Previous Grade: A-minus
Remember how I said the DBs were ball-hawks in the first quarter report? That hasn’t changed a bit, as the Eagles are third in the NFL in interceptions and tied for the league lead in total takeaways.
The starting corners have four picks between them in the last four games, and Asante Samuel is on pace for double-digits and another Pro Bowl berth.
Meanwhile, their backup, Joselio Hanson, is becoming a solid nickel corner.
They do have their problems, though, as the pass defense has slipped to No. 11 in the league and is entirely too susceptible to giving up big plays.
Samuel has shied away from contact more than ever lately, and seemed especially wary after a hard hit to the head in the Dallas game. Those traits make one wonder if there’s a head, neck, or shoulder issue that’s got him leery of making a hit.
Sheldon Brown still falls for the double move way too much, even against bad receivers, and Hanson is very prone to getting burned by speedier slot receivers.
While it’s feast or famine outside, the boys inside have done very well for themselves.
Quentin Mikell has been solid and is second on the team in tackles, but it is Sean Jones who has really come out of nowhere to become a major contributor.
Stepping in for an injured Macho Harris, Jones has 17 tackles in the last three weeks and has been excellent in coverage. He even recorded a sack against Dallas and has made all the plays.
Quintin Demps has also seen more time after not recording a tackle in his first five games, and he notched his first career interception against the Giants. He looks like he’ll never be much more than a fourth safety/return guy (see also JR Reed), but at least it’s a role he can finally handle.
While the turnover ratio helps their cause, the pass defense has slipped a little and so does their grade.
Overall Grade: B-plus