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October 02, 2023

Eagles snap count analysis: Week 4 vs. Commanders

After moving to 4-0 in a win over the Commanders, here's analysis of the Eagles' snap count distribution.

Eagles NFL
100223NicholasMorrow Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Oh hey, is Nicholas Morrow (41) good?

In their Week 4 win over the Washington Commanders, the Philadelphia Eagles played 71 snaps on offense and 78 on defense. Let's just get right to the snap counts, and some notes.


• 71 snaps: Jalen Hurts

Analysis: This was Jalen Hurts' best game of the season so far, as he was 25 of 37 for 319 yards, 2 TDs, and 0 INTs, for a passer rating of 112.3. I thought he did nice job early in the game of taking easy completions underneath, but then also getting aggressive with deeper throws down the field when appropriate. He hit A.J. Brown on two well thrown deep balls off double moves for TDs.

Running back

• 45 snaps: D'Andre Swift

• 27 snaps: Kenny Gainwell

Analysis: 14-56-1 for Swift, 4-14-0 for Gainwell. I think that's an appropriate split for those two backs. I do not think the Eagles should be handing the ball to Gainwell on 3rd and 11 in the red zone. 

We've seen opposing defenses "pick their poison," so to speak this season. The Vikings, for example, sold out to stop the pass, keeping faster, smaller players on the field, and the Eagles bludgeoned them with the run. It felt like the Commanders did not want to get run over like the Vikings and Buccaneers did, but they paid for it on the back end. 

Wide receiver

• 70 snaps: DeVonta Smith

• 68 snaps: A.J. Brown

• 61 snaps: Olamide Zaccheaus

• 6 snaps: Britain Covey

Analysis: Brown was obviously one of the stars of the game, as he cooked rookie CB Emmanuel Forbes all day, finishing with 9 catches for 175 yards and 2 TDs. It was a "Welcome to the NFL" type of game for the first-round Commanders corner.

Smith had another incredible body control catch deep down the middle of the field. He plays so much bigger than his wiry frame.

Zaccheaus had a bad drop in an important situation, but he made up for that with a big catch and a huge third down conversion on the next play. He also blocked well down the field. At 5'8, 193, he's not going to bully opposing corners as a blocker, but he's tenacious and effective.

Covey had another good day as a returner, averaging 12.7 yards on 3 returns, including a 20-yard return. On the season, he is averaging 16.8 yards per punt return, which is third in the NFL among players with at least 5 returns.

Tight end

• 71 snaps: Dallas Goedert

• 6 snaps: Jack Stoll

• 1 snap: Grant Calcaterra

Analysis: Goedert played every snap, but the backups barely played at all. The game plan did not include many two-TE looks, and it appeared that the Eagles wanted Forbes — Washington's third corner — on the field.

Offensive line

• 71 snaps each: Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, and Lane Johnson

• 43 snaps: Sua Opeta

• 28 snaps: Cam Jurgens

Analysis: Jurgens left with a foot injury and did not return. He had a walking boot on his right foot in the locker room after the game. I have not yet rewatched this game, but Opeta didn't seem to have any obvious struggles watching the game live against one of the best DT duos in the NFL in Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne. The RG spot will be a position of particular interest heading into Week 5, when the Eagles will face Aaron Donald and the Rams.

Mailata had a rough day working against Chase Young.

Edge defenders

• 52 snaps: Haason Reddick and Josh Sweat

• 28 snaps: Brandon Graham

• 18 snaps: Derek Barnett

• 9 snaps: Nolan Smith

Analysis: Reddick and Sweat each had a sack. Reddick was quiet throughout the first half, but he came to life in the second half. Now that he is playing without a cast on his hand, he'll have a chance to start playing more like the player he was in 2022. That would obviously be a massive boost for the Eagles' defense.

I thought Graham had a good game, even if he didn't appear in the stat sheet. He had a few very quick wins and forced some early throws.

After contributing a big hit on Baker Mayfield Week 3, Smith saw a small uptick in playing time, but he was flagged for offsides.

Interior defensive line

• 58 snaps: Fletcher Cox

• 36 snaps each: Jalen Carter and Milton Williams

• 29 snaps: Jordan Davis

• 11 snaps: Marlon Tuipulotu

• 7 snaps: Kentavius Street

Analysis: Cox played 74 percent of the snaps on a day that the defense was on the field for a long time. He only played 32 snaps in the Eagles' comfortable win over the Buccaneers, so his high usage on Sunday isn't that big of a deal, especially in close game, but Sean Desai and Tracy Rocker should be mindful that the team will need Cox to be fresh in the games that really matter in January and February and should look to get him off the field when possible.


• 77 snaps: Nicholas Morrow

• 66 snaps: Zach Cunningham

Analysis: The Eagles only played two linebackers. Morrow had a big day in the stat sheet, collecting 11 tackles and 3 sacks, while Cunningham chipped in 13 tackles as well. I'm curious to get another look at them on the rewatch.

Cornerback and safety

• 78 snaps each: James Bradberry, Reed Blankenship, and Terrell Edmunds

• 77 snaps: Darius Slay

• 68 snaps: Josh Jobe

Analysis: There was some debate in our comments section recently over whether or not Justin Evans is "fine" at safety. With Evans out and Edmunds in the starting lineup, I think we saw the different between "fine" and something less than "fine" on Sunday, as Edmunds did not play well. 

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