Eagles Teammates of the Week: The Front Seven

Rob Carr

Philadelphia's defensive improvement can be attributed to solid play from their front seven. This unit really showed up in the Eagles' 24-16 victory over the Washington Redskins.

Each week here at BGN we are highlighting the Eagles Teammates of the Week. Previous winners include: the duo of Fletcher Cox and Cedric Thornton, the Nick Foles to Riley Cooper connection, and the combination of LeSean McCoy and the run blocking he received from the offensive line. This week, we shift the focus back to the defensive side of the ball.

The Eagles' front seven really showed up on Sunday. For a large portion of the game, RG3 did not look comfortable, and for good reason. But it wasn't just one player getting the job done. Connor Barwin had a vicious sack/fumble, which is a play I already highlighted here at BGN today.

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Beyond that, Trent Cole returned to form with two sacks. Rookie nose tackle Bennie Logan looked like a beast out there. In this one game he accomplished way more than veteran Isaac Sopoaga ever did. Najee Goode filled in well enough for Mychal Kendricks. The duo of Cox and Thornton were as beastly are ever. And so on. The whole unit seemed to play strong together.

Take a look at the numbers - (data via ProFootballFocus.com)

LDE Cedric Thornton - 1 QB hit, 2 QB hurries, 5 takes, 4 stops
NT Bennie Logan - 5 QB hurries, 2 tackles, 1 stop
RDE Fletcher Cox - 2 QB hits, 1 QB hurry, 4 tackles, 1 assist, 4 stops

LOLB Connor Barwin - 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 batted pass, 4 tackles, 3 assists, 3 stops
LILB Najee Goode - 1 sack, 2 batted passes, 3 tackles, 3 stops
RILB DeMeco Ryans - 6 tackles, 1 assist, 2 stops
ROLB Trent Cole - 2 sacks, 2 QB hurries, 1 tackle, 3 stops

Even rotational players made contributions. Brandon Graham blew up Redskins RB Alfred Morris in the backfield with a crushing hit. Vinny Curry made a key tackle on an RG3 scramble up the middle the play before RG3 was sacked by Barwin.

Washington's offense felt the effects of this pressure. RG3 was sacked 4 times for a total loss of 28 yards. He mustered a 81.1 QB rating and only completed 49% of his passes. In the rushing attack, Alfred Morris was held to 93 yards on 22 carries. That's a 4.2 average - which is the second lowest average Morris has earned in a game this year.

The Eagles defense has much improved from how they were performing earlier in the year. With the front seven playing well, the improvement shouldn't come as a surprise.

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