Philadelphia Eagles' 2010 Midseason Awards: Best Individual Defensive Performance

By Bryn Swartz

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The Eagles’ defense really hasn’t improved much since last season, if at all.

The team allowed 337 points and ranked 19th in the NFL last season. This season, they’ve allowed 181 points and rank 20th in the NFL.

However, if there is one area in which fans can take comfort in their team’s defense, it’s in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter, with the game on the line.

The Eagles have come through every time.

Trevor Laws had a big game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Antonio Dixon was fantastic in the Titans game. Trent Cole destroyed the Jaguars and Falcons. Omar Gaither had 12 tackles against the Lions.

But the best game of the season was Asante Samuel’s performance against the Indianapolis Colts.

Samuel intercepted Manning’s first pass of the game and returned it 33 yards to the 10-yard line.

He held Colts’ receiver Pierre Garcon to two measly catches for 15 yards, a 14 yard gain and a 1 yard gain.

And he intercepted Manning’s final pass of the game, a deep pass across the middle, to seal the biggest regular season victory for the Eagles of the year.

Samuel didn’t record any tackles during the game, even missing a tackle on running back Javarris James in the second quarter that could have saved a touchdown.

But Samuel always seems to come up big in the game’s most crucial moments.

His second interception of Peyton Manning, improving the Eagles to 5-3 instead of 4-4, is the Eagles’ biggest play of the season.

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