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September 07, 2018

Eagles snap count analysis: Week 1 vs. Falcons

Eagles NFL
090718DarrenSproles Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Darren Sproles played more in the regular offense than expected.

We won't do snap count analysis for the Philadelphia Eagles throughout the season, because it's not exactly compelling content from week to week, but I do think there were some noteworthy takeaways from the Birds' Week 1 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons.

Let's go position-by-position.

Quarterback and offensive line

• 72 snaps each: Nick Foles, Stefen Wisniewski, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson

• 71 snaps each: Jason Kelce, Jason Peters

• 5 snaps: Isaac Seumalo

• 1 snap: Halapoulivaati Vaitai

Analysis: We'll just note briefly here that Jason Peters went to the locker room after the Eagles' final touchdown. He was not on the field for the ensuing two-point conversion, and the Eagles' offense never got the ball back. To be determined what happened to him.

Running back

• 29 snaps each: Darren Sproles and Jay Ajayi

• 13 snaps: Corey Clement

• 1 snap: Wendell Smallwood

Analysis: I was surprised by the number of snaps Sproles got, especially early. If the game plan was for Ajayi to get the bulk of the carries in the second half against a tired defense in the hot weather conditions, then I can see the strategy in that. However, I figured Clement would be used more than he was.

Wide receiver

• 68 snaps: Nelson Agholor

• 66 snaps: Mike Wallace

• 53 snaps: DeAndre Carter

• 4 snaps: Shelton Gibson

• 2 snaps: Markus Wheaton

Analysis: I did not see Carter getting 53 snaps. The offense is going to improve significantly when Alshon Jeffery can return to the outside and Agholor can go back to full-time duty in the slot.

Tight end

• 70 snaps: Zach Ertz

• 17 snaps: Dallas Goedert

• 4 snaps: Josh Perkins

Analysis: While he did have a drop that led to an interception after a big hit, you can see the potential Goedert possesses on the catch he made in the end zone in which he landed out of bounds. It was surprising that the Eagles stuck with 11 personnel as much as they did, giving 53 snaps to Carter and only 17 to Goedert.

Defensive line

• 65 snaps: Fletcher Cox

• 46 snaps: Brandon Graham

• 45 snaps: Michael Bennett

• 40 snaps: Derek Barnett

• 39 snaps: Chris Long

• 27 snaps: Destiny Vaeao

• 17 snaps: Haloti Ngata

• 7 snaps: Bruce Hector

Analysis: Fletcher Cox is a beast, and his conditioning is at a new level this year. He missed just five snaps on the night, and was still a major force on the final drive of the game. That is highly impressive at the defensive tackle position in the weather conditions that existed last night.

During the telecast, it is my understanding from fan tweets that Cris Collinsworth said that Michael Bennett is unhappy that he's not starting. To be determined if that's true or not, but he played 64 percent of the snaps, the third-most among the Eagles' defensive linemen.

Linebacker

• 70 snaps: Jordan Hicks

• 28 snaps: Kamu Grugier-Hill

• 26 snaps: Nate Gerry

• 1 snap: LaRoy Reynolds

Analysis: Gerry officially got the start, but Grugier-Hill played two more snaps. The Eagles were rotating them. More importantly, Hicks was able to play the entire game, which had to have been a mental hurdle for him to overcome after returning from a ruptured Achilles.

Cornerback

67 snaps: Jalen Mills

65 snaps: Ronald Darby

45 snaps: Sidney Jones

2 snaps: Rasul Douglas

Analysis: No surprises here, although we'll note that Douglas made the most of his two snaps by picking off Matt Ryan.

Safety

70 snaps each: Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod

40 snaps: Corey Graham

Analysis: Graham played a big chunk of the game, as expected.


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