Eagles snap count analysis: Week 4 vs. 49ers

In their Week 4 win over the San Francisco 49ers, the extremely banged-up Birds played 62 snaps on offense, and 73 snaps on defense. Let’s just get right to the snap counts.

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Quarterback and offensive line

• 62 snaps each: Carson Wentz, Jordan Mailata, Nate Herbig, Jason Kelce, Matt Pryor

• 37 snaps: Lane Johnson

• 27 snaps: Jack Driscoll

• 4 snaps: Jalen Hurts

Analysis: Johnson was in and out of the lineup Sunday night, and when he was out the Eagles’ offensive line looked like this:

LT  LG  RG  RT 
Jordan Mailata  Nate Herbig  Jason Kelce  Matt Pryor  Jack Driscoll 

I’m looking forward to zeroing in on Mailata to see how his night went. He didn’t stand out in an obviously bad way, watching live. One silver lining for the Eagles this season is that their young offensive linemen are going to get a lot of experience, which should serve the team well whenever they’re seriously ready to contend again.

Running back

• 48 snaps: Miles Sanders

• 9 snaps: Boston Scott

• 8 snaps: Adrian Killins

• 4 snaps: Corey Clement

Analysis: On the Eagles’ final drive, with a chance to win the game with one last first down, Scott and Clement got carries, while Sanders stayed on the bench, so that’s interesting. It’s worth noting that Sanders got tired at the end of the Rams and Bengals games.

I respect the idea of trying to get Killins and his speed involved, but his lone carry fooled nobody, and Killins got dumped for a 12-yard loss. Howie Roseman should probably resist the impulse to tell Chris Mortensen that Killins was going to get used in some way before the start of the game.

Wide receiver

• 50 snaps: John Hightower

• 48 snaps: Greg Ward

• 37 snaps: Travis Fulgham

• 19 snaps: Deontay Burnett

Analysis: The Niners’ defense dared the Eagles to beat them over the top all night long, as they packed the box with defenders, and allowed their backup corners to defend one-on-one on the outside. It eventually burned them, when back-of-the-roster guy Dontae Johnson allowed Fulgham to beat him for a 42-yard touchdown. 

It’s a bit curious that Doug Pederson didn’t take a shot to Hightower at any point, given Hightower’s speed. He did trust Hightower enough to go to him on a 4th and 4 situation in which Hightower got open on a rub slant route.

Tight end

• 59 snaps: Zach Ertz

• 22 snaps: Richard Rodgers

Analysis: Ertz no doubt got a lot of extra attention given the Eagles’ wide receiver situation, but he still only had 4 catches for 9 yards. George Kittle had 15 catches for 183 yards and a TD.

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Defensive line

• 56 snaps: Brandon Graham

• 50 snaps: Fletcher Cox

• 43 snaps: Derek Barnett

• 42 snaps: Javon Hargrave

• 41 snaps: Malik Jackson

• 27 snaps: Josh Sweat

• 23 snaps: Hassan Ridgeway

• 16 snaps: Genard Avery

Analysis: The defensive line was very good again for the Eagles, and probably the biggest reason the team will leave Northern California with a win. Genard Avery, Josh Sweat, Derek Barnett, Hassan Ridgeway, and Javon Hargrave all got in on sacks, and the Eagles tallied 15 total QB hits. Avery had 5(!) QB hits on his own, which means that he hit the quarterback on almost a third of his snaps.

Linebacker

• 72 snaps: Nate Gerry

• 47 snaps: Duke Riley

• 18 snaps: T.J. Edwards

• 15 snaps: Alex Singleton

• 2 snaps: Shaun Bradley

Analysis: Singleton had the play of the night for the defense, but as he mentioned post-game, Nick Mullens threw it right to him. The Eagles defended jet sweeps poorly, as Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, and George Kittle all had good gains on runs, but the Eagles did a nice job bottling up the Niners’ backs. We’ll reserve judgment here for the rewatch.

Cornerback and safety

• 73 snaps each: Rodney McLeod, Jalen Mills, and Darius Slay

• 44 snaps: Marcus Epps

• 31 snaps: Cre’Von LeBlanc

• 30 snaps: Nickell Robey-Coleman

• 27 snaps: K’Von Wallace

Analysis: With Avonte Maddox, Craig James, and Trevor Williams out, Mills moved to corner, while K’Von Wallace and Marcus Epps shared time at safety. It looked a little like Jim Schwartz was rotating Wallace and Epps in a way in which Wallace was on the field when the Eagles anticipated run, while Epps played more on passing downs.

Slay has been a very good acquisition so far for the Eagles. He has earned his money both in terms of his coverage ability, and as a willing tackler.

LeBlanc got beaten deep down the field by Kittle, who just ran right by him. I think that just goes to show how good Kittle is that he can outrun nickel corners at his size. LeBlanc made up for that with his critical strip sack, which was a great call in that situation by Schwartz, and disguised well by LeBlanc.

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