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January 30, 2023

Eagles snap count analysis: NFC Championship Game vs. 49ers

In their NFC Championship Game win over the San Francisco 49ers, the Philadelphia Eagles played 74 snaps on offense, and only 46 on defense. Let's just get right to the snap counts, and some notes.


• 68 snaps: Jalen Hurts

• 6 snaps: Gardner Minshew

Analysis: This was not a good Hurts performance, at least relative to the rest of his season. He had a number of misfires, most notably an overthrown ball to an open A.J. Brown deep down the field on the Eagles' second offensive drive of the game. He also seemed sluggish as a runner, though the 49ers' excellent run defense may have had something to do with that. His shoulder is very likely still affecting him on the field.

Still, looking ahead to the Super Bowl, if you were to choose which ailment is worse between Hurts' shoulder and Patrick Mahomes' ankle, I'd probably go with Mahomes' ankle.

Running back

• 31 snaps: Kenny Gainwell

• 22 snaps each: Miles Sanders and Boston Scott

Analysis: Sanders was not announced as an injury during the game, but his low snap counts are interesting. It's possible that the Eagles were holding him out in a game that was out of reach in the second half.

Gainwell has given the Eagles a spark in each of their two playoff games so far. 

Wide receiver

• 67 snaps: DeVonta Smith

• 62 snaps: A.J. Brown

• 42 snaps: Quez Watkins

• 23 snaps: Zach Pascal

• 2 snaps: Britain Covey

Analysis: Even if Smith was rewarded with a catch that he probably did not make, his otherworldly body control and sticky hands allowed him to make it seem like he did. With most receivers, that pass would have bounced off their hand and fallen harmlessly to the ground. Credit Smith for hurrying the Eagles' offense to the line of scrimmage to get the next play off before giving the Niners the chance to see definitive proof that he did not make the catch.

The receivers' services were not needed in the second half.

Tight end

• 65 snaps: Dallas Goedert

• 24 snaps: Jack Stoll

• 10 snaps: Grant Calcaterra

Analysis: Testing the middle of the field with Goedert against the Niners' outstanding linebackers was never going to be the way to play this defense. Goedert made five catches on six targets for 23 yards, with a long reception of seven yards, as he was mostly used as a checkdown option for Hurts.

Offensive line

• 74 snaps each: Jordan Mailata and Isaac Seumalo

• 68 snaps each: Jason Kelce

• 61 snaps: Landon Dickerson

• 60 snaps: Lane Johnson

• 14 snaps: Jack Driscoll

• 13 snaps: Andre Dillard

• 6 snaps: Cam Jurgens

Analysis: There's some stuff to unpack here:

• Dickerson suffered a right arm injury and came out of the game early, as he has done often this season. We'll get a better idea about Dickerson's health as the week progresses. If he cannot play in the Super Bowl, it will be interesting to see who gets the start at LG. Andre Dillard is the fill-in at LT and LG during games, while Jack Driscoll is the fill-in at RG and RT. But if the team has time to decide who their five best linemen are, there is an argument for Driscoll over Dillard. But for now, we wait.

• Johnson was a warrior once again, playing through his adductor injury and shutting down Nick Bosa whenever he had one-on-one matchups against him. After the game, Johnson said he felt more comfortable against the 49ers than he did against the Giants last weekend, an encouraging sign.

• I'll have to go back and re-watch the offensive line in this game, but it felt like Mailata did a good job on Bosa whenever Bosa rushed off of the left side of the O-line.

• Kelce is going to be a major storyline over the next two weeks, playing against his brother.

Defensive line

• 29 snaps: Josh Sweat

• 26 snaps: Javon Hargrave

• 24 snaps: Fletcher Cox

• 22 snaps: Ndamukong Suh

• 20 snaps: Brandon Graham and Milton Williams

• 16 snaps: Jordan Davis

• 10 snaps: Linval Joseph

• 6 snaps: Robert Quinn

Analysis: One of the laughable themes coming out of the Eagles' run to the Super Bowl is that they have had an easy path (which they're supposed to have as the 1 seed!), and therefore are somehow unworthy of being there. I'm curious if those folks have watched the defensive line absolutely destroy each of the Giants' and 49ers' offensive lines. Yes, the Niners lost both of their active quarterbacks in their loss to the Eagles, but that was a direct result of the Eagles' pass rush being unblockable.

From a snap count perspective, the Eagles' pass rush will remain ultra-fresh heading into the Super Bowl, as their playing time leaders, Josh Sweat and Haason Reddick, only had to play 29 snaps.


• 42 snaps: T.J. Edwards

• 39 snaps: Kyzir White

• 29 snaps: Haason Reddick

• 9 snaps: Patrick Johnson

• 4 snaps each: Nakobe Dean and Christian Elliss

Analysis: One of the concerning matchups heading into this game was George Kittle against the Eagles' linebackers. As it turned out, Kittle only had three catches for 32 yards, and his best play, a 22-yard reception, came on a great route against James Bradberry. Otherwise, he wasn't a factor. (Obviously the quarterback situation had a lot to do with that.)

Cornerback and safety

• 43 snaps: Marcus Epps

• 42 snaps each: Darius Slay, James Bradberry, and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson

• 19 snaps: Avonte Maddox

• 7 snaps: Reed Blankenship

• 5 snaps each: Josh Jobe and Zech McPhearson

• 3 snaps: K'Von Wallace

Analysis: Maddox only had to play 19 snaps in this game in his return from a toe injury. Once it became clear that Brock Purdy couldn't throw, Maddox could rest up.

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