Earlier this week, Reuben Frank did a nice job breaking down the defensive running game numbers against the Giants last Sunday. As Frank noted:
Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs combined for just 39 yards on 17 carries, and although Eli Manning’s 16-yard scramble skewed the final rushing stats a little bit, the Giants still finished just 19-for-61 rushing, a season-low 3.2 average per carry.
I went back and looked at the game tape, and the Eagles were nothing short of stellar against the run. It was an absolute swarm of Eagle defenders on every run play. The longest run of the night (a 16 yard run by Bradshaw) was aided by an obvious missed holding call by Chris Snee. If you take that run away, you're looking at 16 carries for Bradshaw and Jacobs for just 23 yards (1.4 yards per carry). That is domination, pure and simple.
A commonly stated theme regarding the Eagles defense is that they are "undersized," and I'm not inclined to disagree with that assessment. After all, Ernie Sims and Moise Fokou are listed at 230 and 236, respectively, at the outside linebacker positions. Stewart Bradley lists at 258. Trent Cole and Brandon Graham are listed at 270 and 268 at DE. Darryl Tapp is also listed at 270 as a DE. Even guys like Mike Patterson at 300 and Trevor Laws could be considered smallish at 300 at 304 for NFL defensive tackles. The only player you might consider hefty by NFL standards is Antonio Dixon, at 322 pounds. The thinking regarding the Eagles smaller defensive personnel is that they're susceptible to the run. In the following game film (which includes every Giants running play), watch the Eagles' team speed on defense swarm and gang tackle, absolutely shutting down the Giants' running game. Sit back, relax, and enjoy. This is great stuff: