Eagles-Falcons snap counts analysis: DeVonta Smith is clearly WR1

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Playing time tracker.

Happy Eagles Victory Monday! Time to analyze the Philadelphia’s snap counts from their Week 1 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

OFFENSE

It’s typically a recipe for success when the starting quarterback and the entire starting offensive line doesn’t miss a snap.
DeVonta Smith played the most of any Eagles skill player. Clearly WR1 in terms of both talent and playing time. The rookie receiver led the Eagles in targets with eight, catching seven for 71 yards and one touchdown.
Dallas Goedert was second among skill players, though he was one snap behind Zach Ertz at halftime. The Eagles announced Ertz was dealing with a hamstring issue early in the third quarter so that impacted the veteran’s playing time. Tim McManus notes the Eagles ran 11 personnel on 60% of their snaps and multiple tight ends on about 40%.
Jalen Reagor did not officially start the game but did play the second most WR snaps and was second in targets with six.
Miles Sanders saw 15 carries (for 74 yards) and five targets (for four receptions and 39 yards) while leading Eagles running backs in snaps played.
Quez Watkins saw three targets on the Eagles’ first three plays and did not see another one after that.
Kenny Gainwell logged nine rushing attempts and saw three targets. He’s RB2 behind Sanders. And he was Philly’s primary running back in their two-minute drill before halftime.
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside didn’t show up on the box score but he contributed with some good blocking. And he almost blocked a punt! JJAW left the game early with an ankle injury.
No targets for Greg Ward.
Jack Stoll saw playing time with Ertz dealing with the hammy issue. No targets, though. Primarily used as a blocker.

DEFENSE

Three-fourths of the Eagles’ starting secondary basically played the entire game.
K’Von Wallace played a lot with Marcus Epps suffering a concussion on the Falcons’ first drive.
As expected, Eric Wilson led all Eagles linebackers in playing time. He finished tied for the lead in tackles with nine but also missed a number of them.
It was well-known that Jim Schwartz liked to rotate his defensive linemen. It appears that Jonathan Gannon believes in that methodology as well with not a single one hitting 60% of the Eagles’ snaps.
Fletcher Cox led the way and did not log a stat but obviously helped to open things up for his teammates.
Javon Hargrave was a beast with two sacks, two tackles for loss, and three quarterbacks hits on just 40 snaps played.
Josh Sweat led all Eagles defensive ends in playing time despite not officially starting the game. He had six tackles but no sacks, tackles for loss, or quarterback hits.
Brandon Graham had a crushing hit on the Falcons’ opening drive. He also forced Matt Ryan into an incompletion by hitting the quarterback as he threw.
Ryan Kerrigan did not log a stat.
Interesting to see that Derek Barnett started the game but then played the fourth most out of the top four defensive ends. The split wasn’t dramatic, of course, with all four ends playing a relatively similar amount of time. Barnett did have some positive impact with a tackle for loss and a pressure on Ryan that forced an intentional grounding penalty.
Milton Willliams did not show up much in the box score.
T.J. Edwards played the third most of any linebacker but well behind WIlson and Alex Singleton.
Hassan Ridgeway did a nice job of generating pressure late in the game. May have ensured his roster spot with that performance. Seemed like the Eagles might just replace him with T.Y. McGill once the latter is activated from the COVID list.
It felt like Genard Avery was out there for more than 22 snaps. Felt like way too much playing time for him.
Wonder if the plan was to always rotate Avery and Patrick Johnson or if the staff didn’t love what they saw out of the former.
Rookies Marlon Tuipulotu, Zech McPhearson, and Tarron Jackson saw a little playing time late with the Eagles in command of the game. Good opportunity to get their feet wet.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Andre Chachere, whom the Eagles claimed off waivers nine days ago, impressed on special teams. He was often the first guy down the field on punt coverage. The Eagles trusted him to play a lot despite being new. (Shout out to Eagles director of player personnel Brandon Brown for finding another good pro pickup.)
After being RB2 for most of training camp, Boston Scott didn’t see any offensive touches on Sunday. Clearly RB3 behind Sanders and Gainwell.
Arryn Siposs punted well in his first NFL game.
Eagles backup offensive linemen Andre Dillard, Brett Toth (not pictured), and Nate Herbig (not pictured) all played five special teams snaps.

DID NOT PLAY

INACTIVE: Rodney McLeod, Landon Dickerson, Davion Taylor, Gardner Minshew, Mac McCain

ACTIVE: Joe Flacco

Taylor might have a chance to play in Week 2 considering he was full go in Friday’s practice. It’s unclear when McLeod and Dickerson will be ready to return.

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