Posts Tagged ‘Connor Barwin’

High flying Eagles offense takes on stingy Seahawks D in huge NFC matchup

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog





Birds VS

The Seattle Seahawks face the Philadelphia Eagles at the Linc today for a huge NFC showdown. Who will prevail?

The NFL’s top-ranked defense will meet a soaring Eagles offense, fourth in the league and cruising at 416.2 yards per game. Philadelphia’s Thanksgiving beat down of the Cowboys showed a Birds team firing on all cylinders, ready for their most critical matchups of the season. With the o-line finally finding its footing with the return of Jason Kelce and Evan Mathis, LeSean McCoy has had back-to-back games of  100+ yards.

The Seattle D allows a stingy 285.8 yards per game. Seattle is third-best against the passing attack, allowing just under 200 yards. And against the run, they have allowed just 86.3 yards per game.

While an excellent team, unlike the 2013 iteration, the 2014 Seahawks have revealed themselves to be fallible, standing at 8-4. As much as you hear about the team’s defensive threat, their offensive weapons are limited. Seattle averages just 192 passing yards a game, as quarterback Russell Wilson doesn’t have many targets. Doug Baldwin is the team’s leading receiver, who does a solid job but doesn’t send opposing defenses quaking at the mere sound of his name. The real concern for the Eagles is on the ground, both with Wilson and running back Marshawn Lynch. Lynch’s nickname of Beast Mode tells the tale of his prowess in the rushing attack. Connor Barwin will look to continue his streak of QB sacking after receiving Defensive Player of the Month honors, and Mychal Kendricks will have something to say about Lynch running all the turf at the Linc.

The big story of the game will be how the Eagles’ passing game holds up against Seattle’s secondary. Earl Thomas is one of the best safeties in the league, and Kam Chancellor won’t give the Eagles an easy time of things. Jeremy Maclin is having the beast season of his career, and Richard Sherman is just waiting to shut him down. Can’t you hear him mouthing off already? But the problem with Sherman is that he has the numbers to back up the talk. He has 23 interceptions since 2011, the most in the NFL. The next closest player has 8 fewer.

It will be critical for Mark Sanchez to not do too much this game, as we know he has a propensity to turn the ball over. He needs to play smart, lean on his teammates, and not make mistakes at critical points in the game.

This is going to be a good one, ladies and gents. The kind of stressful, heart-pumping Sunday affair that makes us love football. In the end, the many weapons and dimensions of the Eagles offense will outshine Russell, Lynch, and the famed Seattle D. Eagles 26, Seahawks 21

Extra: Will Shady surpass Wilbert Montgomery as the Eagles’ all-time rushing leader this game? He’s just 48 yards away. The legend himself hopes it happens today.

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Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

Connor Barwin on award: ‘People are taking notice of our defense’

Friday, December 5th, 2014

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog





Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin had a hell of a November. He was a sacking beast, leaving opposing quarterbacks little chance to remain on their feet. His feats were noticed around the NFL, with Barwin named as the NFCCB Defensive Player of the Month on Thursday.

It is the second time that Barwin has received the honor in his NFL career, the first with the Eagles.

In Barwin’s five games in November, he recorded 6.5 sacks, 24 tackles, and a forced fumble. The highlight of his performance for the month came in Philadelphia’s 45-21 win over the Carolina Panthers on November 10, where Barwin alone racked up 3.5 sacks on Cam Newton.

And how about this honor: Barwin is the first Eagle to be named NFC Defensive Player of the Month since Brian Dawkins won the award in December of 2008.

Barwin saw the accolades as a validation of the performance of all of his teammates on defense.

“It’s a representation of people taking notice about how well we’re all playing on defense…That Dallas game, it was the three guys on the interior who won every single matchup that game. That’s what’s good about (the award). People are starting to take notice of our defense as a whole.”

Looking forward to what you’ve got to show us in December, Connor Barwin and the entire Eagles defense. Congratulations!

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Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

Preview: Eagles seek to throttle Titans

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog






After the beating the Philadelphia Eagles received from the Green Bay Packers last Sunday, the Titans are the sort of opponent the Birds hoped to see. It’s no secret that 2-8 Tennessee isn’t a very good team. 7-3 Philadelphia should beat them handily. They need to get another win in the books to fully shake off what happened in Green Bay, and then focus all attention on their next task: Beating the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day. 

But there is another game to be played between now and then. Offensively, there is no comparison between the teams. The Eagles average 406.8 yards per game, fourth best in the league, while the Titans put up almost 100 yards less with 309 per game. There’s only one team in the league worse than that, and it’s the Oakland Raiders. Tennessee puts up just 16.8 points per game, as opposed to the Eagles’ 29.9 points.

The Eagles will face Zach Mettenberger, the Titans’ third signal caller this season. The rookie is completing almost 62% of his passes and has 5 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. The most targeted receiver on the squad is Kendall Wright, who has 43 catches for 473 yards. However, tight end Delanie Walker tops Tennessee with 512 receiving yards. The likes of Connor Barwin and Vinny Curry will bring the pass rush, which should be too much for Mettenberger and the Tennessee offense to bear.

In the running game, rookie Bishop Sankey is the go-to man. Though averaging just 3.5 YPC, he’s rushed for least 50 yards on the ground in four of their last five games. Bennie Logan, Fletcher Cox and Cedric Thornton will continue to be strong defenders against the ground attack.

Defensively, the matchup is far more comparable between the teams, much to Philadelphia’s chagrin. Tennessee is ranked 21st in the league overall, allowing 370 yards by opponents, while the Eagles have an even worse 26th defense overall, allowing 378 yards each game.  The Titans are decent against the passing attack, ranked 9th in the league. And that’s not just on paper: Tennessee can and will bring the pressure, so Sanchez must adjust accordingly.

In the ground attack, the only team with a run defense worse than the Titans are the Giants (ha!). Much of the season has been filled with statements like, “the Eagles have got to get LeSean McCoy going. This team isn’t very good against the run, surely he’ll gain traction.” And yet, it rarely happens. Shady said this week that, “ I feel like we’re almost there.” Well,  if you are, then a fine time to debut the fully completed feat would be against the 31st run defense in the league. Currently averaging a meager 3.7 YPC, no one knows better than McCoy that he is long overdue for a breakout performance.

The Eagles should handily come out the victors in this contest, unless, of course, they beat themselves. Which they’ve come close to doing far too many times this season. Philadelphia is currently in sole possession of a title that no one wants – they lead the league in giveaways with 25. The number for the entire 2013 season was 19. The Birds must stop giving away the ball in order to have the best chance to win.

Tennessee comes to Philadelphia facing a home team eager to put the humiliation of a game gone awry out of the minds and memories of the itself and its fans. They want momentum heading into their huge contest with the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, and they want to show that they can fire on all cylinders even with injuries taking their toll. Prediction: Eagles 34, Titans 20

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Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

WATCH: Darren Sproles’ punt return for touchdown against Panthers

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog





Cam. Woah Cam. The turf at the Linc is what Cam Newton will remember most from his trip to Philadelphia for Monday Night Football.

Cam. Woah Cam. The turf at the Linc is what Cam Newton will remember most from his trip to Philadelphia for Monday Night Football.

It was a game with many, many Philadelphia Eagles highlights, as the team extended its record to 7-2 with the 45-21 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Monday night. Blowout games tend to serve as highlight reels for the team doing the blowing out.

The Panthers, on the other hand, were so bad that you felt for them. You knew how awful quarterback Cam Newton must have felt after suffering sack after sack after sack by Eagles defenders, particularly LB Connor Barwin, who played like a man possessed with 3.5 sacks on Newton. Cam was sacked a total of 9 times in the game. Ouch. But he kept getting up, only to receive more punishment.

So many highlights from the Birds this game that it’s hard to pick one – there were the multiple, steady, and productive Mark Sanchez-to-Jordan Matthew’s connections that resulted in two touchdowns. For his part, Sanchez, in his first full game leading the Eagles offense, finished the game with an impressive 20 of 37 for 332 yards and two touchdowns.

Let’s go to an old favorite this season. RB Darren Sproles, the man so foolishly given up by the New Orleans Saints. He just won’t quit, and he has always delivered for this Eagles team.

The Eagles scored in all phases on Monday night – on offense, on defense, and on special teams. Watch Sproles deliver a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown, his second TD of the game – all while still in the first quarter.


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Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

Philadelphia Eagles flying high after total shutout of New York Giants

Monday, October 13th, 2014

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog





BSThe Philadelphia Eagles head into their bye week flying on the highest note possible: On the heels of total shutout of those New York football Giants 27-0. 27-zip. 27-to-nada.

However you say it, the score is beautiful.

This is the game when LeSean McCoy finally got going, notching 149 rushing yards. The tight ends got into the act, with Zach Ertz and James Casey both getting in the endzone. Nick Foles finished the game with 21 for 34 with 248 yards for 2 touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions.

The Eagles defense showed up big time, completely stifling an offense that had averaged 35 points its last few games. But the streaking Giants simply had no answers for the Eagles, who got eight sacks (6 on Eli Manning and 2 on backup Ryan Nassib), limiting the two-time Super Bowl MVP to 13 for 23, 154 yards for exactly 0 touchdowns.

Connor Barwin was an absolute beast, getting to Manning for three sacks. Vinny Curry had a blast getting to the quarterback and sacking the Giants’ QB twice. Brandon Graham, Trent Cole and Brandon Blair also got into the each, notching a sack each.  Much as the New York media wanting to claim dismay at the portrayal of “Lil Eli Manning” in the Eagles cartoons, that’s exactly what he looked like on the field Sunday night.

It’s the first shutout for the Birds since 1996, and the first at Lincoln Financial Field.  Oh, the previous shutout, which took place in December of ’96. Against the Giants. In that game the Eagles won 24-0.

Darren Sproles, who added to the team’s touchdowns on Sunday night, left the game in the fourth quarter with a knee injury. We’ll wait for news and hope that everything is okay with the most dynamic Eagles player this season.

It was the most complete win the Eagles have put together all season. The victory becomes all the more important as the Dallas Cowboys improved to 5 -1 earlier in the day, beating the Seattle Seahawks. Philadelphia retains its lead in the NFC East and has shown just how good–and dangerous–they can look when everyone is on their game. It’s a wonderful sight to behold for Eagles fans, and something that hopefully makes their next several opponents very nervous as they study the Birds’ Week 6 game film.

Cary Williams is a talker, but his line following the game was great:

“Who said we were a soft 4-1? We’re 5-1 now. Is that soft, too?”

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Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

From Despair to Hope for Philadelphia Eagles’ Defense?

Monday, March 18th, 2013

by Brandyn Campbell





The Philadelphia Eagles’ woeful secondary was the biggest concern for the team heading in to free agency.  With the release of Nnamdi Asomugha and the signing of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie by the Denver Broncos, the team’s starting corners of the past two seasons disappeared into the sunset in just a matter of days.

It soon became apparent that some of the biggest defensive backs available in free agency, like Darelle Revis and Dashon Goldson, would not be heading to town, and concerns began to increase.  How were GM Howie Roseman and head coach Chip Kelly ever going to address the dire needs on the team’s defense?  We’re trying to trust you, Chip, what is it that you have up your sleeve?

Tuesday brought five solid signings but with no “wow” factor.  But that’s okay — we had enough of that in the shortened offseason of 2011, didn’t we?  But then the Eagles went silent on Wednesday while the anticipation grew.  Okay guys — what’s the plan here?

Then came Thursday and with it, sighs of relief.  Philadelphia added three players — all to defense, and two of those to the secondary, bringing safety Kenny Phillips, cornerback Cary Williams and linebacker Connor Barwin to the City of Brotherly Love.  All are players who didn’t break the bank but should add immediate improvements to the team’s defense.

Kenny Phillips. (Image via

In a low-risk, high reward scenario, Philadelphia signed 26-year old safety  Kenny Phillips (6-2, 217) to a one-year deal.  The safety is quite familiar with the Eagles, as he comes from the division rival New York Giants.  But we’ll try not to hold that against him.  In his time with Big Blue’s secondary, Phillips totaled eight interceptions and 26 passes defensed, in addition to 263 total tackles. He was a first round draft pick for New York in 2008 out of the University of Miami.  Phillips was a standout in the team’s 2011 championship season with career-high four interceptions and ranking fifth in tackles with 72.

The downside of Phillips is that he has a history of knee injuries.  However, as pointed out by Roseman after the signing,

“It’s different looking at players that are 25, 26 coming off injuries than guys who are 31, 32.”

If he can stay healthy then Phillips can make a real impact for the Birds.

Welcome to Philadelphia, Cary Williams. (Image via Russell Street Report)

28 year-old  CB Cary Williams (6-1, 190) comes to Philadelphia from the Super Bowl winning Ravens with a three-year, $17 million deal.  With the Ravens, he started in all 16 regular season games and recorded four interceptions  (as well as two in the postseason) with 17 passes defended and 67 tackles.  Originally drafted by Tennessee in 2008, he joined Baltimore and 2009 and moved to the role of starter in 2011.

According to Pro Football Focus, Williams was targeted 102 times last year, the 10thmost of any corner in the league.  He joins only three other players in the league to be targeted over 100 times in the 2011 and 2012 seasons (along with Sean Smith, Tim Jennings and Tramon Williams).  And, prepare yourselves, Eagles fans: the man can tackle, missing only three last year.

Williams and Jeremy Maclin have enjoyed a loving relationship in the past, and I’m sure that that will continue (see below).


The Eagles expressed quite a lot of confidence in their move to sign linebacker Connor Barwin (6-4, 268), inking him to a six-year, $36 million deal ($8 million guaranteed).  Barwin comes to the Birds from the Texans, where he recorded 109 tackles, 19 sacks, two fumble recoveries and 16 passes defensed.  Barwin was acquired by Houston in the second round in 2009 from the University of Cincinnati. He shifted to outside linebacker from defensive end following the 2010 season. The change turned out to be a wise decision, as Barwin notched a team high 11.5 sacks in 2011, ranking third in the AFC.

As Philadelphia is widely expected to make the change to a 3-4 defense, they need versatile players who are proven in that type of scheme.  Barwin meets both criteria.  But more than that, according to Roseman, the real reason the Eagles inked the linebacker is for his pass-rushing ability.

“We want to be able to make sure we can get pressure on the quarterback.  Getting pressure on the quarterback, preventing pressure, that’s always going to be stuff that’s important to us.”

Us too, Howie.

So, what do you think?  Has Philadelphia successfully managed a blueprint for a much improved defense, particularly in the defensive backfield, in the 2013 season based on their moves thus far in free agency?

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Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports