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November 22, 2021

Eagles snap count analysis: Week 11 vs. Saints

Eagles NFL
122221MilesSanders Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports

Miles Sanders got benched on Sunday, though he did eventually return.

In their Week 11 win over the New Orleans Saints, the Philadelphia Eagles played 78 snaps on offense, and 65 on defense. Let's just get right to the snap counts, and some notes.

Quarterback

• 78 snaps: Jalen Hurts

Analysis: Hurts now has eight rushing TDs on the season. He is six behind the NFL single-season record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback, which is held by Cam Newton. Here are the guys who have had at least 9 rushing TDs in a single season:

Year  QBRushing TDs 
 2011Cam Newton, Panthers 14 
 1976Steve Grogan, Patriots 12 
 2020Cam Newton, Patriots 12 
 1950Johnny Lujack, Bears 11 
 2020Kyler Murray, Cardinals 11 
 1956Tobin Rote, Packers 11 
 1997Kordell Stewart, Steelers 11 
 2002Duante Culpepper, Vikings 10 
 1961Billy Kilmer, 49ers 10 
 2015Cam Newton, Panthers 10 
 2019Josh Allen, Bills 
 1972Greg Landry, Lions 
 2010Michael Vick, Eagles 


If the Eagles continue to be a run-heavy team down the stretch (why wouldn't they?), he's got a chance.

Running back

• 36 snaps: Miles Sanders

• 29 snaps: Boston Scott

• 13 snaps: Jordan Howard

Analysis: Sanders fumbled deep in Eagles territory, leading the Saints' first touchdown of the afternoon. Later, he fumbled again, except he lucked out bigly because the officials ruled that his forward progress had stopped. In his postgame press conference, Sanders was asked what it meant to him that the coaching staff put him back out there.

“Everybody trusts me with the ball in my hands," he said. "All I can say is that I appreciate that to keep my confidence going throwing me back in there.”

Nick Sirianni sort of just went with it on a similar line of questioning. 

"Dog mentality, like you say to a corner if they get beat or you say to a wide receiver if they drop a pass or you say to a player if he jumps offsides," Sirianni said. "Dog mentality. Move on. Next play. Next play. Next play.

"If you dwell on -- we wanted to show him confidence, too. I think Miles had a good game, what did he end up with, 94 [yards]? Miles had a good game. He ran the ball hard. He ran the ball well and he ran the ball well in a time where we really needed it.

"And so, it is. It was just, ‘Hey, forget that play. Next play. Next play.’ And I think that means a lot to guys when you show the confidence in them. And then you correct what's going on. And you say, ‘Hey, when you get in the traffic,’ -- what we talk about, we call this a clasp hand, you put that clasp hand on it. That's what we talked about and showed trust in him and belief in him. And I know that will be rewarding going forward with Miles."

Except... I'm not so sure the Eagles put Sanders back in the game super willingly. After he put the ball on the ground for a second time, it was the first snap of the drive, and he immediately got pulled out of the game in favor of Jordan Howard. He didn't go back into the game for the rest of that drive, or the next two thereafter. 

It was only after a game-ending knee injury to Howard that Sanders got back in the game.

Wide receiver

• 72 snaps: DeVonta Smith

• 64 snaps: Quez Watkins

• 55 snaps: Jalen Reagor

• 12 snaps: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside

• 3 snaps: Greg Ward

Analysis: Arcega-Whiteside has obviously been a disappointment since the Eagles took him in the second round of the 2019 draft, but give him credit for coming up with a huge reception in a big moment.

Reagor had 1 catch on 3 targets for -1 yard. It's the ninth time this season he's had 25 or fewer yards in a game, the sixth time he has failed to crack 10 receiving yards, and the fourth time he has either had 0 or negative yardage. He's sixth on the team in receiving yards, behind the TE2 the team traded five weeks ago and the RB4 who was a healthy scratch on Sunday. Hell, Darius Slay has more INT / fumble return yardage than Reagor has receiving yards this season. 

Why is he still getting 55 snaps?

Tight end

• 75 snaps: Dallas Goedert

• 17 snaps: Jack Stoll

• 14 snaps: Tyree Jackson

Analysis: Goedert was the Eagles' most heavily targeted player on Sunday. He was able to make it back into the lineup after suffering a concussion Week 10 against the Broncos.

Offensive line

• 78 snaps each: Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Jack Driscoll, Lane Johnson

Analysis: As we mentioned in our 10 awards, Mailata was a bit of an enforcer in this game, standing up for teammates and mixing it up with Saints defensive linemen. But we should also probably show the ridiculousness that is Jason Kelce.

Enjoy him while you can.

Defensive line

• 50 snaps: Fletcher Cox

• 49 snaps: Javon Hargrave

• 45 snaps: Derek Barnett

• 42 snaps: Josh Sweat

• 20 snaps: Tarron Jackson

• 19 snaps: Ryan Kerrigan

• 18 snaps: Milton Williams

• 17 snaps: Hassan Ridgeway

Analysis: There were several times throughout this game that I noticed Fletcher Cox playing with high energy. Perhaps he's beginning to buy in that this team can compete for the playoffs? 

Kerrigan finally contributed positively in a game this season. His pressure helped force T.J. Edwards' interception of Trevor Siemian.

Linebacker

• 60 snaps: T.J. Edwards

• 58 snaps: Alex Singleton

• 7 snaps: Davion Taylor

• 4 snaps: Genard Avery

Analysis: Taylor injured his knee and did not return. Singleton got his snaps the rest of the way. Avery only got four snaps, which is a step in the right direction.

Cornerback and safety

• 65 snaps: Steve Nelson

• 61 snaps: Rodney McLeod

• 58 snaps: Avonte Maddox

• 52 snaps: Anthony Harris

• 39 snaps: Darius Slay

• 26 snaps: Zech McPhearson

• 25 snaps: Marcus Epps

Analysis: Slay is in the concussion protocol. He's probably the Eagles' most important player on defense right now. They'll need him against the Giants next Sunday. Maddox also went down briefly with what looked like a stinger, but he was able to return. 

Carson Wentz tracker

As you're aware, the Eagles traded Carson Wentz to the Colts for a second-round pick that can become a first-round pick if Wentz plays 75 percent of the Colts' offensive snaps, or he plays 70 percent of the Colts' snaps, plus the Colts make the playoffs. Be sure to check out our Carson Wentz snap tracker here.

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