review:
Ran for 32 yards on play at the end of the 1st Qtr. There were 6 in the box. Foles gave BB the ball on a simple inside run. He broke a tackle by Woodson and then got wide. Excellent size/speed play. My only complaint is that he went out of bounds at the end. Had 2 defenders to deal with, but I’d prefer the big backup RB punish those guys instead of just going out of bounds.
We’ll hear from Kelly and talk to players down at NovaCare. Plus, it’s Birds 24/7 on 97.5 The Fanatic. Stop by Smiths in Center City between 6 and 7. McManus is buying.