Some of you may have groaned when you read that although I hope you didn’t. And if you did, I hope you learn something today. Mike Patterson is an integral part of this defense, especially when defending against the run. Since 2007 with Mike Patterson in the line-up for every game except for the Dallas game last season the Eagles have the 5th ranked run defense in the entire league.
Mike Patterson is just so key for this defense and people don’t even realize it because he isn’t making splashy plays. Mike Patterson is a lane clogging run stopper who holds up at the POA. Mike plays with great hand usage, he has great leverage and he is strong and thick which makes him tough to move. And he does it week in and week out. Last season ProFootballFocus had Mike rated as their 10th highest rated run stopper. He was rated higher than notorious run stoppers like Vince Wilfork, Pat Williams, Brandon Mebane and Casey Hampton.
But don’t take my word for it. Last season I made a video of Trent Cole against the Colts but you should watch #98 clog the gaps on every play he is in the game. Watch closely because the video is very fast paced. One particular example is right at the :10 second mark. That is exactly what the Eagles were missing against the Steelers on Thursday night, a DT who could hold up the POA and keep blockers off the linebackers.
And in case you want to see some more video evidence, JimmyK posted a video review of the Eagles’ run defense against the Giants in the first game over at BGN. Once again, just watch Mike Patterson do his job over and over again. He is a rock at the DT spot.
This Eagles team is significantly better with Mike Patterson healthy and I’m absolutely thrilled that he is going to play this season.