Distribution of playing time.
Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images
The official tally for the Philadelphia Eagles’ Week 16 win over the New York Giants is available. Let’s take a look and go over some analysis.
- Sua Opeta started in place of Landon Dickerson at left guard, as expected. He earned his highest grade Pro Football Focus from afar this season. This is not hard to believe since Opeta has more experience at LG than RG. Opeta was actually the third highest rated offensive player behind Grant Calcaterra (!) and Jalen Hurts.
- AJ Brown only saw two targets in the first half for a seven-yard reception. He saw nine targets for five catches and 73 yards in the second half.
- DeVonta Smith first half: four targets, three receptions, 72 yards, 1 TD. DeVonta’s Smith second half: one target, one reception, six yards.
- Dallas Goedert had his third-most receiving yards despite having his sixth-lowest snap count percentage. He hasn’t been in the 90% range like he normally is since returning from his forearm injury.
- D’Andre Swift recorded his second-most rushing attempts this year despite having the sixth-lowest snap count percentage. Swift’s 92 rushing yards were his third record this year. Swift recorded no targets for only the second time this season; the other game was the Week 14 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
- Jack Stoll played his third highest snap percentage this year. The two above this one were games Goedert didn’t play. Despite this, he did not see a target. The Eagles clearly favored multiple TE sets more often than usual in this game.
- Kenny Gainwell recorded a season-high 79 yards from scrimmage between six carries for 41 yards (6.8 average) and three receptions for 38 yards. Gainwell’s last 16 carries have totaled 90 yards (5.0 average). His 18 before that were worth just 66 yards (3.7 average). His 80 receiving yards over the last four games are also more than the 78 he had in his first 10 games combined. More effective option recently. Additionally, Gainwell saw his highest special teams count percentage of the season.
- Julio Jones led playing time at WR3. He saw a season-high four targets but had just one reception for five yards, which came on a screen on 2nd-and-20. Why do the Eagles like to play this game in long-term scenarios?! Jones is THE OLDEST ACTIVE WIDE RECEIVER IN THE NFL!
- Less Julio, more Olamide Zaccheaus. The special teams mistake was obviously bad, but OZ had a huge block to pave the way for DeVonta’s TD. This isn’t the first time he’s done this this year either. Play him! No reason for him to only have two targets in the last four games when Julio and Quez Watkins have combined for 10.
- Grant Calcaterra played his third-highest snap percentage this year and his second-highest in a game where Goedert also played. He saw his first goal of the season (and first since December 18, 2022) on the play where Jalen Hurts recovered a bad snap and still managed to get a sack. Calcaterra’s other target also had a first down. Maybe he should be involved in this more often than ever?
- Unfortunately, my bold prediction from my prediction post was correct… Boston Scott played his first Giants game without recording a touchdown. Tough development for TD bettors at any time.
- Britain Covey recorded his first career goal and reception on a 1st and 10 screen that went for seven yards! It’s nice to see the Eagles reward him with some offensive flair after seeing him excel on special teams.
- Quez Watkins saw just one snap. This is the lowest number of snaps he has ever played in a game where he was active. The second lowest was a five-snap game as a rookie in 2020. Kudos to the coaching staff for finally reducing his playing time after his repeated struggles and questionable efforts. We’ll see if they continue to hold him back.
- Despite calls for his bench, James Bradberry played the entire match. In some packages he moved inside with Eli Ricks and Kelee Ringo lining up outside.
- Shaq Leonard has been forced into a larger role due to multiple injuries at linebacker. He responded by flashing a lot more than in his first two Eagles games, where he looked cooked. Leonard finished with a team-high seven tackles, including five solo tackles. He was the only Eagles player with multiple TFLs (two) and the only Eagles player with a sack.
- Haason Reddick went sackless in consecutive games for the first time since going sackless while in a cast on his hand in the first three games this season. Reddick did still have a season-high four QB hits in addition to a TFL that resulted in a turnover on downs. Reddick played his third-highest snap percentage this year. Reddick played 58 or more snaps in just three of 17 regular-season games last season. He’s already scored 58 or more in six out of 15 games this season.
- Josh Sweat still doesn’t have a sack since beating Dak Prescott late in the Eagles’ Week 9 win over the Cowboys. He’s played as many as 771 defensive snaps in 15 games this season after recording just 587 in 16 last year.
- With Kelee Ringo and Eli Ricks sharing rotation time more evenly at CB2 last week, the Eagles leaned more on the Georgia rookie in this game. Ringo only allowed two catches for nine yards on three targets according to PFF’s charting. Moreover, he had the decisive choice in the final game. The youngest player on the Eagles roster shows intriguing potential.
- Ben VanSumeren saw plenty of playing time in his defensive debut. He obviously wasn’t a total liability, which is good!
- Jordan Davis made a very good tackle on a play that prevented Tommy DeVito from stopping a big run. That said, Davis doesn’t have a sack or QB hit since Week 7. He doesn’t have a TFL since Week 2.
- Bradley Roby’s role is about to get smaller with Avonte Maddox expected to return as early as Week 17. They could look to ease Maddox out early, however.
- Brandon Graham did not record a stat in scoring despite having the second-highest snap count percentage this season.
- Sydney Brown saw a lesser role after playing nearly 79% of the Eagles’ defensive snaps last week and looking a bit inconsistent.
- Kind of curious that Jalen Carter played his second lowest snap percentage this season. Carter had an offsides penalty that turned a 4th and 4 punt into a first down for the Giants. He almost had another one that would have turned the Giants into 4th and 4 on a first down. Fortunately, the referees called the Giants center for a false start and New York punted instead.
- Nolan Smith played a career-high snap count percentage. The Eagles have experimented with him as an off-ball linebacker in 5-1-5 packages. While it’s not the worst idea to give him some occasional reps, it would still be best to try to get him to rush the passer.
- Josh Jobe started the season as the clear backup outside of CB. He now finds himself in a spot where four CBs are playing defensive snaps in front of him.
- Brandon Smith debuted with the Eagles after being temporarily elevated from the practice squad. He put a big hit on a Giants returner to record just one tackle on special teams.
- Jake Elliott made his four field goals (28, 21, 44, 43) and his three additional shots on goal for a total of 15 points. He only finished with more points in two other games, with 16 each. Elliott hasn’t missed a field goal since Week 6 and an extra point since Week 1 (rainy/windy game).
- Braden Mann is averaging 43.7 net yards per punt attempt this season. That ranks seventh in the NFL.
- Let’s show some love to Rick Lovato, who actually forced a fumble on punt coverage! The long snapper would have gotten more glory if the Eagles could have recovered. This is Lovato’s first career FF.
DID NOT PLAY
INACTIVE: Nicholas Morrow, Landon Dickerson, Darius Slay, Zach Cunningham, Albert Okwuegbunam, Rashaad Penny, Tanner McKee
ACTIVE: Marcus Mariota
- Morrow did not play, but it was a game-time decision against the Giants. He might be able to come back this week.
- We’ll see if any of Dickerson, Slay or Cunningham will be able to practice this week.
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