The call was somewhat surprising, given the fact that linemen from both teams had been doing the same sort of thing throughout the game. On this particular play, Coples didn't shove back his man with the same kind of aggression as Brandon Graham did earlier in the game when he looked like he was trying to snap D'Brickshaw Ferguson's head back like a pez dispenser. This wasn't even the most egregious example of Coples himself doing that, because he had done it earlier in much more aggressive fashion while double teamed on a stretch run.
Coples didn't register much pressure, only once getting to Bradford when he stepped up, but it was hardly surprising because Coples only actually got a chance to rush the passer eight times. As I mentioned in the previous article, the Jets ran a lot of 3-3-5 personnel groupings which meant that Coples did not start and only played half of the snaps. Even when they went to 4-2-5 it was primarily with Calvin Pace and Muhammad Wilkerson as the ends. This wouldn't be a match-up issue because although the Eagles have good tackles, Coples got plenty of reps - and did well - against two good tackles in Joe Thomas and Anthony Castonzo. I wonder if Coples was being punished because of comments he made during the week about how easy it is to slow down the Eagles' offense.
Coples did make a handful of nice plays against the run, but was driven off the line a couple of times, including on Darren Sproles' short touchdown run.
Also in the firing line is Demario Davis. On the face of it, Davis had one of his most productive games ever, with 13 tackles - many close to the line - and a fumble recovery. However, he was burned for a touchdown on a wheel route, had a costly unnecessary roughness penalty, gave up another big first down in zone coverage and was caught up in traffic on a few plays in the running game. He also got pancaked badly on one other run.
The Eagles set Davis up for that touchdown pass, not - as the announcers said - with the earlier wheel route which was dropped - but with an earlier route to the flat. On the flat route, Davis closed on the receiver and he dropped it with Davis set to make the tackle anyway. On the touchdown, the route started with the same angle and Davis closed in similar fashion, but Mathews kept going upfield and Davis no longer had an angle on him. The wheel route in between those two plays which was dropped was a different coverage and the receiver was open because both Davis and safety Calvin Pryor covered the man in the slot where one of them should have gone with the back.
On yet another wheel route late in the game, David Harris was burned in similar fashion for another drop. I'm sure this is something they'll work on a lot in practice this week. For Harris, that was a rare mistake in another pretty good performance. He stuffed several runs, made a couple of plays in coverage and forced a fumble. Harris totalled 10 tackles and almost had an interception too.
Pace did a good job of setting the edge but had a pretty quiet game overall. He did record two pressures, although he was unblocked on one as Sam Bradford threw the ball away.
On the inside, it seems like Erin Henderson and Jamari Lattimore are taking turns in regard to who gets defensive reps. This week was Henderson's turn but he didn't do much.
Finally, it was fantastic to see Lorenzo Mauldin back out on the field so soon after his head injury. Mauldin recorded his first NFL tackle and also had a hit on Bradford after he was flushed from the pocket by interior pressure.
Next up...with the Eagles barely getting to 100 passing yards, the secondary must have been doing something right, but they didn't do everything right...