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Eagles-Patriots snap counts: Kenneth Gainwell leads the way at running back

Playing time breakdown.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The official snap counts from the Philadelphia Eagles’ Week 1 win over the New England Patriots are in. Let’s take a look and run through some analysis.


  • When Jalen Hurts and the starting offensive line play the entire game, this offense simply must get in the end zone more than once.
  • DeVonta Smith missed just one snap and tied for the team lead in targets with 10. He caught seven passes for 47 yards (6.7 average) and one touchdown.
  • A.J. Brown also saw 10 targets and seven receptions. He had 79 yards (11.3 average) and nearly could’ve had more if not for his 48-yard sideline reception being overturned upon review.
  • Dallas Goedert playing 61 snaps and only seeing one target (for zero receptions) is a pretty massive failure by both Hurts and the coaching staff. The Patriots were clearly focused on taking him away, which is smart. But he’s too good to just be phased out entirely like this. The broadcast showed Goedert getting open and Hurts simply not seeing him at times. But the coaching staff also has to find ways to force the issue and get him more than zero touches.
  • No surprise here but Quez Watkins is clearly WR3. He caught both of his targets for 17 yards.
  • Kenneth Gainwell led all Eagles running backs in first-team training camp reps by a significant margin. He also led all Eagles running backs in playing time and touches by far in this game. Gainwell’s 14 carries went for 54 yards (3.9 average) and his four catches went for 20 yards (5.0 average). Gainwell touching the ball on 28% of the Eagles’ total snaps, 38% of the Eagles’ total touches, and 82% of the Eagles’ total running back touches is too high. It’s not that he was terrible ... but he’s not a feature player to build the offense around. It’s easier to envision him as a nice complementary piece in a heavier running back rotation.
  • D’Andre Swift should’ve had a bigger role than getting two touches. Just one carry.
  • Jack Stoll continues to be the Eagles’ blocking tight end.
  • Olamide Zaccheaus didn’t play much as WR4. Zero targets.


  • Darius Slay is the only defender who played the entire game.
  • Reed Blankenship briefly missed two snaps after getting banged up but was able to return.
  • Justin Evans was the starting safety next to Blankenship. Not really ideal.
  • James Bradberry left the game on the Patriots’ final drive after suffering a head injury.
  • Good amount of nickel utilization in Sean Desai’s first game as Eagles defensive coordinator with Avonte Maddox playing 89% of the snaps. Maddox logged a higher snap count percentage in only three of his nine games played last year.
  • Zach Cunningham got the start next to Nakobe Dean. He was rotating with Christian Elliss early on but those two finished the game as the only healthy off-ball linebackers with Dean getting hurt.
  • Josh Sweat led all Eagles defensive linemen in playing time with Haason Reddick close behind. The latter’s snap count was not impacted by the thumb injury recovery he’s working through ... but his production may have been? Reddick did have one QB hit but was otherwise quiet on the stat sheet.
  • Fletcher Cox had one of his most memorable games in some time with a big tackle for no gain on third down and then a fourth down pressure that forced a turnover on downs to set up an Eagles drive that put Philly up 25 to 14. Cox got hurt late in the game; we’ll have to see what becomes of that. John Clark reported he’s going to have an MRI.
  • Dean missed time in training camp with an ankle injury. He was unable to make it through his first NFL start. Not good. Dean is set to undergo an MRI on Monday. We’ll see if he has to miss significant time. At the very least, he doesn’t seem like a good bet to play on Thursday night.
  • Pretty impressive debut for Jalen Carter, who saw the second-most defensive tackle snaps.
  • Jordan Davis also stood out in a positive way, logging his first career sack (half of a sack shared with Josh Sweat) and forced fumble. This game marked career highs in total snaps (previously: 29) and snap count percentage (previously: 42%) for Davis.
  • Milton Williams is DT4.
  • Limited roles for Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett as rotational defensive ends, as expected.
  • Once considered a candidate to start at safety, Terrell Edmunds barely played much.
  • Josh Jobe entered the game late when Bradberry got hurt. He helped the Eagles secure the win by forcing the Pats’ rookie receiver out of bounds for an incompletion on their final fourth down play.
  • Didn’t even really notice Nolan Smith out there.
  • Very limited playing time for Kentavius Street and Marlon Tuipulotu as DT5/DT6. Despite this, Mr. T managed to log three total tackles, two solo.


  • Christian Elliss, Josh Jobe, Terrell Edmunds, Nolan Smith, Justin Evans, Patrick Johnson, Sydney Brown, and Kelee Ringo were the frequent special teams contributors in terms of playing time.
  • Sydney Brown put a big hit on Patriots punt returner Marcus Jones. Ditto for Jobe.
  • Jake Elliott was obviously instrumental to the Eagles’ victory with his four field goal makes.
  • Arryn Siposs played a lot more than you’d like to see him play. He was better than expected.
  • Britain Covey returned two punts for 30 yards with a long of 25.


INACTIVE: Tanner McKee, Rashaad Penny, Tyler Steen, Albert Okwuegbunam, Mario Goodrich, Eli Ricks, Moro Ojomo

ACTIVE: Marcus Mariota

  • McKee is serving as the Eagles’ emergency quarterback. He’s able to dress for the game but he can’t play unless both Hurts and Mariota become unavailable.
  • Perhaps worth giving Penny a look if the offense continues to struggle?

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