Saturday, December 12, 2009

Saturday Night's Alright for Posting


Reuben Frank had a great article yesterday on our run defense.


Here's the highlights:

The Eagles for a third consecutive year are among the NFL's best at stopping the run. With four games left in the regular season, they're No. 7 against the run after finishing No. 4 last year and No. 7 in 2007.

The Eagles are 8-4 but 6-1 when they hold their opponent to less than 100 rushing yards. They've held opposing backs to 3.8 yards per carry - which is No. 5 in the NFL. And they've now gone 22 consecutive games without allowing a 100-yard rusher, which is remarkable considering that in the 59 games immediately preceding this 22-game streak, they allowed 20 backs to surpass 100 yards. Only the Vikings (37 games) and Steelers (30 games) currently have longer streaks without allowing a 100-yard back.

The Eagles are on pace to allow 78 rushing first downs, which would be their fewest since 1992. They're also on pace to allow 1,581 rushing yards, which would be their third-fewest since 1992 but also their third straight year under 1,600 (or 100 per game).

A few years back we had Dhani and Darwin and couldn't stop anyone. Now we've gotten so good against the run that we almost take it for granted. The improved run defense starts with the DTs. Patt and Bunk don't have great numbers, but they control the middle of the line on a regular basis. That makes it much easier for the LBs and DBs to flow to the ball and make tackles.


Brian Westbrook and Kevin Curtis are starting to practice. What can we expect from them? I think Kevin is still mainly an insurance policy. When he's 100% Kevin is a good player. I just happened to see a couple of highlights from last year's NFC title game and one of them was a slant that KC caught and turned into a gain of 47. We'll see if he gets on the field or if he's still a work in progress.

Westy is a guy that I want back. Shady deserves to stay the starter and primary RB. Westy is still a guy that you want to get on the field for some passes and even a few run plays. He hasn't had a great year, but he still has his moments. He is good at helping with the blitz. He is still really good on screen passes. Westy is also dangerous down the field as a receiver. We don't yet know if McCoy can do that.


There has been quite a bit of shuffling recently so I decided to post the updated list:

OG Dallas Reynolds - looked good this summer ... can play C or G
OT Gerald Cadogan - good LT at Penn State ... could play G or T
WR Jordan Norwood - limited player ... small ... more quick than fast ... longshot
WR Dobson Collins - good size (6'2) ... good RAC ability ... lacks top speed
TE Martin Rucker - excellent receiver
FB Joel Gamble - I don't know a thing about him ... from Shippensburg

CB Chris Roberson - corner with some potential
SS Reshard Langford - looked good at times this summer ... has potential



Cliff said...

The run defense is yet another testament to how this team has evolved over the Reid era. It might take a few seasons, but once Reid identifies a weakness, he's done well improving problem areas.

Run defense is one example. Our wide receivers is another. Last season we saw how seriously Reid took Special Teams (primarily the return game) after that Reno Mahe debacle. You can also see how management has focused on upgrading the running game, too.

But yeah, didn't we go through a span where we allowed something like 8 straight 100-yard rushers? Love me some Broderick Bunkley.

Tommy Lawlor said...

I still remember the joy of the 2006 draft. When BUF took Donte Whitner at #8 I thought we had a shot at Bunk. I was ecstatic when we got him. I was happy with Justice in the 2nd. I was absolutely ecstatic with Gocong in the 3rd. I was watching with a couple of buddies. When we moved up I was yelling at the TV that this better be for Gocong. My buddies had no idea who he was. The pick was announced and I was going crazy. He hasn't become the kind of player I hoped for, but Chris is a key part of our rugged run defense.

Cliff said...

Ha. That's funny because I had the opposite reaction. I was disappointed we didn't try to move up a couple spots to get Ngata. I thought Bunk was just going to be another underachieving, overhyped FSU player. I thought for sure Justice would have more of an impact than Bunk.

Glad I was wrong. Just goes to show how foolish first reactions are to the Draft.

Cliff said...

I should add that I have an ingrained bias towards all things FSU.