• January 17, 2022

Castillo, Babin and The Eagles Defense Step Up Against Jets

Domination. In a must-win game for the Eagles, they put together one of the most impressive performances of the season and kept their slim playoff hopes alive. The Birds jumped on the Jets early en route to a 28-0 lead and the outcome was never in doubt. The much-maligned defense swarmed to the ball all night and completely overshadowed the hyped Gang Green defense of New York. Juan Castillo developed a great game plan of new coverage schemes and blitz packages that rattled Mark Sanchez and the Jets offense.

No matter what the Jets threw at the Eagles defense, they responded by shutting it down. The interior triangle of Mike Patterson, Cullen Jenkins, and Jamar Cheney held Shonn Greene, Tomlinson and the rest of the New York running game to only 3.5 yards per carry. And after the Birds had jumped out to the huge lead, they forced the Jets to throw the ball.

This played right into the hand of defensive end Jason Babin and the Eagles’ pass-happy defense. The former Titan recorded another three sacks, raising his total to 18 for the season. Howie Roseman signed the one-time first round pick to a huge deal this offseason to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and that is exactly what he has done. The journeyman is not just a typical down lineman, though. On one of his takedowns of Sanchez this week, Babin was in a standing position behind the defensive line at the snap.

Thank Castillo for this one; Rex Ryan’s team was not prepared for the formation. The offensive line coach turned defensive coordinator has received a myriad of criticism this season, and rightly so. But in recent weeks he has vastly improved. He has put his team in better position to make plays, although his job security is still very much in question.

With Babin and the rest of the defensive line getting constant pressure on the former Southern Cal quarterback, it made it an easy day for the secondary. Nnamdi Asomugha, Asante Samuel, and DRC shut down the Jets’ wide outs and held Sanchez to 150 yards passing. The defense even got the scoring started when Juqua Parker recovered a fumble forced by Kurt Coleman and Casey Matthews and returned it 47 yards to the house.

Later, Curtis Marsh  made a mistake on a punt return for the second straight week and gave New York the ball deep in Eagles territory. The youngster was hit by the football while trying to block one of the Jets.  Luckily, Asante picked off a Sanchez pass intended for Santonio Holmes and completely turned the tide of the game. The Birds drove down the field, went up by two scores, and never looked back.

Say what you will about Asante’s tackling, the Central Florida product is a gamer. Unlike Desean Jackson on the other side of the ball, Samuel has given his all despite a contract dispute. He is always around the ball and making plays. The former Patriot always plays with effort and a swagger that is not seen with the rest of the defense.

Will this victory ultimately become fruitless? Maybe. But with two weeks left, the Eagles’ season does mean something. With two wins and some help, the Birds can actually make the playoffs. Although an 8-8 season is certainly not what the Philly faithful had in mind in September, fans throughout the Delaware Valley and beyond will be able to spend Christmas Eve rooting with family against the dreaded Dallas Cowboys in a must-win game. At this point, that is all you can ask for.

Mark Hazlett

From Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Student at SI Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

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14 Comments

  • Where are all those Babin haters that said he was a BUST?! Where are you clowns? F’n idiots. Come here and eat your crow!

    And how about that damn Casey Mathews eh? Coming into his own!

  • Birdo – in the haters’ defense (yep, I typed that intentionally) – I believe the word ‘bust’ wasn’t used as it usually specifcally only refers to draft picks. I believe what they were calling him was a ‘one year wonder’ at which point I told them that they were stupidly making an assumption and incorrectly using the phrase ‘one year wonder’ because its really only a phrase that you can accurately apply in retrospect, you can’t say it before a second year begins. Case in point.

    But birdo you know that I support the purpose of your message

  • B o B – we must now refocus our efforts not at our ‘fellow’ fans who seem to want to spend much time disparaging the team – but on the true enemy – the Cowboys… Yes, it is Tony Romo week – a chance for Romo to cinch the NFC east and a home playoff game (don’t know if tru – just trying to build up) – Mr Romo must be punished – he must be planted, he must become part of Babin’s rush to break Reggie Whites season sack record –

    2 solid D outings – can we get the third?

  • soory – did I say Reggie White – isn’t he chasing Strahan? Help – what record is babin chasing now – he needs 5 to ctach STrahan right?

  • Birdo- im right here and have been eating crow. let me explain my position a little.
    1) I wanted someone bigger in size. I was worried about stopping the run. i wanted edwards but had babbin as my #2 or #3 wanted DE.
    2) I didnt want the birds to grab a DE and let the CB spots go again. I never thought the birds would go “all in”. now….. that odd part here is that I had been saying the birds were going “all in” and Pman said no. i never ever thought that we would land NNamdi, DRC AND a big cost DE.

    I was wrong. am fully aware of this and if you look at my comments from back then… i was PRAYING i was wrong from day 1.

  • Stevo — all is forgiven.

    Schiller — touche.

    Navy — Babin needs 21 to tie Reggie. RIP. 22 breaks it!

  • now……. i want to see trent cole wake up a little this week and see bows flying all over the place. id love to see trot slide in on a play and see some ax’s and bows all over. Im trying to think of a name for the move that DRC does… you know the one… when he’s pissed at somwething and gives up….. he throws his hands in the air. Think ill call it the “rollercoaster”.. im trade marking that ladies.

  • for the record on babbin. we need to get him help against the run. WE NEED LB’S. if they dont see this going into next year they never will. It HAS TO GET DONE. We need vets here. I wanted Tulloch and i was RIGHT about that one.

  • Thanks BoB –

    Notes from the news – Peter King put Babin on the NFL D player of the year canidate list –

    Philly.com man up on the D gave Cole some props for his run defense –

    DRC – lloked solid playing for Asante when hurt – I think that may be our CBs next year – DRC #24 and Hanson – but did see Asante at least get in the way a few times (loved the pick as well)

    Stevo – no worries – all focus on the Cboys this week – waiting for another Romo choke -ex

  • yes navy. I like DRC more thaan most. If he can stop doing the “coaster” i think he will be a fine corner. We clearly have 3 outside corners and need help in the slot.

    trade ASAM for a MLB please. .

  • Samuel’s Contract make him virtually untradeable..
    He’s due to make $9.5 Million in 2012 and $10.5 in 2013..
    No team is going to pick him up at that kind of Money and give the Eagles a good player or High Draft Pick in Return, teams know this and he will bcome a Free-Agent and make a new 3-4 Year Deal with Bonus $$$ up front (Cowboys come to mind) and eventaullay will see his $$$ but not from the Eagles and not $20 Million over the next 2 Seasons from any Team..

  • Actually, people need to first be focusing on the Jets beating the Giants. If the Giants win at 1:00, Eagles’ season is officially over.

  • Paul, that’s why Samuel will be released, at years end. I hope Babin breaks Blowmo in half. I hate the f^#@ing Cowgirls. Not the cheerleaders. 🙂 At the very least, I have something to watch on Xmas eve, rather than getting aggravated by family, that I don’t want to converse with. BWAHAHAHA!!!
    Happy Holidays to all of you, if I forget! Be safe, God bless!

  • I agree about Babin. Whoever called him a bust, was wrong on that. Even though he is one dimensional, no one can argue the sack totals that he is accumulating. Dude is going nuts right now. 6 sacks in 2 games is crazy.
    B o B, don’t get carried away with Matthews. Just because he finally made a couple of tackles, in game FOURTEEN, doesn’t change the fact that he blows!

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