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December 11, 2015

Fletcher Cox repeatedly destroying the Patriots' offensive line, in gif form

Eagles NFL
121115FletcherCox Steven Senne/AP

Fletcher Cox harassed Tom Brady all day last Sunday.

Against the Patriots last Sunday, Fletcher Cox had the following stat line: 3 tackles (1 solo), no sacks, no forced fumbles, no fumble recoveries, no interceptions, no batted passes, and no tackles for loss. And yet, on that day, Cox may have been the best player on the field.

Speaking about Cox's game against the Pats, defensive coordinator Bill Davis said, "He was winning one-on-ones. He really was. Those guards were struggling with him. We move Fletch around. We move them all around, but we move Fletch around to any matchup that we see fit. Inside on the guards, he was beating them quick. They were one-move wins and he had a big game."

Davis noted that Cox was more than likely the reason for one of the Eagles' two biggest plays of the game, the 99 interception return by Malcolm Jenkins. "On the big return, the move he made on the interception return for touchdown was why the ball was thrown [where it was thrown]. It was a bad ball that [Brady] threw, but he had to make the quick decision because here comes Fletch." 

Here's that play, from Cox's perspective. Poor No. 67, like all the Patriots' interior offensive linemen that day, is beaten like a rented mule:

On the season, Cox's numbers are good, but certainly not eye-popping by any stretch. He has 42 tackles (27 solo), 5.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbled, and 2 fumble recoveries. And yet, Davis mentioned Cox and "defensive MVP" in the same sentence without sounding like an insane person.

"I think he's having an outstanding season," said Davis. "If he had the sack numbers to match his pressures, we would be talking about him for defensive MVP. He's having that kind of an effect. He's just not getting the sack numbers for whatever reason. I've been around that before, too, and that's why I don't put a whole lot of stock in [the sacks]. Are you making the quarterback come off his spot? Are you breaking his rhythm like you did the other night? Are you making the quarterback throw before he wants to throw or [making him] throw inaccurately?"

Here are some disruptive moments from Cox from the Eagles-Patriots game that show the effect he can have without putting up numbers, presented without further commentary:


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