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October 25, 2021

Eagles snap count analysis: Week 7 at Raiders

Eagles NFL

In their Week 7 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, the Philadelphia Eagles played 69 not so nice snaps on offense, and 66 on defense. Let's just get right to the snap counts, and some notes.

Quarterback

• 69 snaps: Jalen Hurts

Analysis: Hurts' repetitive accuracy is unfortunately just not good enough for a starting NFL quarterback, and there has not been enough improvement in that area over the first seven weeks of the season to confidently project that he'll substantially improve in that area over the long haul.

There are still 10 games remaining, but he is well off track to be the Birds' starting quarterback in 2022 and beyond.

Running back

• 35 snaps: Kenny Gainwell

• 23 snaps: Boston Scott

• 12 snaps: Miles Sanders

Analysis: Poor Miles. The first time he's a heavy part of the game plan and he's gone after just 12 snaps. He was off to a good start, too, carrying 6 times for 30 yards before suffering an ankle injury.

Gainwell lost a fumble that led to free Raiders points at the end of the first half.

Wide receiver

• 60 snaps: DeVonta Smith

• 56 snaps: Jalen Reagor

• 50 snaps: Quez Watkins

• 17 snaps: Greg Ward

• 8 snaps: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside

Analysis: If you look at the top five teams in the NFC — the Cardinals, Rams, Cowboys, Packers, and Buccaneers — which are all head and shoulders better than the rest of the conference, a common theme is that they are loaded at wide receiver. 

Smith is going to be a good starter at some point, and Watkins is a guy who clearly has a role going forward. But the Eagles need more. Wide receiver remains a significant draft need even after they used first-round picks on the position in each of the last two years, and a second-round pick in 2019.

Speaking of that second-round pick, not that anyone is clamoring for him to get more opportunities, but Arcega-Whiteside still has zero targets this season.

Credit Reagor for a nice play on a contested catch and run for a TD late in the game, but too many of his positive moments have come in garbage time. He has some skill, but right now he'd be no better than a No. 4 receiver on most of the aforementioned stacked teams noted above.

Tight end

• 64 snaps: Dallas Goedert

• 13 snaps: Jack Stoll

• 7 snaps: Richard Rodgers

Analysis: Goedert played 93 percent of the snaps in the first game after the Zach Ertz trade. He had 3 catches for 70 yards, plus a two-point conversion.

Offensive line

• 69 snaps each: Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, and Jack Driscoll

• 58 snaps: Lane Johnson

• 11 snaps: Andre Dillard

Analysis: Johnson's ankle got stepped on, hence his 11 missed snaps. Mailata had a bad day, as Yannick Ngakoue often got the best of him.

Defensive line

• 56 snaps each: Derek Barnett and Fletcher Cox

• 49 snaps each: Javon Hargrave and Josh Sweat

• 19 snaps: Hassan Ridgeway

• 18 snaps: Milton Williams

• 13 snaps: Ryan Kerrigan

• 4 snaps: Tarron Jackson

Analysis: In his postgame press conference, Cox displayed frustration with Jonathan Gannon's scheme, noting that he can't be as aggressive in this defense as he has been in previous years. He also said that he doesn’t get paid to play screens; he gets paid to sack the quarterback. 

What a terrible message from a team captain who simply hasn't played well.

Linebacker

• 37 snaps: Alex Singleton

• 36 snaps: Davion Taylor

• 28 snaps: Genard Avery

• 27 snaps: T.J. Edwards

• 22 snaps: Eric Wilson

Analysis: The Eagles' linebackers aren't good, but Gannon's scheme also isn't doing them any favors. With the defensive backs playing such soft coverage on the back end, the linebackers are being asked to cover wide areas of the middle of the field, while also maintaining run responsibilities, and they're just not good enough to do it. Frankly, the best linebackers in the NFL would struggle in this defense.

Cornerback and safety

• 66 snaps each: Darius Slay, Steven Nelson, Rodney McLeod, and Marcus Epps

• 47 snaps: Avonte Maddox

• 1 snap: Andre Chachere

Analysis: What's odd is that the Eagles' defensive backs really haven't even played that badly, particularly the corners. Slay, Nelson, and Maddox have all made plays, but Gannon's scheme has put more pressure and stress on the linebackers than the more well-equipped secondary. 

Carson Wentz tracker

As you're aware, the Eagles traded Carson Wentz to the Colts for a second-round pick that can become a first-round pick if Wentz plays 75 percent of the Colts' offensive snaps, or he plays 70 percent of the Colts' snaps, plus the Colts make the playoffs. Be sure to check out our Carson Wentz snap tracker here.

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