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Eagles snap count analysis: Week 1 at Patriots


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Eagles snap count analysis: Week 1 at Patriots

PhillyVoice Staff

D'Andre Swift had just three touches in the Eagles' win over the Patriots.

In their Week 1 win over the New England Patriots, the Philadelphia Eagles played 66 snaps on offense and 80 on defense. Let's just get right to the snap counts, and some notes.


• 66 snaps: Jalen Hurts

Analysis: Hurts did not make any real "wow" plays, but he also did not make any big mistakes through the air. He did fumble at a very inopportune time, which could have cost the Eagles the game.

While it wasn't anything close to an MVP-like performance by Hurts, it was a great mental test going up against Bill Belichick and a very good, versatile defense that seemed to have a good plan for the Eagles' explosive offense.

Running back

• 41 snaps: Kenny Gainwell

• 19 snaps: D'Andre Swift

• 8 snaps: Boston Scott

Analysis: It seems the coaching staff has more trust in Gainwell than Swift for whatever reasons they have, because there isn't a good argument to be made that Gainwell is the more talented player.

Rashaad Penny was among the healthy scratches, which makes sense, since Scott returns kicks. It's also probably not the worst thing to have the oft-injured Penny fresh for later in the season. It's not as if he isn't going to play this season. His time should come.

Heading into the season, there was optimism that the Eagles' running back group had a chance to be a problem for opposing defenses with their diverse skill sets, but if the plan for the season is for Gainwell to get ~60 percent of the snaps with the other guys just filling in here and there, opposing defensive coordinators won't lose any sleep. 

Wide receiver

• 65 snaps: DeVonta Smith

• 60 snaps: A.J. Brown

• 52 snaps: Quez Watkins

• 7 snaps: Olamide Zaccheaus

Analysis: Brown had 7 catches for 79 yards, including 3 for 46 on a crucial drive in the fourth quarter that led to a field goal that put the Eagles up by 8. It wasn't a dominant performance by him, but he came up big on a very important drive.

Smith had 7 catches for 47 yards and a TD.

Watkins chipped in 2 catches for 17 yards. I hate to get on Watkins right from the jump, but there were two occasions in which he ran out of bounds when there were potentially more yards to be gained. One was after a reception, and one was on a squib kick that he fielded as the upback. Defensive backs are more than happy to see players run out of bounds rather than be forced to make tackles.

Tight end

• 61 snaps: Dallas Goedert

• 13 snaps: Jack Stoll

• 4 snaps: Grant Calcaterra

Analysis: Goedert only got one target, and that didn't come until the fourth quarter. He did not have a catch. It felt like he was either being doubled and/or bumped at the line at times, as he seemed to be a focal point of Bill Belichick and the Pats defense.

Offensive line

• 66 snaps each: Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Cam Jurgens, and Lane Johnson

Analysis: The offensive line as a group gave up more pressure than they typically do, albeit against a very good, very underrated Pats pass rush. I'm curious to re-watch and see how Jurgens fared in his first NFL start.

Semi-interestingly, Fred Johnson was active, while rookie third-round OT/OG Tyler Steen was a healthy scratch.

Edge defenders

• 59 snaps: Josh Sweat

• 58 snaps: Haason Reddick

• 21 snaps: Brandon Graham

• 16 snaps: Derek Barnett

• 7 snaps: Nolan Smith

Analysis: Reddick had surgery on his thumb a few weeks ago, and that is not yet healed, as he wore a protective covering over his hand. That was sure to affect him, and I thought that it did.

No such worries for Sweat, who looked like the very good pass rusher he was a year ago.

Smith mainly played on special teams.

Interior defensive line

• 50 snaps: Fletcher Cox

• 40 snaps: Jalen Carter

• 35 snaps: Jordan Davis

• 33 snaps: Milton Williams

• 6 snaps each: Kentavius Street and Marlon Tuipulotu

Analysis: Carter was a beast in his rookie debut, racking up several immediate wins on his pass rushes and causing Mac Jones to have to throw early and under duress. He finally got to Jones late in the game in a high leverage situation with the Pats trying to take the lead and win the game.

Davis forced a fumble, notched a half-sack (his first in the NFL), and helped bottle up the Pats' run game. That was an encouraging performance by the 2022 first-round pick.

Cox and Williams were also active, as they were both able to get pressure. This was by far the Eagles best performing group of the day.


• 70 snaps: Zach Cunningham

• 49 snaps: Nakobe Dean

• 34 snaps: Christian Elliss

Analysis: Uh oh.


The linebackers looked shaky in coverage, as the Pats got whatever they wanted in the middle of the field. The team's most worrying positional group heading into the season became even more concerning coming out of Week 1.

Cornerback and safety

• 80 snaps: Darius Slay

• 78 snaps: Reed Blankenship

• 77 snaps: Justin Evans

• 72 snaps: James Bradberry

• 71 snaps: Avonte Maddox

• 10 snaps: Terrell Edmunds

• 8 snaps: Josh Jobe

Analysis: Evans got the start at safety opposite Blankenship, which wasn't a surprise but also was not a certainty.

Slay of course had the pick-six, and Blankenship made a few good open field tackles.

Sydney Brown did not have an immediate role on defense, though he did stand out on special teams.

Overall, Mac Jones threw for 316 yards and 3 TDs on a day in which the Eagles' defensive front was killing the Pats' offensive line. The Pats' receivers are not a who's who of greatness, and yet they were often getting a lot of separation.


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