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January 02, 2023

Eagles snap count analysis: Week 17 vs. Saints

Eagles NFL
010223JoshSweat Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports

Josh Sweat (on the cart behind other Eagles players) thinks he will return this season.

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.

Running back

• 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.

Wide receiver

• 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:

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.

Tight end

• 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.

Offensive line

• 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

Defensive line

• 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."

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.

Cornerback and safety

• 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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