Game Review: Eagles Defense Vs. Giants


NFL: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

Here’s a player-by-player breakdown of the Eagles’ defensive performance after having re-watched Sunday night’s shutout against the giants.

DEFENSIVE LINE

Fletcher Cox – He has been the Eagles’ best defensive player all season long. Cox tied a season-high with six tackles and added a couple hurries for the second consecutive week. He was left unblocked and stopped Andre Williams for no gain in the first. Cox shed his block and tackled Williams after a 5-yard run in the second. Good rush in the third, affecting Eli Manning’s throw, which fell incomplete. He stopped Williams for no gain in the third. Good rush, forcing Manning to get rid of the ball incomplete in the red zone in the third. Cox dropped Williams for no gain in the third. He was still hustling in the fourth quarter, chasing down Peyton Hillis after a gain of 3 on a screen. Cox has been remarkably consistent, showing up and playing well every week through the first six games.

Bennie Logan – The coaching staff credited him with two tackles. Logan brought Manning down 1 yard past the line of scrimmage on what was essentially a sack on third down in the second quarter. He also dropped Hillis after a 1-yard run in the red zone in the third. Per NFL.com, Logan is seventh among all defensive linemen in tackles and second among nose guards.

Cedric Thornton – He was his usual solid self, playing the run effectively with four tackles. Thornton stopped Williams after a 1-yard run in the first. He nearly had a tackle for loss in the second, but couldn’t finish behind the line of scrimmage. Per NFL.com, Cox, Logan and Thornton are all among the top-13 in tackles by defensive linemen on the season.

Vinny Curry – Good game for Curry. He had two sacks and how has four in the past three games. Curry used an inside move to sack Manning in the first after Connor Barwin pressured him from the other side. He later drew a holding penalty with his rush against left tackle Justin Pugh in the second. And Curry took advantage on a coverage sack at the end of the first half with his relentless pursuit of Manning.

Beau Allen – He’s definitely improving. Allen looked like he had a pretty good rush on Barwin’s sack in the second. He and DeMeco Ryans dropped Williams for a 2-yard loss in the second. Allen was called for roughing the passer on the final drive for making contact with Ryan Nassib’s helmet.

Brandon Bair – He’s playing better now too. Bair had two tackles and a sack vs. the Giants. He dropped Williams after a 1-yard run in the first (Giants were called for holding on the play). Bair and Casey Matthews dropped Williams after a 2-yard run in the second. He had a sack to finish the game.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS

Connor Barwin – This very well might have been his best performance as an Eagle. Barwin was everywhere. He had three sacks, two hurries, six tackles and a forced fumble. He has six sacks and five hurries in his past three games. Barwin came up with the sack/forced fumble on the first drive. It looked like the Giants had a mixup in protection, and Barwin got an easy rush later in the first, pressuring Manning into a Curry sack. Great spin move on Pugh for another sack in the second. On the very next play, he slipped past the TE and dropped Hillis for no gain. Barwin beat Pugh around the edge for a sack in the fourth. Great game.

Trent Cole – This was probably his best game of the season too. Cole had a sack, a hurry, a pass deflection and four tackles. He forced Manning to shuffle into Barwin’s sack in the first. Cole lined up on the left side and beat Pugh cleanly for a sack in the first. He drew a holding call on a run play. Cole hustled from the back side of the play to tackle Williams after a 5-yard run in the second. He hit Manning on a screen and forced an incompletion before the play had time to develop in the second. He helped disrupt a Williams run that lost 2 yards in the second. Cole twisted inside on a stunt and hit Manning on third down in the third. He really was active and played well.

Brandon Graham – Solid game. Graham got some pressure beating the right guard in the third. He notched a sack on the final drive and forced a Nassib fumble. Grahm’s second sack was negated because of Beau Allen’s penalty. Overall, a sack, a forced fumble, a hurry and three tackles.

INSIDE LINEBACKERS

DeMeco Ryans – He fought through a groin injury and played well. Ryans had four tackles on the day. He dropped into coverage and forced Manning to hold onto the ball on Barwin’s sack/forced fumble in the first. He was beaten by TE Daniel Fells for a 20-yard completion on 3rd-and-19 in the first. Ryans dropped Williams after a 1-yard run in the second. He and Beau Allen dropped Williams for a 2-yard loss in the second. It also seemed like his ability to make checks and get the Eagles in the right looks was a big part of the defense’s success.

Casey Matthews – He had five tackles and played well against the run. Matthews dropped Williams for a loss on a run play in the second. He and Bair dropped Williams after a 2-yard run in the second. And Matthews tackled Williams after a 5-yard run in the third. He’s not going to the Pro Bowl any time soon, but Matthews has looked like a capable two-down backup inside linebacker the past couple games. Credit to him and the coaching staff. He played 18 snaps.

Emmanuel Acho – He had two tackles and was credited with half-a-sack for teaming up with Cole on a takedown of Manning. He played 23 snaps.

Marcus Smith II – He played 15 snaps. Smith notched his first QB hurry with a hit on Nassib on the final drive. He did not have any tackles.

CORNERBACKS

Cary Williams – One of his better games of the season. I only noticed Williams give up one completion: a 10-yarder to Odell Beckham Jr. on a slant in the first. This was the first time in four games he did not allow a pass play of 25+ yards.

Bradley Fletcher – I’m not sure I buy the narrative that he bounced back and played well. Manning completed a 17-yarder to Rueben Randle right in front of Fletcher in the first. Same deal on a 16-yarder in the second. And it looked like he slipped and gave up an 18-yard completion in the third. Good coverage on an incompletion in the third. And again on a deep ball. Fletcher forced a fumble late in the game.

Brandon Boykin – He got beaten on the corner route in the end zone, but Victor Cruz suffered the injury and dropped the ball on the play. Boykin tackled Cruz after a 3-yard completion in the red zone in the third. I didn’t see him allow any other completions.

Nolan Carroll II – One of Carroll’s better games. He tackled TE Larry Donnell after a short completion on third down, forcing a punt in the second. Good job on Donnell in the third, deflecting a pass in the end zone. Carroll played 21 snaps in dime.

SAFETIES

Nate Allen – He was OK. The Eagles stayed in base vs. 11 personnel on early downs. He got beaten by Cruz for 13 yards on the first play, but it wasn’t an issue after that. Allen hit Carroll instead of the Giants player in the third, but the touchdown was negated because of a New York penalty. Allen hit Beckham to help force an incompletion on a screen in the third.

Malcolm Jenkins – He got run over by Williams on an 8-yard run in the first, but otherwise played well. Jenkins blitzed freely up the middle and forced Manning into an incompletion in the second. Good coverage on Donnell on a red zone incompletion in the third.