Behind Enemy Lines: Eagles personnel

The Bears will head on the road this week for a big NFC matchup on Monday night. We take an in-depth look at the roster of the Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago's Week 9 opponent.

OFFENSE

Offensive rankings
Points scored: 9th (25.6)
Total offense: 1st (449.3)
Rushing offense: 1st (179.9)
Passing offense: 9th (269.4)

Skill position players
QB Michael Vick; RB LeSean McCoy; TE Brent Celek; WR Jeremy Maclin; WR DeSean Jackson; WR Jason Avant

There isn't a player in the league quite like Mike Vick. His arm strength, combined with his ability to scramble, is unmatched in the NFL. He's a dual threat who can beat opposing defenses with both his arm and his legs. Against San Francisco earlier this season, Vick become the first player in NFL history to throw for more than 400 yards and rush for 75 yards in the same game. Vick's 200 rushes of 10-plus yards are the most by an NFL quarterback since 1994. He holds eight different NFL records, all rush-related quarterback marks.

Yet as deadly as Vick is, McCoy may be harder to stop. He has outstanding speed and is unnaturally shifty. His ability to change direction on a dime is similar to the great Barry Sanders. He's second in the league is rushing yardage (754), first in carries of 10-plus yards (29), second in total touchdowns (10), first in first downs (58), first in rushing average (5.6) and fifth in yards from scrimmage (892). He's dangerous through the air as well and has the fourth most receptions in the NFL by a running back since 2009.


WR DeSean Jackson
Hunter Martin/Getty

Celek has been a staple in Philadelphia's lineup for five years now. His production slipped earlier this season, yet the past two games he's caught 11 passes for 136 yards and 2 TDs. He runs good routes and has good hands. His size (6-4, 255) and strength make him tough to bring down after the catch.

Maclin and Jackson are brutally fast receivers. Jackson is a big-play threat every time he touches the ball. Of his 28 career touchdowns, 20 have covered 30 or more yards. Since entering the league in 2008, Jackson leads the NFL in yards per catch (18.2) and touchdowns of 50-plus yards (14). Maclin currently ranks 9th in the NFL in catches (40) and 10th in yards (543). He's a versatile, explosive wideout. Avant is a six-year veteran possession receiver. He's a threat on 3rd downs, having converted 53 of his 62 career 3rd down catches for 1st downs. He's third on the team with 31 catches.

Offensive line
LT Jason Peters, LG Evan Mathis, C Jason Kelce, RG Danny Watkins, RT Todd Herremans

Peters is a four-time Pro Bowler and three-time All Pro. He has good lateral quickness in pass protection and uses his powerful lower base to move defenders in the run game. Mathis is a journeyman guard who started just seven games the previous four seasons. He has average size, strength and athleticism for an interior offensive lineman. He's not overpowering inside and relies more on toughness and technique.

Kelce and Watkins are both rookies. Kelce has started every game this year and has had bouts of inconsistency. Watkins wasn't named the starter until Week 5 and has just three games of NFL experience under his belt. He played left tackle in college at Baylor, so he's still adjusting to playing guard and has struggled. Herremans played five years for the Eagles at left guard before being moved outside this past offseason. He's an athletic blocker who has done well protecting Vick's blind side.

DEFENSE

Defensive rankings
Points allowed: 14th (21.7)
Total defense: 11th (330.6)
Rushing defense: 19th (118.3)
Passing defense: 10th (212.3)
Turnover ratio: -7 (28th)

Defensive line
LDE Jason Babin, DT Cullen Jenkins, DT Mike Patterson, RDE Trent Cole

Cole is a two-time Pro Bowler who makes a living putting pressure on opposing gquarterbacks. He has the third-most sacks in the NFL since 2006 (56.0). He's a high-motor player who has 15 multi-sack games in his career. He's a speed rusher that is explosive off the edge and shows great burst to close to the ball. He has 4.0 sacks so far this season.


DE Trent Cole
Drew Hallowell/Getty

Babin's 9.0 sacks this year are third most in the NFL. He's had a career resurgence the past two years and is third in the league in sacks since 2010 (21.5). Off the edge, he's extremely fast and has very quick hands. He struggles against the run though and has hard time holding his ground.

Jenkins was one of Philadelphia's many free-agent signings this past offseason. He spent his first seven seasons with the Green Bay Packers. He has strong hands and uses them well to control blockers at the point of attack and does a good job restricting running lanes. He's exceptionally strong and uses his power well when getting after the quarterback. Since 2010, Detroit's Ndamukong Suh is the only defensive tackle in the league with more sacks than Jenkins (12.0).

Patterson is a stout, dependable defensive tackle who excels against the run. He's a short, stocky player with excellent initial quickness, balance and body control. He plays with a great motor, toughness and energy. Inside, he's very tough to move.

Linebackers
WLB Brian Rolle, MLB Jamar Chaney, SLB Moise Fokou

This is the weakest area of the Eagles' defense. Rolle is a rookie who is undersized (5-10, 227). He's a smart player who tackles well and is athletic enough to chase down ball carriers. Yet his inexperience leads to plenty of mental mistakes. Fokou is a second-year starter with great range. He struggles at times in coverage though and shows mediocre awareness in zone calls. Chaney is another young, smaller-sized linebacker. He has just nine NFL starts under his belt but is improving by the week. He leads the team in tackles (53) and knockdowns (6) and has an interception as well. He has difficulties in man coverage but he shows well in zone sets. In general, this group is lacking in experience, although not in athleticism, and can be exploited both on the ground and through the air.

Secondary
CB Nnamdi Asomugha, CB Asante Samuel, CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, SS Kurt Coleman, FS Nate Allen

Asomugha and Rodgers-Cromartie are offseason additions that, combined with Samuel, make up the deadliest trio of coverage corners in the NFL. Asomugha is widely considered the best shutdown cornerback in the league. He's a three-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro selection. He only has 13 interceptions in his nine-year career, but that's because opposing offenses are afraid to throw his way. He's a big corner (6-2, 210) with great speed and foot quickness. He is effortless when flipping his hips to turn and run with receivers deep. He's at his best in press coverage, where he uses his hands well in jamming pass catchers off the line.

Samuel is an eight-year veteran who's been to four Pro Bowls. He's a playmaker with outstanding instincts and ball skills. He has excellent speed, quickness and burst to close on the ball. His 43 career interceptions rank him fourth among all active players. He has returned eight of those picks for touchdowns.


CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Kevin C. Cox/Getty

Rodgers-Cromartie came over from Arizona as part of the Kevin Kolb trade. He has excellent dimensions for the position (a lanky 6-2, 182) along with top speed, agility and body control. His 16 interceptions since 2008 is fifth highest among NFL cornerbacks. He's still young and is susceptible to double moves but he typically excels in man coverage. He's being used by Philadelphia mostly out of the slot.

Allen and Coleman are both second-year players. Allen is a ball hawk who has four interceptions so far in just 17 starts. He also picked up two sacks as a rookie. Coleman is undersized for his position (5-11, 195) but makes up for it with his exceptional strength. He's strong against the run and picked off three passes in Week 6 against the Washington Redskins.

SPECIAL TEAMS

K Alex Henery, P Chas Henry, KR Ronnie Brown, PR DeSean Jackson

Henery is a first-year player who has struggled a bit his rookie season. He's made 13 of 16 field goal attempts, yet his long on the season is just 38 yards. Henry, also a rookie, has been very inconsistent as well. He ranks 28th in the league in average yards per punt (42.2) and his three kicks inside the 20 rank him 32nd.

Philadelphia has struggled in the return game this year. The team ranks 28th in average kickoff return yards (21.1) and 30th in yards per punt return (5.2). The team has been so desperate on kickoffs that they've inserted 30-year-old Ronnie Brown, who has never been a kick returner in his six-year NFL career. Yet Jackson is still dangerous as a punt returner. He ranks 2nd in the league in punt return yards (1,154) since entering the league in 2008. He's returned four punts for touchdowns and earned a trip to the Pro Bowl in 2009 as a return specialist.

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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.


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