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August 18, 2023

Eagles snap count analysis: Preseason Week 2 vs. Browns

What can we learn from the snap counts of the Eagles second preseason game?

Eagles NFL
081823RashaadPenny Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Rashaad Penny (23)

In their second preseason game against the Cleveland Browns, the Philadelphia Eagles played 63 snaps on offense and 87 on defense. Let's just get right to the snap counts, and some notes.


• 36 snaps: Tanner McKee

27 snaps: Marcus Mariota

Analysis: If you watched this game, you don't need me to tell you that Mariota was wildly inaccurate on a bunch of his throws. However, when he misses, he tends to sail passes way over the heads of his receivers, and that's when interceptions happen. Years ago, when Donovan McNabb was having a bad day, he'd be throwing worm burners. They were incomplete passes, but they were also relatively harmless. When Mariota misses, his throws are dangerous. Like this:

To his credit, Mariota said in his postgame interview that his play was "sloppy." Past quarterbacks in this town might not have taken accountability. So at least there's that? But I do think the Eagles should be worried about what they have seen from Mariota as a passer throughout camp.

On the bright side, McKee was even better Thursday night than he was in the first preseason game against the Ravens, when he also turned heads. We'll probably cut up all of his passing attempts again, like we did after the Baltimore game.

The Eagles probably aren't yet seriously considering flip-flopping Mariota and McKee in the pecking order, as there are still 23 days until the Eagles' first regular season game. But you can bet that they will need to see significant improvements out of Mariota over the next three weeks, or they have to at least consider a change.

Running back

• 28 snaps: Kennedy Brooks

• 18 snaps: Trey Sermon

• 8 snaps: Kenny Gainwell

6 snaps: Rashaad Penny

3 snaps: Boston Scott

Analysis: The three guys who are going to make the team played single-digit snaps. The two guys who aren't played double-digit snaps.

Penny had a nice run of 16 yards that the Eagles were probably pretty happy to see. Gainwell did a poor job of getting out of his own end zone, taking a safety.

The offensive highlight of the night was Sermon's 33-yard TD run. However, he also lost a fumble, which Nick Sirianni does not tolerate.

D'Andre Swift is the Eagles' most talented running back, in my opinion. He got two carries against the Ravens, one of which was an explosive run, and then the Eagles got him the hell out of the game. He did not play against the Browns. Make of that what you will.

Wide receiver

• 36 snaps: Joseph Ngata

• 30 snaps: Deon Cain

• 29 snaps: Devon Allen

• 26 snaps: Tyrie Cleveland

16 snaps: Greg Ward

14 snaps: Joseph King

10 snaps: Olamide Zaccheaus

9 snaps: Jadon Haselwood

Analysis: Among the receivers outside of the five locks (A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, Olamide Zaccheaus, and Britain Covey), nobody has done enough to convince the team to keep a sixth, in my opinion.

If the Eagles hope to bring back guys like Ngata, Cleveland, Allen, Ward, etc. to their practice squad, I don't think they have to fear another team poaching them off of waivers.

Zaccheaus and Cleveland suffered injuries, so we'll wait for updates on their statuses. 

Tight end

• 22 snaps: Tyree Jackson

• 21 snaps: Dan Arnold

• 19 snaps: Brady Russell

11 snaps: Grant Calcaterra

9 snaps: Jack Stoll

Analysis: Jackson led the Eagles with 42 receiving yards on two receptions, and Russell had a 22-yard TD reception. Calcaterra hasn't done much as a receiver, but he has also had to play with Mariota (see Mariota's INT intended for Calcaterra above).

It feels likely that the Eagles will just roll with the same three tight ends they rostered a year ago.

Offensive line

• 44 snaps: Julian Good-Jones

36 snaps: Dennis Kelly

35 snaps: Fred Johnson

27 snaps each: Tyler Steen, Jack Driscoll, Sua Opeta, Tyrese Robinson

23 snaps: Josh Sills

22 snaps: Brett Toth

19 snaps: Josh Andrews

14 snaps each: Cameron Tom, Roderick Johnson

Analysis: It looked like a bunch of Mariota's bad throws came from clean pockets, so we can't pass the blame to the offensive line here.

Andrews is fighting for a backup center role. His injury in this game could hurt his chances.

Defensive line

• 72 snaps: Tarron Jackson

• 69 snaps: Janarius Robinson

• 43 snaps: Noah Elliss

• 42 snaps: Olive Sagapolu

• 39 snaps: Moro Ojomo

• 28 snaps: Marlon Tuipulotu

• 27 snaps: Kentavius Street

• 10 snaps: Derek Barnett

7 snaps each: Jalen Carter and Jordan Davis 

Analysis: Carter and Davis played one series, and then they were done. I imagine we won't see them again until the regular season.

Ojomo was a disruptive force until he had to leave on a cart. Again, we'll have to wait on his injury prognosis, but I think he has pretty clearly shown enough to make the 53-man roster.

As for guys deeper down the depth chart, these are the types of games where you have to absolutely ball out to make the team. For example, remember when Steven Means used to wreck shop in the fourth quarter of preseason games? Well, I thought Tarron Jackson and Janarius Robinson came close to making a few plays, but they were not Steven Means out there.


• 37 snaps: Zach Cunningham

• 35 snaps: Nicholas Morrow

• 29 snaps each: Myles Jack, Ben VanSumeren

27 snaps: Christian Elliss

23 snaps: Nolan Smith

17 snaps: Nakobe Dean

Analysis: Dean was the early story of this game. 

"When I seen the guard block down, I kinda seen how he came off, I knew it was a run and I just shot the gap," Dean said of his first quarter forced fumble at the goal line. "I had instincts and just shot the gap and made the play."

Watch how quickly Dean sees this play and reacts to it.

That's really good. That was Dean's game in college. He was the smartest player on the field, and could see things before they developed.

Of the two recently added linebackers, Cunningham is better than Jack. Cunningham has made a bunch of plays in practice in coverage, and he showed some nice things against the run Thursday night. I think he's in, and Jack is out.

Cornerback and safety

• 52 snaps: K'Von Wallace

• 44 snaps: Mario Goodrich

• 38 snaps: Mekhi Garner

• 37 snaps: Terrell Edmunds

35 snaps: Sydney Brown

34 snaps: Kelee Ringo

33 snaps: Eli Ricks

31 snaps: Zech McPhearson

29 snaps: Tristin McCollum

24 snaps: Josiah Scott

20 snaps: Josh Jobe

18 snaps: Greedy Williams

Analysis: Ringo had a weird play where he could have easily had an INT, but he simply didn't see the ball coming. 

Ringo has size and speed and he has a chance to be a good player, but he has not shown ballhawk skills throughout camp.

The fact that Wallace has been with the team for three full seasons (they don't need more info on him) and he played 52 snaps does not bode well for his chances of starting.

Goodrich has had a good camp in the slot and could be the next man up to fill in for McPherson, who will miss the season with a torn Achilles.

Special Teams

10 snaps: Ty Zentner

0 snaps: Arryn Siposs

Analysis: We don't normally include special teams in our snap count reviews, but I thought it was noteworthy that Zentner played the whole game, and Siposs did not play at all. Zentner had 5 punts, all of which were in open field, blast-off situations, and he averaged a paltry 39.8 yards per punt. Spoiler: He's not making the team.

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