January 02, 2023
In their Week 17 loss to the New Orleans Saints, the Philadelphia Eagles played 55 snaps on offense, and 69 on defense. Let's just get right to the snap counts, and some notes.
• 55 snaps: Gardner Minshew
Analysis: Minshew has had one good start for the Eagles this season, and one bad one. What his play over the last two weeks has shown is that the Eagles' offense is a potent force when led by Jalen Hurts, and ordinary when it's not.
• 22 snaps: Miles Sanders
• 18 snaps: Boston Scott
• 15 snaps: Kenny Gainwell
Analysis: Sanders landed on the injury report this past week with a knee injury, but when he got his chances, he looked healthy, carrying 12 times for 61 yards. Perhaps his injury was why the Eagles' staff didn't lean on the run game more? Because otherwise their pass-heavy game plan didn't make a lot of sense.
• 55 snaps: A.J. Brown
• 54 snaps: DeVonta Smith
• 28 snaps: Quez Watkins
• 20 snaps: Zach Pascal
Analysis: Smith continued his hot streak, catching nine passes for 115 yards. He has now topped 100 yards in four of the last five games.
Brown had the Eagles' biggest play of the day, a 78-yard catch and run for a TD. On the day he had four catches for 97 yards, and went over 1,400 yards on the season. But it was the pick-six by Marshon Lattimore that came Brown's way that people will remember from this game on a play in which Brown didn't run much of a route. Brown put the INT on Minshew after the game:
AJ Brown on the final INT play: pic.twitter.com/75PvHs7UHn— Eliot Shorr-Parks (@EliotShorrParks) January 1, 2023
It's not Brown's place to put blame on a teammate on the biggest play of the day. It should be on Minshew to take that heat on his own, which he did.
• 53 snaps: Dallas Goedert
• 10 snaps: Jack Stoll
Analysis: The tight ends were quiet in this game. Goedert had three catches on six targets for 45 yards. No surprise there, as the Saints have good linebackers.
• 55 snaps each: Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Isaac Seumalo, and Jack Driscoll
Analysis: I thought that this was the offensive line's worst performance of the season. A veteran group like this simply cannot have four pre-snap penalties in one game. Minshew was also sacked six times. I'd have to go back and look at whether the line was responsible for those, or if they were more on Minshew, but on the surface that's not great, obviously.
The Eagles are now 9-22 since 2016 when Lane Johnson is out of the lineup.
• 2016: 2-8
• 2017: 1-0
• 2018: 0-1
• 2019: 3-1 (0-1 in the playoffs)
• 2020: 2-7
• 2021: 1-3
• 2022: 0-1
• 51 snaps: Brandon Graham
• 45 snaps each: Javon Hargrave and Fletcher Cox
• 26 snaps: Milton Williams
• 22 snaps: Ndamukong Suh
• 21 snaps: Linval Joseph
• 18 snaps: Jordan Davis
• 7 snaps: Josh Sweat
Analysis: Graham had his highest snap total of the season because Sweat left the game early with his scary neck injury. For what it's worth, Sweat said that he "will be back this season."
Thank you for your prayers and support 🙏🏾 I’ll be back this season! #GoBirds— Josh Sweat (@SweatyJ_9) January 2, 2023
Graham made good use of that extra playing time, collecting two sacks and going over 10 sacks for the first time in his career. Haason Reddick also had two sacks, while Hargrave, Cox, and Williams pitched in one apiece.
Williams' play has picked up in recent weeks after a slow start this season. It feels like he makes at least one impressive play in each game lately.
As a team, the Eagles now have 68 sacks on the season, four shy of the NFL single-season record of 72, set by the 1984 Bears. They now have the team record for sacks in a season, which was formerly 62, set by the 1989 Eagles. Because they will be playing their starters on Sunday, there's a good chance that they'll break that NFL record.
• 66 snaps: Kyzir White
• 65 snaps each: Haason Reddick and T.J. Edwards
• 18 snaps: Patrick Johnson
• 2 snaps: Nakobe Dean
Analysis: I have to go back and watch the coverages to see what happened, but there were an awful lot of Saints receivers and tight ends wide open in the middle of the field, particularly in the first half.
• 69 snaps: Marcus Epps
• 67 snaps each: Darius Slay, James Bradberry, and Reed Blankenship
• 32 snaps: Josiah Scott
• 6 snaps: K'Von Wallace
Analysis: Andy Dalton and Taysom Hill were a combined 20 of 24 (83.3%) on the day. The Eagles only stopped the Saints when they got Dalton on the ground. Again, I'll be interested to see why receivers were so wide open in this game.
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