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Philadelphia has a fierce pass rush led by DE Gabe Nyenhuis, who led the Soul with 9.5 sacks during the regular season and had a league-high 12.5 tackles for loss. He is not overly physical and his athleticism won't dazzle you, but he is tenacious, never quits on a play and uses his hands well. A lot of his production comes late because offensive linemen can't seem to match his ability to play to the whistle. San Jose is vulnerable on the edges to tenacious rushers like Nyenhuis and it will have trouble containing him. On the other side, DE Kevin Carberry is a young, developing player without great stats, but he is a steady guy and will keep Gant or Thomas busy. A big key for the Soul will be the play of Save. He is a strong, interior rusher with solid experience and gets an excellent inside push. He had 5.5 sacks during the regular season, which is impressive for an inside guy. His matchup with Loney will be an important one to watch. Loney is an excellent technician with great hand use and Save is an aggressive, move-the-pile guy who plays with leverage. If the pocket collapses, Grieb could be in serious trouble. Philadelphia also gets good pass rush production Jack linebacker Anthony Dunn, who collected five sacks during the regular season. As a whole, the Soul posted a very respectable 24 sacks. Part of the success of the guys up front is due to an excellent secondary with good cover skills. The Philadelphia defensive backs make is to tough for receivers to separate and because of their tight schemes, QBs are forced to hold on to the ball an extra second or two, and that gives the guys up front extra sack time.
Gary Horton, a pro scout for Scouts Inc., has been a football talent evaluator for more than 30 years. He spent 10 years in the NFL and 10 years at the college level before launching a private scouting firm called The War Room.