Eagles Defense vs. Rams Offense

St. Louis is getting some amiable production out of an unproven quarterback. Can the Eagles defense find a way to bottle up this modest sensation?

Austin Davis vs. Eagles Pass Defense

The youngster isn't setting the world on fire, but in his first active duty of a three-year career, Davis has some quality numbers to make a case with. In two and a half games, Davis has completed 68 of 94 passes for 754 yards, leading the league with a 72.34 completion percentage. Three dropped passes unfairly hurt Davis' impressive accuracy numbers.

Even more impresive, Davis has been accurate deep, completing seven of 12 passes beyond 20 yards, gaining 219 and a touchdown on such throws. Had Davis played the entire game against Minnesota, there's a good chance he'd have thrown for 900 yards on the season after three games, impressive for a relative novice in an unproven offense.

Davis has fared well in play action for his short career, completing 16 of 22 passes for 117 yards yards, a touchdown, and a pick. The lack of passing yards out of the fake indicates a preference for screens. Standing back on obvious passing plays, Davis has thrown for 637 yards and two scores against two picks.

Five different wide receivers on the Rams have caught one pass each beyond 20 yards, and none bigger than Brian Quick's 51-yarder against the Cowboys. Big plays from Kenny Britt, Austin Pettis, Tavon Austin, and Chris Givens show Davis' familiarity up and down the depth chart, a benefit of being penciled in as a back-up.

A big part of Davis' efficiency has been a strong battery on the blindside, with Jake Long and Rodger Saffold playing strong in pass protection. The weakest pass protection comes from right guard Davin Joseph, allower of five hurries and a sack in three games.

The Eagles pass rush finally woke up on Sunday, although its potency seemed limited to the first half. Trent Cole, Connor Barwin, Vinny Curry, Casey Matthews, and Brandon Graham combined to provide those four sacks, a big part of keeping Colin Kaepernick in the hole early.

Cole in particular has been revitalized in the 3-4 defense. Sunday will be his 32nd birthday, and he's managed to get six hits, six hurries, and 1.5 sacks across the first four games.

The pass coverage is where the defense gets spotty. Aside from the incredible upgrade of Malcolm Jenkins at safety, and Brandon Boykin in the slot, it's still a disaster downfield. Cary Williams has yet to have a game this season where he's been monstrously productive, and Bradley Fletcher, while he played better against the 49ers, still reeks of ineffectiveness from his performance against the Redskins.

Mychal Kendricks is likely to remain out this Sunday, and his buzzsaw tendencies through the middle will still be missed. Despite decent pressure, Matthews and the underrated Emmanuel Acho aren't playing at the near-Pro Bowl level that Kendricks was displaying in his first two weeks of the season.

Zac Stacy vs. Eagles Run Defense

Stacy ultimately won the 'Replace Steven Jackson Sweepstakes' in St. Louis, easily leapfrogging the likes of Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson. Stacy paid off his promotion with 973 yards and seven touchdowns last year, while averaging a shade under four yards a carry.

The compact Stacy hasn't rushed for 100 yards this season, but has ever never had 20 carries in a game; the compact bruiser peaked with 19 against the Buccaneers. Stacy does double as a capable receiving threat, catching five balls for 54 yards against the Cowboys.

Stacy's most frequent deference back is Benny Cunningham, a fellow mid-sized power back, that has disappointed in three games, carrying just 20 times for 65 yards. Generally, the line is very strong in the run, particularly behind right tackle Joe Barksdale. Jamming the middle is fairly futile against the run, especially as Stacy is finding most of his space outside.

Frank Gore really had his way with the Eagles run defense on Sunday, cutting them to ribbons with powerful runs through the middle. Never mind Kaepernick's striding scrambles; Gore bruised his way to 119 yards, the first 100-yard rusher the Eagles have allowed since November 3 of last year (Rashad Jennings).

Still, the Eagles are only allowing 4.02 yards per run on the season, aided largely by their efforts against Toby Gerhart and Alfred Morris. Still, the team clearly needs Kendricks back; Casey Matthews has a dud. DeMeco Ryans seems to be wearing down, having to shoulder more of the load.

One positive has been the play of Emmanuel Acho, re-signed after Najee Goode went down for the year, and was pressed in with the injury to Kendricks. Acho created four stops for losses against the 49ers, and has a good nose for the football. It's astounding that the Eagles kept Matthews over Acho at the end of the summer, until you remember that Matthews went to Oregon.

Statistics from Pro Football Focus were used to write this story.

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