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November 25, 2019

Eagles snap count analysis: Week 12 vs. Seahawks

Eagles NFL
112519AndreDillard Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

It was perhaps not the best idea for Andre Dillard to start at RT.

In the Philadelphia Eagles' Week 12 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, the offense was on the field for 76 snaps, while the defense was on the field for 65. Let's see how those snaps were distributed, with analysis.

Quarterback and offensive line

• 76 snaps each: Carson Wentz, Jason Peters, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce

• 65 snaps: Halapoulivaati Vaitai

• 43 snaps: Matt Pryor

• 36 snaps: Andre Dillard

• 12 snaps: Brandon Brooks

Analysis: After being checked in the medical tent briefly, Wentz hustled into the locker room for x-rays on his throwing hand, but never missed a snap. His performance on Sunday was probably the worst of his career to date, and he'll deserve much of the criticism that comes from this game, but award him one tough guy point for battling through his injury. He left the locker room with his hand heavily wrapped, and will get further testing on it this week.

Another big story from this game was Brooks leaving after three offensive series with what the team classified as an "illness." Many immediately speculated that Brooks might have been dealing with his well-publicized bouts with anxiety. Doug Pederson declined to give any real details on the situation, but Jeff McLane of the Inquirer is reporting that Brooks' early exit was indeed due to his anxiety. In "who cares about football for a minute" analysis, let's hope Brooks is OK.

Dillard was benched, as you're all aware. I'm not sure what the Eagles saw in him in practice that led them to believe that he could start at RT, a position that he has never played, but they obviously made the wrong decision there. We'll see what kind of "short memory" Dillard has the next time he needs to play.

Pryor got his first real taste of playing time in the NFL. The sense here is that it didn't go well, but we'll take a closer look this week.

Running back

• 64 snaps: Miles Sanders

• 9 snaps: Jay Ajayi

• 3 snaps: Boston Scott

Analysis: Sanders only had 12 carries on 64 snaps, or a carry on 18.8 percent of his snaps. Ajayi had 6 carries on his 9 snaps.

Last week, it was the same theme. Sanders had 11 carries on his 64 snaps, while Scott had 7 carries on his 14 snaps.

The Eagles need to do a better job of not telling the defense what they're doing based on what running back is in the game.

Wide receiver

• 73 snaps: Jordan Matthews

• 54 snaps: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside

• 37 snaps: Greg Ward

• 4 snaps: Mack Hollins

Analysis: I guess Jordan Matthews is the No. 1 receiver on this team for now? In his 137 snaps played in two games, Matthews has 4 catches on 12 targets for 33 yards.

Meanwhile, Hollins' ability to line up correctly hasn't been enough to get him playing time over a guy signed off the street two weeks ago (Matthews) and a practice squad player (Ward). Worse, he's barely even playing special teams at this point, as he only had 4 special teams snaps on Sunday. I believe that begs the question...

Tight end

• 66 snaps each: Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert

Analysis: With so many injuries to the wide receivers, the Eagles have really needed Goedert to step up and make plays in the passing game, and it just hasn't really happened.

In the last four games, Goedert has seen his playing time rise sharply:

 Dallas GoedertSnaps playedPossible snaps Percentage 
 Bills55 73 75.3% 
 Bears70 89 78.7% 
 Patriots61 75 81.3% 
 Seahawks66 76 86.8% 


And yet, he has not been able to crack 40 receiving yards in any of those games.

In August, Goedert told the Inquirer's Bob Ford that he thought he was the fourth-best tight end in the NFL.

On how many NFL teams would Goedert be the number one tight end right now?

“Hmm, that kind of puts me on the spot,” Goedert said. “But I’d say 29.”

Twenty-nine out of 32.

“Yeah, I haven’t beat out Zach yet. And I’ll give it to [Kansas City’s] Travis Kelce for being Travis Kelce. And I’ll give it to [San Francisco’s George] Kittle. What he did last year was pretty impressive. I’m not saying I’m not better than him, but he had a pretty good year,” Goedert said.

“Those are three pretty good tight ends. Just put me at number four and I’ll be content.”

I'm all for confidence, but you also have to back it up.

Defensive line

• 53 snaps: Derek Barnett

• 51 snaps: Brandon Graham

• 49 snaps: Fletcher Cox

• 33 snaps: Timmy Jernigan

• 25 snaps: Anthony Rush

• 23 snaps: Vinny Curry

• 20 snaps: Josh Sweat

• 15 snaps: Albert Huggins

• 2 snaps: Genard Avery

Analysis: Cox wasn't on the field during Rashaad Penny's back-breaking 58-yard TD run. That helps underscore the need for added help at DT this offseason.

Avery only has 15 snaps in 3 games so far, by the way, after the team traded a fourth-round pick for him. I get that he's under contract for a while, and also that the defense is the least of the Eagles' problems, but Avery has looked good when he has gotten opportunities. Play him. 

Linebacker

• 65 snaps: Nigel Bradham

• 35 snaps: Nate Gerry

• 22 snaps: Kamu Grugier-Hill

• 2 snaps: T.J. Edwards

Analysis: Bradham looked OK in his return. He led the team in tackles, and was in the right position on a few incompletions. It's too bad that Grugier-Hill lost a lot of snaps after a positive performance last week against the Patriots.

Defensive backs

• 65 snaps: Malcolm Jenkins

• 64 snaps: Rodney McLeod

• 62 snaps: Jalen Mills

• 61 snaps: Ronald Darby

• 45 snaps: Avonte Maddox

• 17 snaps: Marcus Epps

• 6 snaps: Rasul Douglas

Analysis: The secondary is pretty straightforward. With Jenkins, McLeod, Mills, Darby, and Maddox all healthy, the secondary actually looks... good? I mean, they look good if you can somehow erase Darby's tackle attempt on Penny from your memory.

Epps and Douglas are both currently filling sub-package roles, while Sidney Jones can't get on the field in the regular defense.

Jenkins still hasn't missed a snap since 2017.


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