• January 20, 2022

The Eagles Pass Rush Dominated As Defense Finally Forced Some Turnovers

Nine sacks and three forced turnovers for the Eagles defense versus Miami.  The quarterback sacks kept the Dolphins off balance all game long, but it was the three turnovers and a safety which put the team’s offense in position to score and led to the victory.  It wasn’t a coincidence that the tunovers were forced in the second quarter of the game, which also happened to be when the offense scored 24 points.

The Eagles two Pro Bowl defensive ends Trent Cole and Jason Babin were hunting quarterbacks on last Sunday during the game against the Dolphins.  Once Pro Bowl offensive tackle Jake Long went down with a back injury, there was nobody in the Miami lineup who could stop either one of them.  They did any and whatever they wanted to do. The battle against the Jets will be a much tougher job because the New York running game must be stopped to force the Jets to throw the football.

Before the game was over, Cole and Babin each had three quarterback sacks.  I’ve said many times that the NFL is a passing league and most of the time, sacks of the quarterback kill drives and many times causes turnovers as well.

“It lets me know that those plays probably helped those drives, because when you’re sacked, it’s a drive killer,” Babin said. “If you look at the percentages, if that helps the Eagles win, I’m happy to do it.”

Babin now has 15 sacks this season, while Cole has nine.  If Cole can get another one, the two pass rushers will be the first pair of Birds defensive ends to reach double-digits in the same year since Reggie White and Clyde Simmons back in 1992.  They will be the first pair of Eagles defensive linemen to reach double digits in sacks in the same season since Eagles defensive end William Fuller and defensive tackle Andy Harmon were able to each come down with at least ten sacks in 1995.  It’s not an easy accomplishment.

They’re not getting a great deal of help from the Birds defensive secondary.

This week during the Eagles-Jets game, we’re going to get the chance to see Nmandi Asomugha on one side and Darrelle Revis on the other.  There was a time when experts were arguing whether Revis or Asomugha was the best cornerback in the NFL.  I don’t see how that argument can be made anymore.

I’ve rarely seen a cornerback look so awkward and unathletic as Asomugha.  Did you see him on the touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall?  If he had turned and looked for the football, he could have picked it off.  Asomugha isn’t comfortable doing anything but rolling up in the face of wide receivers and jamming them when they try to come off of the line of scrimmage.

Big plays by both Babin, Kurt Coleman and Asante Samuel proved to be the key plays of the football games.  Babin stripped Matt Moore of the football and the Birds recovered.

Coleman picked off a pass and took down to the Dolphins one-yard line, to set up a score. It was his fourth interception of the season.  The interception was caused by Darryl Tapp’s pass rush.  Tapp’s pass rush also helped Phillip Hunt record a safety in the second half.

Samuel stripped a Miami receiver of the football, then recovered it to put the Eagles in position for another score.  Samuel who isn’t known for his tackling did a great job of getting the football out of receiver’s hands, then getting on the football.  It was a great play.

Babin’s pass rush got the ball back for the Birds after rookie cornerback Curtis Marsh fumbled on a throwback play involving DeSean Jackson.  Babin came inside on his pass rush and went for the football.


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  • “Play-offs? Play-offs?” ….Jim Mora

    The Eagles don’t even deserve to say the word.

    The illusionist has been exposed as the knucklehead that he is…

    It’s time to move on..

    3 NFL coaches have been fired with more to come.

    Andy Reid is nothing special and should be shown the door.

    His lack of production from 1st rounders and fundamentally flawed personal are reason enough.

    Miami’s QB stinks to high Heaven. An offensive line coach could have called the defense that day. Oh that’s right…We actually have one running our defense.

    The Jets Will run the football. If you think Seattle had a field day running, then the Jets should do the same.

    Let’s take Andy off of life support and do the honorable thing.

    Send him off to the “Biggest loser” show where he can put himself in “a better position to win.”

  • another stupid article….

    the Eagles dominated because the Dolphins OL was hurt and backups were starting along with JP Losman….. against solid lineman, the Eagles suck!

    Trent Cole doesnt show up until he plays inferior talent… OVERRATED!

  • I agree G-Man about CB Asmo..
    he is not very good technique wise and has a horrible habit of turning his back to the QB and never knows when the ball is coming and therefire is unable to make plays on the Ball.. He looks lost and plays with worse technique than
    Ellis Hibbs and Dmitri Paterson did which is really saying something…
    I think the Coaching from Seconday Coach Lynne has been poor to begin with, but I put the blame squarley on Asmo of his underachivinh play this year.. Eagles were suckered and bought into the hype that was Asmo and didn’t do their due diligience and meanwhiles more Physical CB’s that I wanted the eagles to pursue like Carlos Rodgers (now on 49ers) and Richard Marshall (now on Cardinals) are having All-Pro Seaons with their new teams..
    Asmo is a good guy and I am pulling for him, but I don’t see the “All-Pro” talent in his style and technique of play, I just don’t.. He’s very flawed..

  • Interesting fact, can anyone guess without looking???? Only NFL team to win a Super Bowl in the 1980’s,1990’s,and 2000’s?

  • I’ll give you a hint!!! it’s not the Eagles

  • Steelers,

  • or the Giants..

  • Giants, good job Paulman

  • Doing football research yesterday and compared Super Bowl winner season rankings (Offense and Defense points,yards,passing yards,Int, rushing att,yds, etc) against the Eagles.

  • Paulman, I’m worried about Asmo as well. We paid him a crap ton of money and it will suck if he’s not who we thought he was.

  • not worried about Nnamdi as long as the coaches allow him to play to his strengths…
    But what is really bothering me, is how we give a 5mil contract to Steve Smith, who gets injured on the plane ride into Miami? WTF? And we wonder why DJAX is mad…

  • Probably about $10-$12 Million spent on Steve Smith, Vince Young and Ronnie Brown..There’s your cash to lock-up D-Jax and maybe even to help extend McCoy..
    I thnik Asmo is a big key to this Eagles Defense getting it turned around for next Season.. If he doesn’t return to his Pro-Bowl Form and level of Play.. This Defense next Season will probably look a lot like this years version which is not very good.. I see them moving or releasing Samuel and replacing him with DCR which I think is about a wash productivity wise.. so if Asmo doesn’t get it going, then the Eagles Secondary is not all that good considering the Safety play..

  • RT – a serious question…. how the heck do you build a team, any team, in any situation, especially wiht 53 people on it, if you have to build the ‘team’ to match each individuals strengths? Nnamdi is a defensive back in the NFL – getting paid assloads of money – to – wait for it – be a defensive back in the NFL – he is not being asked to play linebacker, offensive tackle or run the ball – he is being asked to cover wide rcvrs and TEs and occasionally tackle people – someone else wrote today the offense isn’t designed to Vicks strengths – well the same could be said for not building it to the OL strength or the RBs strength or the WRs strength or Celek is being asked to block (what a TE block) – so how do you build a TEAM to one persons strength (lets say we have a really GREAT QB all world – maybe best ever) and we build our offense to his strength……..) what happens if that person gets hurt? – Maybe you end up 0-13 and up shit creek?

    Coaches ‘allow’ him to play to his strengths – but lets ship Asants off because his strength is to sit back (and he only plays left side CB) and read the QB..

    sorry – not buying it – never have never will – you pay a CB to cover WRs – Zone, Press, man to man, I didn’t here or read anyone on here going ‘Dmitri Patterson is better in a press then in a Zone – if the Eagles used him more to his skill set’

    for all you ‘demanding’ fans – start ‘demanding’ that our million dollar FA start performing and stop giving him the easy ‘oh, if only the coach lets him do only the one thing he will be fine’

    and for the record – I like #24 – I think he’s a solid corner – just tired of this – let’s see who we like can we can make excuses verse who we hate so we can blame them – I have seen #24 get burned in man, in press, and in Zone (and yes, Castillo and Reid put him in position to make the play – he just got beat by the rcvr)

  • I dont know, Paulman…Teams seem to have a different respect for Asante than many fans do. Teams seem to throw at Nnamdi a bit more than Asante, from what I’ve seen this year…anyone know, how many times each of these guys have been thrown at this year, thus far?

  • One last thing that bothers me with Asmo is that I keep seeing the same mistakes over and over and especially in the Red-Zone, He just doesn’t have any idea of where the ball is and as a NFL CB, you have to know where and when the ball is ocming, I’ve seen many times poor coverage angles and just a total loss of his Receiver behind him in the End-Zone and this is not bad Coaching, this is poor Coverage.. The miscue’s I have seen from him are a resuilt of poor positioning,timing and ball recognition and none of these seem to be a Scheme or Coaching problem in my opinion…

  • Good points Navy. I’m hoping Nnamdi is just having a down year; maybe even an adjustment year. DRC concerns me as well. He really just doesn’t give a shit.

  • @navy – true indeed…
    But the problem in my opinion has been, the need for Castillo to move his defensive players all around the field…With the corners we have, why would you not play them to their strengths? what did Nnamdi do in Oakland? a lot of press coverage, up in the WR face…how do we use him…off the line of scrimmage, allowing WR’s to get started on the routes…
    When Nnamdi was brought here, I heard things like, we’re gonna use him like a Woodson….Is that fair to Nnamdi? I dont think so…he’s not Woodson, he is Asomugha…same thing with Matthews, we start him at LB as if a rookie would come in and make a serious immediate impact…in fact Castillo was infatuated with Matthews because of his brother…
    you know i’m not the type that likes to blame this person or that person…But the reasons for this defense struggles starts with the defense coordinator…He has been working on fundamentals since the start of the season…Just because we see Nnamdi in zone or playing a LB spot, doesn’t make the call the right one…and in my opinion, Castillo has failed to make proper in game adjustments the majority of games this year…

  • We all know Super Bowl winners are usually #1 or #2 in either Offense or Defense. For example
    Packers #2 Defense 2010
    Saints #1 Offense 2009
    Steelers #1 Defense 2008
    Colts #2 Offense 2006
    Steelers #2 Defense 2005
    Patriots #2 Defense 2004

  • Eagles Offense and Defense point stats
    Off #15 2011
    Def #20
    Off #3 2010
    Def #21
    off #5 2009
    Def #19

  • Good points RT.. You knew (or should have known) what Nnamdi offered by watching him play in Oakland. The reason you “play to his strengths” is because you gave him a shit ton of money. Dimitri Patterson did not make that kind of money or come with the same “reputation”. I would say that the Bronco’s play to Tebow”s strength. The Packers play to Matthews strength. The Giants play-action style is to Manning’s strength. I agree Nnamdi has been a dissappointment, but it was with his signing that the Eagles declared they were “all in.” You don’t build a team to play to all 53 players strengths. But when you invest tons of money into players you have identified as the building blocks of your team, it makes sense to play to their strengths. We didn’t even need another corner after the DRC trade.

  • #18
    #27 2005
    #2 2004
    2004 or Sb year …this is the point.. we were #2 on D like Sb winners but we were #31 in rushing Att, #24 in rushing yds
    seems like Sb winners are #3 or # 4 while we are #15 or #23 in important stats
    I am not going to say fire Reid, but if he stays how can he get #1 in Off or #2 in Def, Int, Rushing stats,,,,i sick of he’s trying or it’s not him it’s his players,,,, he picked the players didn’t he??

  • i can understand being cocky and being #1 Offense and never running and still losing but never changing but we are never #1 or 2 in points we were 3 one time and usually 6 or 7 Off and 20 Def the last 8 years, i understand being 20th 2004 cause it was reid 4 or 5 th year , but we should have been improving since then and i am considered a hater so be it, but don’t care who coaches the next ten years just have #1 Off or Def and sack QB with LB, OH and 65% passing by pocket QB we will be ok

  • Tonto – first off – good shit – I like the fact you took the time to put together some interesting stuff – no emotions – just some munbers and let people make up their own minds – I happen to think Reid had in mind his offense would be off the charts and his D would be built to keep teams from being able to pass a whole bunch to stay up – didn’t really happen that way did it….. hate it when a plan does NOT come together

  • RT – BTC – valid points – I like our CBs – I think this has been a tough year all the way around – when things go bad, they just tend to spiral downward – Paulman – thanks for those insights – I agree that soemtimes 24 gets himself out of position – .. I think DRC will be fine – I do think Asante will be traded after the year.. probably before the draft for picks – I think that has to do with is salary more then his play –

    I think DRC and #24 with the recent draft picks and Hansen are the CBs – Allen, COleman and Jarret will be back with either a FA signing – and I think the Eagles will sign a FA LB and use one of the top 2 picks on an LB.

    I am not as ‘down’ on the D (or Castillo for that matter – he is a rookie DC – and he has performed as a rookie DC) as some – I think we are 1 LB and 1 SS away –

    And RT – honestly – from what I remember – especially early in the year – the Eagles D started strong but the O made adjustments late (maybe I have Atlanta and San Fran on the brain)

    BUt – and a big but – if the current Eagles offense stays the same (yes, understand Djax issues) – and the eagles can upgrade LB and S for next year? What is the atittude about that team (the players not the coaches)?

  • 3-4 Big Decisions to make for Eagles Defense moving forward and decisions I bleieve need to be made pretty quickly after this season is over and definitely by Draft Time/Free-agency period..

    #1) Get a new DC ?? Who and what Schemes, Is starting all over again with a new Straff something Coach AR wants to do knowing it’s do or die for him in 2012 and maybe doesn’t have that luxury of time on his side or does he attempt to tweak and add a few players and hope for Improvement from everyone with a full off-season behind them to prepare… (Don’t be Surprised if no changes are made on the Defensive side of the ball and especially if the Eagles Defense plays well these last 3 weeks..attribute it to growing pains)

    #2) What to do with CB Samuel, his large contract amount that kicks in for 2012 & 2013 which will pay him approx $20 Million Total over both Seasons will most likley limit any trade partners who will agree to take on that large amount of $$$ for a soon to be 31 Year Old CB// We all know Samuel is a sensitive and if word is out about Trading him, he will most likley sulk until he’s gone.. but with his Contract I would be very surprised if Eagle can find a trading partner and the best thing for everyone would be trade him Draft Weekend and idf unable to do so, then cut the chord and release him making him a Free-Agent and availalbe to make his own new deal with whomever
    They cannot let this situation to linger

    #3) Who to add at SS – This Defense needs a stud at Strong Safety..
    Last years 2nd Round pick will make a nice back-up/special teams player but is not physically big or fast enough to be an everydown Starter in the NFL.. Maybe the Eagles will select Safety Mark Barron from Alabama and te top Rated Safety in this years Draft with thier 1st Round Selection. He 6′ 2″ – about 225 lbs and a perfect fit for a SS on this Defense and a real leader type or go out via Free-Agnecy.. I know they have invested 2 2nd Round Picks ibn the last 2 Seasons, but Allen & Jarrett are not the answer and the one player this Eagle Defense has missed the most was the steady, reliable Quniton Mikell.

    #4) Who to add at the LB positon… There is no doubt that the LB Position is the least talented position on the entire Roster and needs some upgrading, the good news is that this years Draft is filled with good LB Prospects
    A good thing to remain positive, is that Chaney,Rolle and Matthews are all very young players who have gotten a lot of experience this Year and hope to all get a littlle stronger and improve as players..but I still believe that 1 to 2 LB’s needs to be brought in to upgrade the position ..

  • Paulman, the way I view it, who cares about starting over with a new defensive coordinator; can this defense really get that much worse? I feel like they can only get better. We have some very talented guys on the defense but as a unit, they are just awful and I blame that are scheme and coaching. I like our front 4 but Cole, Babin, and Jenkins will all be 30-31+ years old next year. Trent Cole seems to start out on fire but fizzles quickly around mid season.

  • Pman – agreed – my prediction – no changes to coaches – asnate gone for picks – birds will first look for S in FA – I think they go hi in the draft for an LB and pick up a veteran as a FA

  • @Everz – I totally agree….

    ” We didn’t even need another corner after the DRC trade.”

  • @Navy – totally agree, the defense played well at the start (well the secondary played much better early on) We’ve seen inconsistent showings from this defense all season. The one constant we’ve had is the front four. I am down on Castillo, I expected more from this defense overall…even though it was his first year…I’m not saying he should be fired, although it wouldn’t bother me if he is…But I’ve stated a few times, that Castillo may be a great coach, creating a game plan, studying film etc….but he would struggle with in game adjustments being his first year. Do I think Castillo will do a better job next year? yes, I do…Do I think he will be a great DC, I hope so…..But honestly my main problem is this…(I coach 11th grade AAU boys basketball) so I’m speaking from experience….If I’m new coach, and I have new players, I have to come to a medium and not throw the entire kitchen sink at my team, especially when we have had only one practice and one pre season game…just way too much in too little time…trying to be a little too cute and fancy on defense if you ask me…how many sacks do we have from the LB core? I dont think many…I truly believe had this defense played better and the DC been better at making in game adjustments, this team wins the majority of the games in which the team led in the 4th quarter…I’m not disregarding the offense performances, the turnovers has been a killer no doubt! Everyone on this team players, coaches all have played a part…but Nnamdi has been successful way too long, for me to realistic believe that he is the sole problem…I think Castillo has helped assist his struggles, thats all..

  • RT – 1st off – good on you for getting out there with the kids – I am ref’n hoops this year for the first time and way different from FB and lax. For me it is way out of my comfort zone but I am settling in and getting better – I am strictly a Freshman/JV level – lot going on – but good for you for helping the kids out and being there.

    on Castillo – looks like they are gonna ride that horse to the end – honestly – 3 teams the D should be able to handle – lets see how they do – if at the end of the day they can come up with 4 strong D performances (and I will agree not exactly stopping NE, NO and PEyton Manning) something to build on –

  • Too bad the D has been taking the heat all year

    Check out the woeful performance of the O in the 2nd half in their losses

    Maybe if they stayed on the field and let the D get a break some of those games would have been won

  • @Navy, thats whats up! …I’m thinking about getting into ref’n too…can make a nice amount of change on the side…especially at the level you’re ref’n from what I hear.

  • I pull about 52 a game for HS level JV/Fresh girls or boys – so you can grab about an extra 150-200 a week – then the wife can’t get too upset when I head to the local sports bar on Sunday to watch the birds or go by my favorite new thing she swears I don’t need! GReat part is if you need a week during the season you just block the time – when your coaching you can’t bail for a week or two mid-season – some dudes get all into the summer leagues and stuff..

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