Lost in the shuffle of Sunday's dramatic win over the Giants was the performance of middle linebacker Jamar Chaney. The rookie seventh-round pick made his first-career start as Stewart Bradley is sidelined indefinitely with a dislocated elbow.
The Eagles have not yet released the coaches' defensive stats, but Chaney was credited on gameday with 16 tackles, including one for loss, and a forced fumble. The Giants' vaunted rushing duo of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw were held to just 100 total yards on the ground. And most important of all, when the Giants tried to grind out the clock late and protect what was once a 21-point lead the Eagles were able to get the ball back to the offense - or in the end to DeSean Jackson.
"I'm just happy we got a win," Chaney said. "You just have to go out there and keep fighting. It doesn't matter how many points you are down. You don't want to put on film that when the Eagles defense goes down, they give up. We're going to keep coming and keep coming and keep coming until the final whistle."
Strongside linebacker Moise Fokou, a seventh-round pick himself in 2009, was proud of how Chaney performed.
"We thought they were going to attack the rookie, but he held his own very well," Fokou said. "We had to stop that run game because we knew they were trying to establish it. That's what they do and they have two good backs. We had to stop that run and make sure they didn't get down the field too much on play-action."
Head coach Andy Reid credited defensive coordinator Sean McDermott for his ability to tailor the scheme to accentuate the strengths of each player.
"I think Sean has a good system that he operates with and he tries to utilize a player's strength,"" Reid said. ""We all have strengths and we all have weaknesses as human beings, and so we're going to try to utilize a player's strengths and put him in the position that they can do best in. And then, these guys are scrappy guys; they'll battle you and that's what happened (on Sunday)."
This Sunday, another seventh-round pick will be added to the starting lineup in free safety Kurt Coleman. Starter Nate Allen ruptured the patellar tendon in his knee on Sunday and his season is over. Coleman, like Chaney, doesn't believe that the draft slot is a reflection of him as a player.
"Seventh-round is just a starting spot," Coleman said. "I think everyone that they picked up (this year), we were ready to play in this league and we're showing it."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 10:00 a.m., December 21