November 08, 2017
It's not a secret in the NFL that when defenses get chances to lay big hits on opposing quarterbacks, they are going to take them, and try to make them hurt.
The Eagles do not hide their intent to punish quarterbacks who try to run against them.
So far this season, the Eagles have done an outstanding job in the run game stopping opposing running backs, who have carried 133 times for a paltry 383 yards (2.9 YPC) and 3 TDs. However, opposing quarterbacks have been effective picking up rushing yards on scrambles. So far this season, the Eagles have played five games against opponents with quarterbacks that have some running ability. Here is what those quarterbacks have done on the ground against them so far this year:
|Kirk Cousins, Redskins||4||30||7.5||0|
|Alex Smith, Chiefs||4||21||5.3||0|
|Cam Newton, Panthers||11||71||6.5||1|
|Kirk Cousins, Redskins||3||18||6.0||0|
|C.J. Beathard, 49ers||6||40||6.7||0|
While the Eagles would surely prefer not to give up yards on the ground to quarterbacks, they don't seem to mind them picking up yards against them as much as they would an opposing running back. That's because they view quarterback scrambles as opportunities to dish out pain.
"You hit them really hard when they break the line of scrimmage, because now they're a running back," said defensive line coach Chris Wilson, when asked how you stop an opposing quarterback from running. "They're going to have those. Any time you're blocking four on five, those opportunities are going to happen, but when the quarterback now breaks the pocket, we want to be clean, but get good solid tackles on the quarterback. They're not running backs, so those are the opportunities where we can get nice clean plays on them."
The Eagles' next opponent is the Dallas Cowboys, who are led by the athletic Dak Prescott. In 24 career games, Prescott has rushed 83 times for 477 yards (5.7 YPC) and 10 TDs. If he runs against the Eagles two Sundays from now, Prescott would be wise to slide.
On the 28 quarterback runs the Eagles have faced so far this season, they have dished out a high number of good hits on the quarterback, which we'll show below, in gifs (in chronological order):
This is a violent collision:
On another scramble to the right, Jenkins tries to make Cousins pay, as he pulls him to the ground by his head and neck (without grabbing the facemask or anything else illegal):
A closer look:
Here, Alex Smith doesn't like that Patrick Robinson hit him, but Smith is fair game if he dives head first.
Newton is clearly already going to the ground on a tackle by Rodney McLeod, but Jenkins gets a forearm into Newton's ribs on his way down.
This really should have been a touchdown for Cam Newton on review, but Bradham got over quickly to make a play and get a shot in on Newton as he was about to score. Newton was hurt on the play and wasn't the same player the rest of the game.
That reminds me a little of the play by Brian Dawkins on Michael Vick in the playoffs back in the day, when Dawkins crushed Vick as he was scoring on a run. If you get a chance to get a hit on the quarterback as he's scoring, light him up.
Kirk Cousins is probably happy he won't see Malcolm Jenkins again this season.
In case you haven't noticed already, Malcolm Jenkins seems to take personal offense at quarterbacks trying to run the ball.
A close-up look at that one:
This was one of the ugliest QB sneaks I've ever seen, and credit Beau Allen for making the play in the middle of the defense. Still, watch Kendricks fly around the end and put the final touches on this play with violence once there's nowhere for Beathard to go.
And finally, here's Brandon Graham hustling in pursuit of Beathard and laying the wood when he tracks him down.
Dak Prescott, scramble at your own peril.
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