Eagles snap counts: Brandon Graham killing it with limited snaps


After his three-sack performance on Sunday against the Giants, Brandon Graham is closing in on his career high and has a chance at his first double digit sack season.

What makes it so impressive is that he’s doing all this in limited snaps.

Once a fixture in the starting lineup, the 34-year-old Graham has become a rotational player in his 13th season and coming off an Achilles injury last year. But his production has actually risen.

On Sunday, Graham had three sacks in just 29 defensive snaps in the 48-22 win.

Graham has played 39.7% of the Eagles’ defensive snaps this season and he already has 8 1/2 sacks, just one shy of his career high.

“It’s great,” his longtime teammate Fletcher Cox said. “It feels good watching BG get after it, especially coming off the Achilles. He’s got 8 1/2 sacks right now. What more can you ask for?”

Graham admitted he didn’t necessarily like his new role at the beginning of the season but he’s embraced it since then in typical BG fashion.

And it’s hard to argue with the results.

Graham is now averaging a sack every 39.3 snaps this season, by far the highest mark of his career. His previous high came in 2017 when he had 9.5 sacks in 663 snaps (one every 69.8 snaps).

After Sunday’s slate of games, Graham is tied for 14th in the NFL in sacks and he’s done it in the second-fewest snaps. The only player with that many sacks in fewer snaps in Baltimore’s Justin Houston, who has 9 in 297 snaps.

The chance to hit double digits in Year 13 would mean an awful lot to Graham.

“You know it does. You know it does,” Graham said Sunday. “It will be my first time this year if I can do it. I have four games  left, you know that’s on my mind. But at the end of the day… I’m just going to do… like today it came  today in three. I didn’t know it was going to come like that, but I was happy that we just got the win at  the end of the day.”

Other defensive notes

• The Eagles got a chance to rest their starters in the fourth quarter but starting safety Marcus Epps played all 64 snaps. After the injury to Reed Blankenship, the Eagles were pretty limited on options so Epps stayed in.

• Safety Reed Blankenship played 18 snaps before leaving with a knee injury. He was replaced by K’Von Wallace, who played 46 snaps (72%). That’s by far the most Wallace has played all season.

• A look at the DL rotation: Haason Reddick 55 snaps (86%), Javon Hargrave 31 snaps (48%), Josh Sweat 30 snaps (47%), Brandon Graham 29 snaps (45%), Fletcher Cox 29 snaps (45%), Ndamukong Suh 29 snaps (45%), Milton Willams 24 snaps (38%), Linval Joseph 19 snaps (30%), Jordan Davis 14 snaps (23%), Patrick Johnson 14 snaps (22%).

• When the Eagles emptied the bench late in the game, Nakobe Dean, Christian Elliss, Zech McPhearson and Josh Jobe each played 12 snaps. Those were the first 12 defensive snaps of Jobe’s career.

• Elliss had four tackles in 12 snaps. In the last two weeks, getting to play late in blowouts, Elliss has played 22 snaps and has nine tackles.

Offensive notes

• The only players on offense to play all 68 snaps were Jordan Mailata and Landon Dickerson. Lane Johnson played 56 snaps before leaving a bit early with a minor abdomen injury. He’ll be OK.

• DeVonta Smith led the receivers with 62 snaps, followed by A.J. Brown (58), Quez Watkins (32), Zach Pascal (19) and Britain Covey (5).

• Miles Sanders had a career day, going for 144 yards with 2 touchdowns and also crossed the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his career. He led the running backs with 45 snaps, while Boston Scott and Kenny Gainwell each got 12 apiece.

• In what might have been the final game without Dallas Goedert, who is eligible to return next week in Chicago, Jack Stoll led the tight ends with 47 snaps, followed by Grant Calcaterra (39) and Tyree Jackson (9).

• Gardner Minshew came in for the final five snaps of the game. Good sign to see him out there at the end of blowouts in back-to-back games.

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