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Defensive Line Analysis vs Panthers


The Eagles defensive line bent at times but didn’t break against the Panthers. They were able to keep the Panthers 2 headed monster in DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart at bay surrendering 67 yards on 24 carries. On the Panthers third offensive series of the game, they put together an 11 play touchdown drive that saw success running the ball. The Eagles defensive line at times did not do a great job with controlling 2 gaps. In a 3-4 defense the defensive line as different responsibilities of a 4-3 line. In the image below is an example of Cedric Thornton getting pinned inside which opens the lane for Jonathan Stewart to run in. Thornton must stay square to defend both outside gaps and then shed the offensive line to make the tackle.


Fletcher Cox (DE)

Cox was solid against the run as he controlled his responsible gaps and made the Carolina Linebackers bounce the run. He finished with 4 tackles but made a much bigger impact. I always say that when the defensive line can help with getting a pass rush it will make everyone’s job easier. Cox is the only defensive lineman the Eagles have that with the necessary speed and moves to get a pass rush.  On the play below Cox was able to get a great jump off the line of scrimmage (image 1). Notice the other defensive lineman still on the line of scrimmage and Cox is 2 yards up field using a swim move to beat the left guard. Image 2 shows Cox finishing the play and making the sack on Cam Newtown.

cox sack 1


cox sack 2

Bennie Logan (NT)

Logan was inconsistent against the Panthers. There were times when the Panthers center #68 was able to turn Logan and open up the Panthers running back to run in the A gap (image 1) which is Logan’s responsibility. Then there were times when Logan did a great job of shedding the center to limit the Carolina Panthers running back to a short gain (image 2). He finished the day with 3 tackles.  Logan has played well of late but just needs to get more consistent to be one of the elite NT in the game.

logan bad

logan good

Cedric Thornton (DE)

Thornton just like Logan was inconsistent.  There are times when Thornton shows glimpses of greatness like in image 1 where he does a great job controlling bother gaps while tacking on the double team to make the tackle on the running back for one of his 3 tackles on the day. Then there are times when he ends up 3 yards down the field. If he can limit these plays it will greatly help the defensive line’s production.

thornton good play

ced bad


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