<
>

The Eagles' patient pass rush

9/15/2011

Interesting breakdown (as usual) by Sheil Kapadia on the Philadelphia Eagles' pass rush from Sunday's game. The Eagles said they would blitz less this season and work on generating pressure with their front four. So Sheil's checking up to see how that's going. He's got charts that show how many snaps each linemen played and how they fared (in terms of sacks, hurries and quarterback hits) in the number of pass-rushing opportunities they had. Some highlights:

Before he left the game with an injury, Darryl Tapp was cashing in at an extraordinary rate. He had a sack and two hurries among his eight pass-rush opportunities and was on the field for just 17 total plays.

Jason Babin had two sacks and two hurries in 18 pass-rush opportunities and, as he said he would in training camp, is loving the freedom that line coach Jim Washburn gives him to think about nothing else but getting to the quarterback.

Trent Cole played 69.7 percent of the snaps, down from 89.4 percent last season, which is part of the Eagles' plan. They're going to ask more from Cole and the other linemen in terms of activity while on the field, so they'll use their impressive depth at the line positions to rest guys by getting them off the field a bit more.

Antonio Dixon ranked third among defensive tackles with 26 snaps, well behind Cullen Jenkins' 44 and Mike Patterson's 42. But I agree with Sheil that we should expect to see more of Dixon if teams have success running the ball against the Eagles. Dixon had injuries during the preseason, and they might be easing him back in. But I don't know how many times they can count on "opposing Pro Bowl-caliber running back pulls a leg muscle in the first quarter" as a method for getting better against the run as the game goes along.