Man Up: Samuel, Landri and the Eagles' D
Here's the player-by-player breakdown of the Eagles' defensive performance in their 26-10 win over the Dolphins, after having re-watched the game.
Jason Babin - On Sunday morning, before the game, I wrote about how I thought Babin was being targeted for some unjust criticism. Against Miami, he had three sacks, bringing his season total to 15, which is tied for second in the NFL behind Jared Allen (17.5). Babin and Trent Cole got pressure on Matt Moore, forcing him to flee the pocket and throw the ball away on a third down in the first. On a couple occasions, Babin lined up inside, standing up, almost like a blitzing linebacker. His sack/forced fumble after the Curtis Marsh fumble in the second was big. Babin used a nice inside move to sack Moore in the second. And he got to J.P. Losman right before Cole for a sack on 4th-and-20 in the fourth.
Cullen Jenkins - Another good game from Jenkins. He stuffed a Daniel Thomas run for no gain in the first and again on 3rd-and-1 in the second. Great hustle to help Kurt Coleman finish off Reggie Bush short of the first down on 3rd-and-9 in the third. Good pressure in the fourth, forcing Losman to take off for a 1-yard gain. He lined up at right defensive end on the Dolphins' TD pass in the first and got decent pressure on Moore. On another play, he lined up at left defensive end and was the only player with his hand on the ground. Juan Castillo mixed up his looks up front, and Jenkins was used in a variety of ways.
Mike Patterson - Patterson was OK. Didn't notice him too much, but he's consistently been disruptive inside all season. On one play in the first, Patterson lined up at left defensive end, standing up. If Babin didn't sack Moore at the end of the second, Patterson was right there.
Trent Cole - Excellent game from Cole, who finished with seven solo tackles and three sacks. He helped stop Lex Hilliard on 4th-and-1 in the second. Cole's pressure off the edge helped Babin pick up his second sack. He stopped Bush after a gain of 1 in the third. Cole used a quick move off the edge to sack Losman in the fourth. And he picked up a third sack late in the quarter. Cole lined up inside, standing as a linebacker on a couple occasions. He made plays both as a pass rusher and against the run.
Philip Hunt - Nice game out of Hunt, who played about 24 snaps. He sacked Moore in the end zone for the safety in the fourth. He got decent pressure on Moore on a first-quarter incompletion. He dropped back into coverage once on a zone blitz in the second. And he drew a holding penalty, rushing from right defensive end in the red zone in the fourth. Hunt even lined up inside on at least one play.
Darryl Tapp - He played well before getting injured in the fourth when offensive tackle Nate Garner hit him on the ground. Tapp dropped Bush for a 2-yard loss on a run to his side in the second. He batted a ball down at the line of scrimmage in the fourth.
Trevor Laws - Not sure if there was an injury, but Laws only played 11 snaps, the fewest of any defensive lineman. He drew a holding penalty in the second. Good hustle from Laws to chase down Thomas after a 7-yard gain and stop him short of a first down on 2nd-and-8.
Derek Landri - He was a beast. Landri practically lived in the Dolphins' backfield It looked like he stuffed Thomas for 1 yard on 2nd-and-2 in the second. He was right in the middle of the 4th-and-1 stop in the second. He blew up the 3rd-and-1 Bush carry in the third. He stuffed Thomas for a 2-yard loss on 3rd-and-goal from the 2. Landri drew a holding penalty in the third. And he dropped Thomas for a 2-yard loss in the fourth. Looking ahead, this guy has to be re-signed and brought back as a part of the defensive tackle rotation next year, right?
Jamar Chaney - For the first time all season, Chaney was pulled in nickel situations, meaning he only played 20 snaps and was relatively quiet. He chased Bush out of bounds after a 2-yard completion in the first.
Brian Rolle - He was probably the Eagles' most active linebacker. Rolle played the WILL position in the base defense, but also spent a good amount of time in the nickel alongside Casey Matthews. Good, instinctive play in the first to attack and sack Moore as he rolled to his right in the red zone. Rolle did a good job of reading the play, but a poor job of tackling on a 17-yard catch and run by Bush in the first. He stopped Thomas after a 3-yard gain in the second, but missed a tackle on Thomas on a 7-yard completion in the third. In nickel, Rolle got blocked on Bush's 13-yard run in the third. He put a big hit on Moore on a third-quarter blitz, forcing an incompletion and knocking him out of the game. Good hustle to bring Bush down after an 11-yard run in the third. Overall, Rolle had ups and downs, but I liked his energy.
Akeem Jordan - This was probably his best showing of the season. Jordan brought Bush down after a 3-yard gain in the second. He got his hand on a Moore pass, coming on a blitz in the second. And he tackled Thomas after a 2-yard completion in the third.
Casey Matthews - No linebacker played more than Matthews, who was on the field for 46 snaps. The bright spot came when the Eagles rushed six in the second, blitzing him and Keenan Clayton. Matthews was unblocked and came up with the sack. Other than that, I thought he had some issues. Matthews got thrown to the ground on Bush's 13-yard run in the third. He got blocked on Bush's 16-yard run on the very next play, as the Eagles got caught in a blitz. Tight end Anthony Fasano got between him and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for a 10-yard gain on 3rd-and-7 in the third. And Matthews got beat by Fasano for what could have been a touchdown in the fourth, but the the throw was a little off-target, and Fasano couldn't hang on.
Keenan Clayton - He split time in the nickel with Rolle, playing about 28 snaps overall. Clayton missed a tackle on Bush on 3rd-and-9 in the third, but Coleman cleaned up. He had good coverage on Fasano in the end zone on a play-action pass from the 2 in the third. But Clayton was by Fasano for a 25-yard gain in the fourth on 3rd-and-11.
Asante Samuel - Who was that guy in the No. 22 jersey seeking out contact? Great play by Samuel to not only tackle and strip Davone Bess, but to also hustle and recover the fumble in the second. Earlier, did you see him running out in front of Coleman after the interception? Sure, Samuel got thrown to the ground by a Dolphins offensive lineman, but at least he was trying to get in the guy's way. Samuel was lined up like a safety on one play in the third and did a good job to break up a pass intended for Fasano. Very good game overall. Not a lot of action his way in the passing game.
Nnamdi Asomugha - Here's the deal on the first-quarter touchdown: If this were the first time Asomugha had been beaten all year, I'd be fine saying He had good coverage, and the Dolphins just made a great play. But there have been multiple occasions where Asomugha's been in good position in the end zone, only to have the opposing wide receiver come down with the catch. In all fairness, the throw by Moore to Marshall in the first was perfect. Later, Asomugha was beat by Brian Hartline for a 24-yard gain in the fourth. Other than that, he didn't get much action.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie - I didn't notice it during the game, but he only played nine snaps. Rodgers-Cromartie made the most of his time on the field though. He had decent coverage on Marshall on a first-quarter incompletion. And he made a good tackle on Marshall after a 1-yard gain on 3rd-and-2 in the fourth. Later, Rodgers-Cromartie made another good one-on-one tackle on Bush after a 9-yard gain on 3rd-and-26 in the fourth. Overall, this had to be the secondary's best tackling effort of the season.
Joselio Hanson - He played 34 snaps. Didn't notice Hanson give up much in the passing game. He got run over by Bush on a 10-yard run in the third. And Hanson was called for roughing the passer, blitzing from the slot in the fourth.
Nate Allen - He did a good job on a couple of deep balls. Allen helped Rodgers-Cromartie on a third-quarter incompletion in the first. And he broke up a pass intended for Marshall in the end zone in the fourth.
Kurt Coleman - Good game from Coleman. He tackled Thomas after a 4-yard run in the first. He came up with a big interception, closing on the ball, making the catch and returning it all the way to the Dolphins 1 yard line in the second. It's tough to tell who was at fault on the 21-yard completion to Fasano in the second, but the Eagles left a big hole behind Matthews and in front of Coleman. Excellent job by Coleman, tackling Bush short of the first down on 3rd-and-9 in the third.