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October 22, 2018

Eagles snap count analysis: Week 7 vs. Panthers

Eagles NFL
102218RasulDouglas Scott R. Galvin/USA TODAY Sports

Even with three injuries in the Eagles' secondary, Rasul Douglas can't get on the field.

In the Philadelphia Eagles' choke-job loss to the Carolina Panthers, the Eagles had some interesting decisions to make, particularly in the secondary and at defensive tackle. Here are the snap counts from that matchup, and analysis of how they adjusted.

Quarterback and offensive line

• 67 snaps each: Carson Wentz, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson

• 61 snaps: Jason Peters

• 7 snaps: Halapoulivaati Vaitai

Analysis: Once again, Jason Peters had to come out of the game for a bit, which only re-emphasizes that the team may be best served to just let him rest up and get healthy before he returns full-time to the field.

Running back

• 35 snaps: Wendell Smallwood

• 25 snaps: Corey Clement

• 8 snaps: Josh Adams

Analysis: While Wendell Smallwood had a good run and a long pass reception both called back because of penalties, he can't really be the answer as the lead back for this team, can he? 

Wide receiver

• 64 snaps: Alshon Jeffery

• 59 snaps: Nelson Agholor

• 29 snaps: Jordan Matthews

• 3 snaps: DeAndre Carter

• 2 snaps: Shelton Gibson

Analysis: There's nothing surprising here. The good news is that Kamar Aiken is no longer eating up snaps.

Tight end

• 65 snaps: Zach Ertz

• 37 snaps: Dallas Goedert

Analysis: Nothing surprising here either.

Defensive line

• 45 snaps: Fletcher Cox

• 39 snaps: Brandon Graham

• 37 snaps: Derek Barnett

• 34 snaps: Treyvon Hester

• 32 snaps: Michael Bennett

• 29 snaps: Chris Long

• 21 snaps: Bruce Hector

Analysis: In my view, when guys like Treyvon Hester and Bruce Hector are combining for 55 snaps, defensive tackle remains the Eagles' biggest need the rest of this season, assuming Timmy Jernigan isn't returning anytime soon. 

Linebackers

• 59 snaps: Jordan Hicks

• 59 snaps: Nigel Bradham

• 9 snaps; Kamu Grugier-Hill

• 1 snap: LaRoy Reynolds

Analysis: This is the first time Bradham played every snap this season. I'll also note here that seven games in, Hicks has not left the field yet this season.

Cornerback and safety

• 59 snaps: Malcolm Jenkins

• 58 snaps each: Jalen Mills, Avonte Maddox, Ronald Darby

• 48 snaps: Dexter McDougle

• 3 snaps: Tre Sullivan

Analysis: With Sidney Jones out, the Eagles needed to figure out a plan for the slot corner spot. The thinking here was that they would leave Avonte Maddox at safety, keep Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby as the outside corners, and then kick Mills inside to the slot in nickel with Rasul Douglas coming in to play on the outside. Instead, the Eagles simply took newly signed Dexter McDougle, a player they grabbed off the street last Tuesday, and inserted him directly into the "starting" slot position.

Watching the game live at the stadium, McDougle didn't seem to make any egregious errors, but it is interesting nevertheless that Jim Schwartz felt that a lineup of Mills-Darby-McDougle gave them a better chance of winning than Mills-Darby-Douglas. 


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