In their Week 1 win over the New England Patriots, the Philadelphia Eagles played 66 snaps on offense and 80 on defense. Let’s get straight to the snap counts and some notes.
• 66 snaps: Jalen Hurts
Analysis: Hurts didn’t really make any “wow” plays, but he didn’t make any big mistakes in the air either. He fumbled at a very bad time, which could have cost the Eagles the game.
While it wasn’t anywhere near an MVP-like performance from Hurts, it was a great mental test against Bill Belichick and a very good, versatile defense that seemed to have a good game plan for the Eagles’ explosive offense.
• 41 snaps: Kenny Gainwell
• 19 snaps: D’Andre Swift
• 8 snaps: Boston Scott
Analysis: It appears that for whatever reason the coaching staff trusts Gainwell more than Swift, because there is no solid argument that Gainwell is the more talented player.
Rashaad Penny was one of the healthy scratches, which makes sense since Scott returns kicks. Having the oft-injured Penny fresh for later in the season probably isn’t the worst thing either. It’s not like he won’t play this season. His time would come.
There was optimism at the start of the season that the Eagles’ running back group could be a problem for opposing defenses because of their diverse skill set, but if the plan for the season calls for Gainwell to play about 60 percent of the snaps, the other guys will jump just pop in here and there, opposing defensive coordinators won’t lose any sleep.
• 65 snaps: DeVonta Smith
• 60 snaps: AJ Brown
• 52 snaps: Quez Watkins
• 7 snapshots: Olamide Zaccheaus
Analysis: Brown had 7 catches for 79 yards, including 3 for 46 on a crucial fourth quarter drive that resulted in a field goal that put the Eagles ahead by 8 yards. It wasn’t a dominant performance from him, but he came up big on a very important drive.
Smith had 7 catches for 47 yards and a TD.
Watkins threw two catches for 17 yards. I hate to attack Watkins right off the bat, but there were two occasions where he ran out of bounds when there may have been more yards to be gained. One was after a reception and one was on a squib kick that he set up as an upback. Defensive backs are more than happy when players run out of bounds instead of being forced into tackles.
• 61 snaps: Dallas Goedert
• 13 snapshots: Jack Stoll
• 4 snapshots: Grant Calcaterra
Analysis: Goedert only achieved one goal, and that was only in the fourth quarter. He had no catch. It felt at times like he was either being doubled and/or pushed at the line as he appeared to be a focal point of Bill Belichick and the Pats defense.
• 66 snaps each: Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Cam Jurgens and Lane Johnson
Analysis: The offensive line as a group took more pressure than it normally does, albeit against a very good, very underrated Pats pass rush. I’m excited to watch it again and see how Jurgens fared in his first NFL start.
Semi-interestingly, Fred Johnson was active while third-round rookie OT/OG Tyler Steen was a healthy scratch.
• 59 snaps: Josh Sweat
• 58 snaps: Haason Reddick
• 21 snaps: Brandon Graham
• 16 snaps: Derek Barnett
• 7 snaps: Nolan Smith
Analysis: Reddick had thumb surgery a few weeks ago and has not healed yet as he was wearing a protective cover over his hand. That would certainly affect him, and I thought it did.
No such worries for Sweat, who looked like a very good pass rusher just like he did a year ago.
Smith played primarily on special teams.
Internal defensive line
• 50 Snaps: Fletcher Cox
• 40 Snaps: Jalen Carter
• 35 snaps: Jordan Davis
• 33 snaps: Milton Williams
• 6 snapshots each: Kentavius Street and Marlon Tuipulotu
Analysis: Carter was a beast in his rookie debut, earning several instant passing wins and forcing Mac Jones to throw early and under duress. He finally got to Jones late in the game as the Pats tried to take the lead and win the game.
Davis forced a fumble, scored a half-sack (his first in the NFL) and helped improve the Pats’ running game. This was an encouraging performance from the 2022 first-round pick.
Cox and Williams were also active as they were both able to build pressure. This was by far the best performing Eagles group of the day.
• 70 snaps: Zach Cunningham
• 49 snapshots: Nakobe Dean
• 34 snapshots: Christian Elliss
Analysis: Uh oh.
The linebackers looked shaky in coverage as the Pats got what they wanted in the middle of the field. The team’s most worrisome position group early in the season became even more worrisome after Week 1.
Cornerback and safety
• 80 snapshots: Darius Slay
• 78 snaps: Reed Blankenship
• 77 snaps: Justin Evans
• 72 snapshots: James Bradberry
• 71 snaps: Avonte Maddox
• 10 snaps: Terrell Edmunds
• 8 snaps: Josh Jobe
Analysis: Evans had the safest start over Blankenship, which wasn’t a surprise but wasn’t a certainty either.
Slay, of course, had the pick-six and Blankenship made a few good open field tackles.
Sydney Brown didn’t play an immediate role on defense, although he stood out on special teams.
In total, Mac Jones threw for 316 yards and 3 touchdowns on a day where the Eagles’ defensive front destroyed the Pats’ offensive line. The Pats’ receivers aren’t a who’s who of size, and yet they often experienced big separations.
Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports
Add Jimmy’s RSS feed to your feed reader