Eagles fans will be justifiably upset at the officiating in this game, and it took until the penultimate play for the contest to be decided. Credit has to go to Sean McDermott and his defense, which forced Peyton Manning to have his first negative pure passing grade with us since Week 10 in 2008.
The Eagles’ offense moved the ball incredibly well between the 20s but just couldn’t find a way to get into the end zone on a consistent basis. Manning was frustrated by the inability to go deep (just one pass completed beyond 20 yards), which is especially surprising considering rookie FS Nate Allen was forced to leave the lineup early due to injury.
Colts: Three performances of note
Its days like these that you wonder whether it would be worth investing in OTs despite the brilliance of Manning. Left tackle Charlie Johnson (-5.1) and right tackle Ryan Diem (-5.6) put forth a shocking display of ineptitude. They combined to give up two sacks, two hits and eleven pressures to a combination of Trent Cole, Juqua Parker, Brandon Graham and Daryl Tapp. Johnson — two sacks, one hit, seven pressures — continued a poor season and ranks in the bottom 15 percent of qualifying OTs. Neither player redeemed himself with his run blocking.
If there’s one area of the offense that should provide the Colts with hope, it’s the improvement of RB Donald Brown (+2.2). Given his opportunity with injuries to both Joseph Addai and Mike Hart, Brown took full advantage. His play in the run game was particularly impressive, collecting a +1.8 rating despite what initially appear to be poor numbers (15 carries for 50 yards, 3.3 average). Despite sub-standard blocking, Brown was able to gain 50 yards after contact and force two missed tackles. He also caught all three of the balls thrown his way for 47 yards.
DLE Robert Mathis (+3.8) was impressive and DRE Dwight Freeney (-3.4) struggled. Mathis was a consistent terror on the QB’s blindside (against southpaw Mike Vick), adding one sack and seven pressures to go to his season total of 35 QB disruptions. Freeney, on the other hand, was uncharacteristically quiet. He accumulated a mere two pressures in 33 rushes. In less surprising fashion, he was also poor against the run (-2.4).
Eagles: Three performances of note
After a couple of weeks out with injury, LT Jason Peters (+2.6) didn’t look rusty at all. He had a perfect game in pass protection despite the QB dropping back 40 times, and his run blocking (+0.9) was above average. One area Peters still needs to work on is penalties — he committed another false start. Considering Mathis’ good day, it is unsurprising that RT Winston Justice (-4.4) struggled. He gave up five pressures and committed a further two penalties.
Cole’s performances no longer surprise us, but one that did was that of Graham (+3.8). Returning from injury and getting more snaps than incumbent starter Parker (42 to 36), Graham showed some of the pass-rushing skills that led to the Eagles trading up for him. Playing predominantly at DE but getting occasional snaps at DT, Graham collected three hits and four pressures against the Colts in 31 rushes. He also wasn’t a liability in the run game (+0.1), as has been the case before.
One area the Eagles cannot be happy with, however, is the LB position. Stewart Bradley (-3.7) was especially poor in the middle. Although he made nine tackles and one assist, mere two of those were stops and he also missed three tackles. In coverage Bradley continues to struggle (-1.3), allowing seven of 11 passes to be complete. He did save his day somewhat by batting down two balls.
Fifth-string RB Javarris James got 12 snaps in the offense and scored two TDs. … Jacques McLendon got five snaps as a blocking TE. … Receiver Blair White (-0.7) failed to do a particularly good Austin Collie impression. … On the defensive side, Pat Angerer played all but one snap (67) and was especially good defending the run (+1.6, seven tackles with four stops). … Jerry Hughes (-1.6) got 14 snaps at defensive end but struggled against the run and didn’t register any pressure. … Defensive tackle Ricardo Matthews got three snaps in goal-line work. … Cornelius Brown returned kickoffs and received seven snaps on defense, mainly in the dime.
Riley Cooper (11 snaps) saw his role reduced with the return of DeSean Jackson. … Kurt Coleman (+0.7) replaced Allen (+0.3) at safety and did a serviceable job in all facets of the game. … Keenan Clayton (+1.1) was impressive in just five snaps, while fellow mid-round pick Trevard Lindley got three snaps when Asante Samuel was sidelined with an injury.
With a QB rating of 29 when targeted, Samuel ranks first in the league of all CBs who have played at least 50 percent of snaps. … Every Colts offensive lineman gave up at least two QB disruptions.