Here's the player-by-player breakdown of the Eagles' defensive performance during their win against the Colts on Sunday.
Juqua Parker- Parker started and played well. On the Asante Samuel interception in the first quarter, the entire line got good pressure on Manning - Parker and Trent Cole off the edge and Mike Patterson and Antonio Dixon up the middle. Parker batted down a Manning pass in the first, and he hit Manning on a third-quarter throw. He also did a decent job against the run, dropping Donald Brown for a 2-yard loss in the third. He had a chance for a second tackle for loss on the very next play, but couldn't make the play.
Brandon Graham- I'll break down the snaps in a later post, but Graham played more than any other defensive lineman except for Trent Cole. He lined up mostly at left defensive end but saw a snap or two inside. Graham hit Manning in the third to force an incomplete throw and got to him again on a second-down throw in the fourth.
Mike Patterson- As usual, he played both left and right defensive tackle. Patterson and Trevor Laws combined to stuff Brown on 3rd-and-1 in the first quarter, forcing a punt. He hustled to bring Brown down after a gain of 5 in the first. There was a strange play in the second where Patterson looked to be covering Brown on a 20-yard completion. I'm not sure if that was by design or if Patterson just saw Brown release into his route and started chasing him.
Brodrick Bunkley- The Eagles eased him in as Bunkley played 20 snaps in his first action since the injury in Week 5. Bunkley made a nice read on a WR screen, tackling Reggie Wayne after a 1-yard gain. He twisted outside, and Cole twisted inside on a fourth quarter play where they both converged on Manning.
Antonio Dixon- Only Bunkley played less snaps than him on the defensive line. That was for a couple different reasons. One, the Eagles were playing a passing team. And two, Bunkley was back, taking away snaps from him. Dixon did a good job clogging the middle in the first, forcing Brown to cut back for a gain of 3. He lined up as a defensive end in the third on one play as Cole and Parker moved outside. The Eagles' run defense was good as the Colts averaged just 3.3 yards per carry.
Trevor Laws- Laws had some good moments. He and Patterson combined to bring Brown down on the 3rd-and-1 play in the first, forcing a Colts punt. Laws fought a double team and got in Manning's face on the play where Stewart Bradley was called for pass interference.
Darryl Tapp- McDermott lined him up all over the place. Tapp would often stand up at the line of scrimmage and not show whether he was blitzing or dropping back until the ball was snapped. Or he would wait and then rush up the middle. On one play, he lined up at left defensive end and tackled Austin Collie for a 1-yard loss. Tapp went right around the left tackle for a sack in the second quarter, rushing from the right defensive end position.
Trent Cole- As usual, he was active and creating havoc all game. The Colts tried to block him with a tight end a couple times. Bad idea. On one play, he stopped Brown after a gain of 1. Later, he dropped Brown for no gain. Cole lined up all over the place too. In the third, he stood up inside and broke through to pressure Manning on a third-down throw and help force an incompletion. In the third, he got good pressure off the edge and forced Manning to step up and throw incomplete. He grazed Manning's head on a 4th-and-18 and was whistled for a penalty to give the Colts a first down.
Stewart Bradley- Colts tight end Jacob Tamme had 11 catches for 108 yards, but I didn't think Bradley did that bad of a job on him. Bradley made a good tackle in the first after a 4-yard Tamme completion. He broke up a pass in the third and had good coverage on a second-down throw in the fourth. Bradley was called for a 19-yard pass interference penalty where he didn't turn around and make a play on the ball on the Colts' first touchdown drive. And on another play, it looked like he got lined up with wide receiver Blair White on a 33-yard completion. Bradley and Cole stopped Javarris James after a 3-yard gain during the Colts' second-half touchdown drive. That was big because it forced Indy to use more clock before punching it in.
Ernie Sims- Pretty active game for Sims. He dropped Brown for a 1-yard loss in the third and sacked Manning on a blitz in the fourth. McDermott didn't call off the blitzes altogether. Sims went after Manning 15 times. He was called for a defensive holding in the fourth, giving Indy a first down.
Moise Fokou- With the Eagles rarely in their base defense, Fokou was only on the field for 15 snaps. McDermott had a package where he lined Fokou up as a fifth defensive lineman. In another package, he and Bradley were the two linebackers as Fokou dropped back into coverage. Don't remember seeing either of those packages at all previously this season.
Keenan Clayton- He was active for the first time all season, playing three defensive snaps. Clayton lined up opposite Collie in the slot in the second quarter, like a defensive back. He made a tackle on Wayne after a 6-yard gain in the second. Clayton probably could have been called for pass interference on another play, but the refs instead whistled Dimitri Patterson for illegal contact. Clayton was flagged later for running into the kicker on special teams.
Asante Samuel- I'm not sure we're properly appreciating the kind of season Samuel is having. The back-and-forth between Manning and Samuel was the most interesting part of re-watching the game today. Manning went after him on his first two pass attempts - an incompletion and an interception. He then stayed away from him for much of the game until the end. Overall, on throws in Samuel's direction, Manning was just 2-for-8 for 15 yards. On the final play, Samuel and Quintin Mikell switched places so Samuel could freelance and read Manning. He did just that, coming up with his second interception of the day. I gave this stat yesterday, but it's worth mentioning again: Manning had been picked off just twice in 299 attempts before yesterday. Samuel is now tied for second in the league with five interceptions on the season. But it's not just the INTs. He's not giving up anything to opposing receivers on the left side of the field.
Dimitri Patterson- Consider this: Manning completed the first seven passes he threw in Patterson's direction. But he only netted 52 yards on those throws. The rest of the game, Manning went just 2-for-6 for 12 yards throwing in Patterson's direction. Two notes here. One, Patterson's goal was simple. Don't allow big plays, and keep everything in front of him. He did that, making tackles on Wayne after gains of 3, 4 and 6 yards. And he improved as the game went on. Manning went after Patterson, looking to connect with Wayne in the end zone twice at the end of the first half, but came up empty both times.
Joselio Hanson- Hanson also had a solid game. He lined up against Tamme in the slot on the first-quarter Samuel interception. Hanson and Patterson were the base corners when Samuel went out for a series in the first quarter. Hanson made a good tackle on White after a 3-yard gain in the third, forcing a punt. Interestingly enough, the Colts moved Wayne to the slot in the fourth quarter, matching him up against Hanson.
Trevard Lindley- He played a series in the first half in the nickel package with Samuel out.
Nate Allen- He got injured after the 19th defensive play from scrimmage and appears unlikely to play next week. It's been a rough few weeks for Allen after a great first six weeks.
Quintin Mikell- Decent game from Mikell. He was in the middle of the controversial hit on Collie. Mikell was called for a legitimate facemask in the second. He broke up a pass intended for Tamme in the end zone in the second quarter. And on the final play, Mikell switched places with Samuel at the last possible moment, acting as a corner.
Kurt Coleman- He was in the middle of the Collie hit too, making what appeared to be inadvertent helmet-to-helmet contact. Other than that play, Coleman wasn't around the action much. The coaches praised him, so we'll take their word for it - for now. Coleman is likely looking at his first career start next week against the Redskins.