The thing that stands out most looking at Eagles snap counts from their 32-21 loss to the Commanders on Monday night?
Their defense played a ton.
It was clear that Washington’s goal in this game was to stay on the field and the Eagles suffered a death by a thousand paper cuts. Ultimately, the Eagles’ defense was on the field for 83 plays, while their offense finished with just 50.
That also showed up in the time of possession battle, where Washington held the ball for 40:24, the biggest TOP disparity since the Chip Kelly days.
The Eagles’ 83 snaps on defense is a new season high, surpassing the 77 they played in Week 3 against the Commanders. It’s the most the Eagles have played in a game since they played 99 in a 29-23 overtime loss to the Cowboys in 2018. It’s the most they played in a non-OT game since a 34-19 win over the Giants in 2017.
What led to all these snaps? The Eagles couldn’t get off the field on 3rd down; the Commanders converted 12 attempts.
“I wasn’t gassed because I am in good shape, but we were out there for a long time,” Darius Slay said. “That is on us. We kept allowing them to get in manageable downs to convert and that is on us. We have to do better than that. We know we are better than that. It was a great opportunity, but now we have another one coming up.”
More defensive notes
• Slay, Marcus Epps, James Bradberry and C.J. Gardner-Johnson all played the entire 83 snaps. We’re over halfway through the season and Epps hasn’t left the field on defense. He’s played 609/609 and Bradberry has played 606.
• The Eagles’ DT rotation got thrown out of whack because of all these snaps: Fletcher Cox (70 snaps, 84%), Javon Hargrave (66 snaps, 80%), Milton Williams (38 snaps, 46%), Marlon Tuipulotu (37 snaps, 45%). The Eagles went into this game without Jordan Davis, who is on IR, and without Marvin Wilson, who was not elevated. There were a few snaps for Brandon Graham inside in this game but not a ton.
• So this led to Cox playing 70 snaps, which is obviously way too many. After a pretty good start, Cox hasn’t been playing very well recently. He had seven tackles in this game. After Cox had three sacks in three games to start the season, he hasn’t had one in six games.
• On the edge, Hasson Reddick led the way with 58 snaps (70%), followed by Josh Sweat (36/43%), Brandon Graham (34/41%), Robert Quinn (22/27%) and Patrick Johnson (18/22%). Sweat might have played more but he was banged up in the game. And the Eagles haven’t gotten much out of Quinn so far. In the three games since the trade, he has played 49 snaps and has just 2 tackles and 1 QB hit.
• At linebacker, T.J. Edwards barely left the field, playing 78 of 83 snaps. Kyzir White played 62. Still no defensive snaps for Nakobe Dean.
• Give Dallas Goedert a ton of credit. He hurt his shoulder on Monday and it’s an injury that is going to sideline him multiple weeks, but he refused to leave the game. He returned after getting hurt and played all 50 of the Eagles’ offensive snaps.
• Without Goedert, the Eagles will turn to Jack Stoll and Grant Calcaterra, who will see a huge rise in snaps. Stoll played 11 and Calcaterra 7 in this game.
• In addition to Goedert, the entire OL and Jalen Hurts played all 50 snaps. Second straight game the OL stayed intact.
• A.J. Brown hurt his ankle and DeVonta Smith hurt his hand but both continued to play on Monday. Smith led the receivers with 43 snaps, followed by Brown’s 39, Quez Watkins’ 29 and Zach Pascal’s 21. Watkins led the Eagles in receiving but fumbled on the tail end of his 50-yard catch.
• Miles Sanders led the running backs with 29 of 50 snaps, followed by Kenny Gainwell’s 16 and Boston Scott’s 5.
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