How Eagles handled personnel in 1st game without Goedert


The Eagles on Sunday had to play their first game without Dallas Goedert this season and they certainly missed him.

While the Eagles won 17-16 over the Colts, their offense really sputtered throughout the afternoon. That’s not all because they missed Goedert but it certainly didn’t help.

Goedert is on IR with a shoulder injury, but the Eagles expect to have him back at some point later this season. Until then, they’ll have to piece the offense together a little bit.

Here’s how the tight end snaps broke down on Sunday:

Jack Stoll: 55 snaps (81%)

Grant Calcaterra: 19 snaps (28%)

Tyree Jackson: 9 snaps (13%)

As you’d imagine, those 55 snaps are a new career high for Stoll, the second-year UDFA out of Nebraska. He was targeted just one time and had a catch for seven yards. That was the only target to a tight end on Sunday. And all three tight ends were at some point called for a penalty — Calcaterra’s and Jackson’s happened on offense, while Stoll’s was on special teams.

“I know that the production obviously in the pass game wasn't there, but I thought they did a nice job and did their jobs,” head coach Nick Sirianni said.

The Eagles tried some things to mix it up with their tight ends. For instance, of Calcaterra’s 19 snaps, nine of them came in 11 personnel as the only tight end on the field but he still didn’t see a target. Even Jackson got a handful of snaps in 11 personnel.

Here’s a breakdown of personnel groupings from this game:

11 personnel (1 tight end): 57 plays (86%)
12 personnel (2 tight ends): 7 plays (11%)
13 personnel (3 tight ends): 2  plays (3%)

No surprise here, but the Eagles used more 11 personnel and less 12 and 13 in this game than their yearly averages of 72%, 20% and 7%. Without Goedert, the threat of throwing out of those heavy personnel groupings isn’t there, which makes them way less effective.

Sirianni hasn’t been shy about saying that the Eagles’ passing offense runs through three players: Goedert, A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. In the Eagles’ first game without Goedert, the other two accounted for 16 of 23 targets (70%). In the first nine games of the season, Brown and Smith’s targets accounted for 52% of the team’s total.

It’s also worth noting that Zach Pascal on Sunday played 29 snaps, his most since Week 3 and his highest percentage (43%) of the season. As a bigger receiver with blocking ability, it makes sense that Pascal might see some more time as long as Goedert is out. We saw 2 targets for Quez Watkins too; he had 2 catches for 31 yards and a touchdown. While Watkins is obviously a very different player than Goedert, it would be nice to see him assume some of that target share.

Other offensive notes

• Jalen Hurts and the entire O-line played all 68 offensive snaps in this game. This is the third straight game all six have played every snap.

• At receiver, DeVonta Smith played 64 of 68 snaps and A.J. Brown played 60. Quez Watkins got 36 snaps and Pascal had 29.

• Miles Sanders had 44 snaps, followed by Boston Scott’s 13 and Kenny Gainwell’s 11. This is the first time all season Scott out-snapped Gainwell. And Scott was given three consecutive carries at a crucial point in the game.

Defensive notes

• The new guys played more than most people expected. Linval Joseph started the game at nose tackle and finished with 26 snaps (40%), while Ndamukong Suh came off the bench for the first time in his 13-year career and played 17 snaps (26%). Joseph and Suh were signed during the week but made a difference on Sunday.

• Rookie safety Reed Blankenship played the first two defensive snaps of his career. It looks like he’s taken over as the Eagles’ extra safety in their dime package. That was previously a role belonging to K’Von Wallace.

• Marcus Epps, James Bradberry, C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Darius Slay played all 65 snaps. Epps hasn’t left the field this season — 674/674 on the year.

• T.J. Edwards played 63 of 65 snaps and Kyzir White played 56. Those guys rarely left the field. Still no defensive snaps for third-round pick Nakobe Dean.

• The entire DL rotation: Haason Reddick (50), Fletcher Cox (48), Javon Hargrave (47), Josh Sweat (36), Brandon Graham (29), Joseph (26), Milton Williams (18), Suh (17), Robert Quinn (10), Patrick Johnson (5).

• While Joseph and Suh played well in their Eagles debuts, the Birds haven’t been getting much for Quinn after picking him up in a trade deadline move. He played just 10 snaps on Sunday and has averaged fewer than 15 in his four games with the Eagles. He has just two tackles and one quarterback hit in those four games.

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