Game Review: Eagles Defense Vs. Titans
Here’s a player-by-player review of the Eagles’ defense after having re-watched Sunday’s game against the Titans.
Fletcher Cox – Another solid game out of Cox. The coaches credited him with one tackle, one sack and one hurry. Cox stopped Shonn Greene after a 4-yard run in the first. He disrupted a run play that gained 3. Good rush late in the first half, but Zach Mettenberger reset and completed a pass. Got some help from the coverage in the back end, slipped inside the offensive lineman and sacked Mettenberger in the second. Cox batted a pass on the next play. Drew a holding call on a run play in the third. Fought off defenders and stopped Bishop Sankey after a 4-yard run in the third. He played 62 percent of the snaps. Announcers made it a point to mention how much Chip Kelly praised Cox during production meetings. He’s had a great season. The Eagles need him to be disruptive against Dallas.
Bennie Logan – Teams have had trouble running inside against the Eagles, and Logan’s been a major reason why. It looked like he and Cox blew up a screen on the Titans’ first possession. Logan blew up another run where Cole dropped Sankey for a 2-yard loss. He disrupted a Sankey run that picked up 4 in the second. Blew up the next run that picked up 1. Good rush in the second, walking the lineman back into Mettenberger’s face. Logan got double-teamed on Sankey’s 13-yard run in the second. He forced a fumble on a run play in the third. Logan played 51 percent of the snaps. He sounded ready for Dallas on Monday.
Cedric Thornton – He continues to be steady and productive. Thornton led all Eagles defensive linemen with four tackles, per coaches’ stats. He helped bring Greene down after a 2-yard run in the second and helped limit Tennessee to 2.7 YPC. Thornton played 40 percent of the snaps.
Beau Allen – Quiet game. No tackles. Played 20 snaps.
Vinny Curry – He could have pretty easily had a two-sack game. Curry had a sack in the red zone on third down, but was whistled for a facemask penalty. His sack in the third was negated by a Bradley Fletcher penalty. Curry played 23 snaps and had one tackle.
Brandon Bair – No tackles. Played 17 snaps.
Connor Barwin – He had another big game. Barwin finished with two sacks, four tackles, a batted pass and a forced fumble. He played 87 percent of the snaps. The Titans had no answer for the Eagles’ stunts up front. Barwin twisted inside and shot past the left guard for a sack in the first. He got held on a jet sweep to Kendall Wright in the first. Great spin move in the fourth, attacking Mettenberger’s arm and forcing a fumble. Got his hand on Mettenberger with his rush in the fourth. Batted a pass at the line of scrimmage in the fourth. He played 87 percent of the snaps.
Trent Cole – Great game for Cole. He had two sacks, two hurries and four tackles. Good job attacking the left tackle on the stunt that resulted in a sack for Barwin in the first. He brought Sankey down after a 3-yard run in the first. Had a TFL on Sankey in the first. Made the left guard look silly and sacked Mettenberger in the third. On the same possession, Cole beat rookie Taylor Lewan with an inside move and sacked Mettenberger again. He hit Mettenberger on 4th-and-2 in the fourth. Cole was mic’d up during this game. The audio should be released in the next couple days. He played 66 percent of the snaps.
Brandon Graham – He has to lead the league in near-sacks. Graham had Mettenberger in his grasp but couldn’t finish in the fourth. Nice tackle on special teams, forcing the Titans to start their first drive inside their own 20. He brought Greene down after a 2-yard run in the second. Graham played 41 percent of the snaps.
Mychal Kendricks – He had seven solo tackles and a forced fumble. Kendricks was not fooled by the bootleg and had a near-sack in the first. Mettenberger probably should have been called for intentional grounding. He tackled Sankey in space after a 5-yard gain in the second. Kendricks got taken out by a lineman on Sankey’s 13-yard run in the second. He dropped Sankey for a loss on the next play. Kendricks tackled Greene after 4-yard gain in the third. He forced a fumble on the strange play where a Titans lineman caught the deflected pass. In coverage, he gave up a 13-yard completion to Delanie Walker in the fourth and lost Dexter McCluster on the 6-yard TD in the fourth. Overall, though, good game. He played 79 percent of the snaps.
Casey Matthews – Quiet game. He had just one tackle on 42 snaps. Matthews missed a tackle on a dumpoff to Sankey that picked up 9. It looked like he got beaten by Walker on a 27-yard completion in the fourth.
Emmanuel Acho – Only played nine snaps before suffering a groin injury. Had trouble getting off his block on Sankey’s 9-yard run in the first and got beaten on a 68-yard completion to Walker in the second.
Marcus Smith II – Billy Davis said he was where he was supposed to be, but Smith’s head is clearly still spinning. He played 14 snaps – mostly in coverage – and did not rush the passer. Don’t expect him to see a bump in snaps if Acho is out. Matthews will just play more.
Cary Williams – Good game for Williams. He failed to keep Sankey inside on a 13-yard run in the second, but otherwise held up well. Good coverage in the end zone on a third-down incompletion in the second. He played 59 of 68 snaps.
Bradley Fletcher – Up and down. Fletcher failed to tackle Justin Hunter or even push him out of bounds on the 40-yard TD. Mettenberger completed a pass in zone between him and Malcolm Jenkins for 21 yards in the second. Fletcher got beaten on a 5-yard slant in the red zone in the second, but made the tackle short of the goal line. It looked like he gave up a 15-yard grab in front of him in the third and lost Wright on a drag route that picked up 28 in the fourth (although I couldn’t tell for sure if it was his fault). Good coverage on a fade downfield. Not sure why Tennessee didn’t do that more. You can be sure Dallas will. Fletcher played every snap.
Brandon Boykin – Good game. Boykin had a nice form tackle on McCluster after a 4-yard completion in the first. He switched onto Hunter on a slant in the first and broke up a pass on third down. Boykin was called for an illegal block in the back on special teams in the first. He gave up a 22-yard completion on the final drive but then picked Mettenberger off. He played 57 percent of the snaps.
Nolan Carroll II – He played well as the dime linebacker. Carroll had a special teams tackle in the second, bringing Sankey down inside the 20 on a kickoff. Good coverage on an incompletion in the fourth. And good tackle after a 4-yard completion in the red zone. He played 38 percent of the snaps.
Malcolm Jenkins – Mostly good from Jenkins. He got in between Walker’s hands on an early deep ball to force an incompletion on a wheel route. Jenkins had a pass breakup on third down early, but easily could have been called for pass interference. Nice job getting his hand on Mettenberger’s pass in zone coverage, even though Hunter came down with it for the 40-yard TD. Jenkins got picked on a 21-yard completion in the second and took a hit from the TE at the end of the play. He lost his receiver on a 26-yard catch and run in the fourth. Jenkins played all but five snaps.
Nate Allen – Tackled McCluster short of the marker on 3rd-and-3 in the first. The Eagles got a favorable spot. It could have been a facemask too. Suffered an injury on a run play in the second, but only missed one play. Chris Maragos came in, clarifying that he’s the third safety.