November 06, 2023
In their Week 9 win over the Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles played 62 snaps on offense and 75 on defense. Let's just get right to the snap counts, and some notes.
• 62 snaps: Jalen Hurts
Analysis: Hurts sets an example for every other player on the roster with the poise and toughness that he plays with on a regular basis. He played through what was clearly a painful knee injury, and even continued to run with the ball and execute Brotherly Shoves when needed. He is everything you want a leader of a football team to be.
He also had good passing numbers, as he went 17 of 23 for 207 yards, 2 TDs, and 0 INTs, for a passer rating of 130.2.
• 40 snaps: D'Andre Swift
• 23 snaps: Kenny Gainwell
• 2 snaps: Rashaad Penny
Analysis: The Eagles' run game was dominant early this season, but it has not impressed over the last month-plus. Here's what the Eagles' three backs did on the ground:
Swift also fumbled twice (both on odd plays), and was fortunate that the Eagles kept the ball on both.
Penny finally got some action for the first time since Week 2 against the Vikings. He made a heady play on special teams, when he purposely stood out of bounds and touched the football, which automatically results in the ball being placed at the 40 yard line. The ball was going out of bounds anyway, but it's good to see that Penny's head was in the game after being sidelined for so long.
• 60 snaps: A.J. Brown
• 58 snaps: DeVonta Smith
• 26 snaps: Olamide Zaccheuas
• 19 snaps: Julio Jones
Analysis: Brown had 7 catches for 66 yards and a TD, so his streak of 125-yard receiving games is over. Smith made the most of his 3 targets, making 3 catches for 51 yards, and a nice grab on a perfect deep ball from Hurts. The combo of Stephon Gilmore and Daron Bland was the best set of outside corners the Eagles have faced this season.
Zaccheaus had a catch on 2 targets for 8 yards. Jones wasn't targeted.
• 48 snaps: Dallas Goedert
• 27 snaps: Jack Stoll
• 6 snaps: Albert Okwuegbunam
Analysis: In case you missed it, Goedert reportedly has a broken forearm and will get an MRI today to determine the severity and look for damage aside from the break. He will almost certainly soon be headed for injured reserve.
Against Dallas, Goedert made some big plays in crucial moments, catching 3 passes for 50 yards, with all three of his receptions coming on touchdown drives.
• 62 snaps each: Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Tyler Steen, Lane Johnson
• 1 snap: Jack Driscoll
Analysis: On the rewatch, I'll be interested in zeroing in on Steen, who made his NFL starting debut. He seemed to struggle with some of the Cowboys' quicker interior rushers in pass protection, and when Dan Quinn was able to scheme up ways to get Micah Parsons matched up one-on-one with Steen, that didn't go well, as you might expect. However, Steen made several good blocks in the run the game, including one on the Gainwell touchdown run.
• 63 snaps: Josh Sweat
• 60 snaps: Haason Reddick
• 18 snaps: Brandon Graham
• 9 snaps: Nolan Smith
Analysis: The Eagles' edge rushers picked on RT Terence Steele all evening, as Reddick, Graham, and Sweat all beat him for sacks. Graham got him on two. It felt to me like the Eagles edge defenders were getting a lot of good rushes around the edge and forcing Prescott to step up into the pocket, but the push that we have come to expect from the interior wasn't there, and they weren't finishing.
Sweat and Reddick have played way more snaps the last couple weeks than they normally do. Prior to Week 8, Sweat was averaging 44 snaps per game, and Reddick was averaging 43. In the last two games, Sweat has played 124 snaps, and Reddick has played 119. They're ready for the bye, and the Eagles would probably be smart to mix in a little more Graham and Smith whenever they can going forward.
The Eagles finally benched Derek Barnett, who was a healthy scratch.
• 55 snaps: Fletcher Cox
• 51 snaps: Jalen Carter
• 28 snaps: Milton Williams
• 18 snaps: Jordan Davis
• 3 snaps: Marlin Tuipiulotu
Analysis: The interior of the Cowboys' line did perhaps as good a job on the Eagles' DTs as any team has all season. Carter and Cox each had a half sack, but the Eagles didn't generate much pressure from the middle of the defense, as noted above.
Davis missed snaps on Sunday seemingly with the same hamstring issue he's been dealing with for a few weeks.
Cox, Carter, Williams, and Davis have all appeared on the injury report this season, so this is a group that can really benefit from the bye week.
• 75 snaps: Zach Cunningham
• 54 snaps: Nicholas Morrow
• 21 snaps: Nakobe Dean
Analysis: Cunningham played every snap, and he led the team in tackles, with 10. Many of those were violent. He laid a big hit on Tony Pollard after a reception, and when Dak Prescott tried to jump over Darius Slay near the goal line for a touchdown, Cunningham made him pay.
He has been the Eagles' best linebacker this season.
Dean left with a foot injury, and did not return. He missed four games earlier this season with a foot injury. It's unknown at this time if those injuries are related.
• 75 snaps each: Reed Blankenship and Kevin Byard
• 74 snaps: Darius Slay
• 73 snaps: James Bradberry
• 47 snaps: Eli Ricks
• 25 snaps: Sydney Brown
• 1 snap: Josh Jobe
Analysis: Heading into this matchup, CeeDee Lamb was by far the Cowboys' most productive wide receiver.
Or you could look at the Cowboys' receivers like this:
And so, the gameplan felt pretty cut and dried — do not let Lamb have a big game.
It sure didn't seem like that was the priority, because if it was, the Eagles' secondary failed miserably, as Lamb had 11 catches on 16 targets for 191 yards.
Slowing down a great receiver is perhaps easier said than done, but the Eagles often had an undrafted rookie in Ricks covering Lamb man-to-man in important moments. That feels like a scheme failure.
Otherwise, Bradberry had a rough game, as did Byard, who continues to get acclimated in a new defense.
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