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September 16, 2019

Eagles snap count analysis: Week 2 vs. Falcons

Eagles NFL
091619JJArcegaWhiteside Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports

J.J. Arcega-Whiteside was forced to play a significant role on Sunday night after the Eagles lost their top 2 receivers.

In the Philadelphia Eagles' Week 2 loss in Atlanta, the offense was on the field for 81 snaps, while the defense was on the field for 66. Let's see how those snaps were distributed, with analysis.

Quarterback and offensive line

• 81 snaps each: Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson

• 80 snaps: Jason Peters

• 75 snaps: Carson Wentz

• 4 snaps: Halapoulivaati Vaitai

• 1 snap: Andre Dillard

Analysis: There was a scare in the second quarter, when McCown came onto the field for Wentz. It turns out that the league gave word from New York that Wentz needed to be evaluated for a concussion. Wentz was rightfully not happy with the process with which the league operated on that, only notifying the Eagles bench just before the offense was ready to take possession the football again.

A week ago, Brooks came out of the game early, to preserve him. There was no way that was going to happen Week 2, and Brooks looked spent at the end of the game.

Somehow, Vaitai has 4 penalties on 24 snaps this season.

Running back

• 35 snaps: Miles Sanders

• 28 snaps: Darren Sproles

• 18 snaps: Jordan Howard

Analysis: The number of snaps for Sproles was surprising, seeing as he didn't have a single carry, and only had 3 targets as a receiver. I still think he's on the field too much, personally.

Duce Staley has some work to do with Sanders, who is dancing in the backfield, and trying to bounce too many runs to the outside, which isn't uncommon for rookie backs. There were yards to be gained on the ground if Sanders just hit the hole more consistently.

Wide receiver

• 78 snaps: Nelson Agholor

• 75 snaps: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside

• 69 snaps: Mack Hollins

• 11 snaps: DeSean Jackson

• 6 snaps: Alshon Jeffery

Analysis: The Eagles' prevention of soft tissue injuries (or lack thereof) is a huge problem, and it bit the Eagles on Sunday night, again, when Jackson and Jeffery both missed almost the whole game.

In the Week 1 matchup against Washington, Hollins was clearly the No. 4 receiver over Arcega-Whiteside, which surprised me. In Week 2, when both players saw the field for almost the whole game, it was obvious why. Arcega-Whiteside was a no-show, as he had 1 catch for 4 yards on 4 targets. I thought he had opportunities to make plays, but didn't capitalize, and generally looked a little lost. Hollins, meanwhile, was solid, as he had 5 catches for 50 yards.

Tight end

• 81 snaps: Zach Ertz

Analysis: Dallas Goedert hurt his calf pre-game, and couldn't go. His absence hurt the game plan, as the Eagles had planned on utilizing a bunch of 2-TE sets. Maybe carry 3 tight ends?

Ertz said after the game that this was the first time he ever played every snap in the NFL.

Defensive line

• 51 snaps: Brandon Graham

• 50 snaps: Derek Barnett

• 49 snaps: Fletcher Cox

• 31 snaps: Hassan Ridgeway

• 26 snaps: Timmy Jernigan

• 21 snaps: Akeem Spence

• 18 snaps: Josh Sweat

• 17 snaps: Vinny Curry

Analysis: The Eagles were thought to be very deep at DT. Not anymore, after losing Malik Jackson for the season, and now Jernigan for a soon-to-be determined amount of time. Ridgeway and Spence didn't stand out to me in any way. Also, Fletcher Cox has not been the same beast he was a year ago.

I think it's fair to begin to worry about the pass rush. Certainly, Jim Schwartz isn't bullish on his front four, given the increased number of blitzes Sunday night.

Linebacker

• 66 snaps: Nigel Bradham

• 50 snaps: Zach Brown

• 20 snaps: Nate Gerry

Analysis: In Week 1, Brown only played 43 percent of the snaps. In this game, he played 76 percent. That's interesting against a team that runs as many 3-WR sets as Atlanta does. Brown took snaps away from Andrew Sendejo.

For the second straight week, L.J. Fort didn't get a single snap in the regular defense. He was a special teamer only. If I'm the Eagles, it's a no-brainer to release him and pick up an extra fourth-round compensatory pick.

Defensive backs

• 66 snaps each: Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod

• 59 snaps: Ronald Darby

• 43 snaps: Avonte Maddox

• 39 snaps: Rasul Douglas

• 32 snaps: Sidney Jones

• 20 snaps: Andrew Sendejo

• 1 snap: Johnathan Cyprien

• 1 snap: Craig James

Analysis: I have no earthly idea why Darby is leading the corners in snaps, and by a wide margin too (!), when he is clearly not 100 percent and is missing his speed. It doesn't make much sense on a defense in which the Eagles are already rotating their corners.

Two points on the safeties:

  1. I like what I have seen so far from Rodney McLeod. He looks healthy.
  2. On what planet would anyone want Sendejo over a fourth-round pick?


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