Eagles snap counts vs. Falcons: Ertz dethrones Celek


There’s no doubt about it that last night’s game was disappointing for the Philadelphia Eagles. But there were some notable positives to take from the team’s performance as well. That starts with a few young players receiving more snaps than we may have anticipated them playing to kickoff the regular season in 2015. Such as tight end Zach Ertz dethroning veteran Brent Celek as essentially the team’s starting tight end.

All that and more in this week’s snap count breakdown for the Eagles’ primetime matchup with the Atlanta Falcons. Snap count totals and player grades (in parentheses) are courtesy of Pro Football Focus. Let’s start with a look at the offensive side of the ball.


Lane Johnson, RT: 74 total snaps (+2.8 overall grade)

Andrew Gardner, RG: 74 (+2.1)

Sam Bradford, QB: 74 (-1.4)

Jason Kelce, C: 74 (-2.5)

Allen Barbre, LG: 74 (-3.9)

Jason Peters, LT: 71 (+0.2)

Jordan Matthews, WR: 63 (-0.3)

Nelson Agholor, WR: 59 (-2.7)

Zach Ertz, TE: 52 (+0.8)

Riley Cooper, WR: 43 (-0.1)

Josh Huff, WR: 36 (-0.4)

DeMarco Murray, RB: 34 (-0.6)

Brent Celek, TE: 27 (-0.7)

Darren Sproles, RB: 25 (+2.2)

Miles Austin, WR: 16 (0.0)

Ryan Mathews, RB: 15 (+0.2)

Matt Tobin, LT: 3 (+0.1)

Let’s start with the offensive line, they struggled throughout the entire night as a whole. They were called for far too many penalties and Lane Johnson was the lone bright spot. I’m not quite sure how Andrew Gardner received a positive grade considering he struggled for most of the night. It’s worth noting that people usually take PFF’s grades with a grain of salt as they are very subjective. Every member of the Eagles’ starting offensive line was called for a penalty and that’s obviously not ideal.

Then there are the pass catchers, where Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor played a whole lot more than many were likely expecting. Ertz appears to have finally unseated Brent Celek as the team’s starting tight end, maybe all that work in the offseason finally paid off. Agholor played a ton of snaps but failed to do much and was flagged for an awfully executed pick play as well. Quite a disappointing debut for Philadelphia’s first-round pick. Now let’s move on to the defensive side of the ball!


Mychal Kendricks, ILB: 77 total snaps (+2.1 overall grade)

Walter Thurmond, S: 77 (+1.5)

Nolan Carroll, CB: 77 (+0.7)

Byron Maxwell, CB: 77 (-3.7)

Malcolm Jenkins, S: 75 (+2.9)

Connor Barwin, OLB: 71 (-2.5)

Fletcher Cox, DE: 69 (+1.8)

Cedric Thornton, DE: 54 (-1.1)

Brandon Graham, OLB: 54 (-0.8)

Bennie Logan, NT: 53 (+3.1)

Kiko Alonso, ILB: 49 (-3.6)

Chris Maragos, S: 36 (+0.5)

DeMeco Ryans, ILB: 28 (-2.0)

Taylor Hart, DE: 19 (+0.8)

Vinny Curry, DE: 19 (-0.3)

Beau Allen, NT: 12 (-0.6)

Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way first, Byron Maxwell was downright awful on Monday night. He was torched by both Julio Jones and Roddy White multiple times throughout the game. That’s just not what you want to see from a player the Eagles signed to a $63 million contract. Luckily for the Eagles, each of the other three starters in the secondary graded out positively and played well overall. Malcolm Jenkins had the second highest grade among Eagles’ defensive players and could have done even better if he didn’t have stone hands, which caused him to drop two interceptions.

Connor Barwin and Brandon Graham were quite underwhelming on Monday night, combining to record 0 sacks or quarterback hits and just 1 quarterback hurry…which is the same amount that starting cornerback Nolan Carroll had. That just won’t cut it for the Eagles’ primary pass rushers, but the defense will have to do better as an entire unit in that aspect of the game. Then there is the trio of inside linebackers with Mychal Kendricks, Kiko Alonso and DeMeco Ryans.

Kendricks dominated in last night’s game but Alonso and Ryans disappointed for most of the night. Besides Alonso’s ridiculous one-handed interception, the rotation of Alonso and Ryans just didn’t live up to the expectations that many had for the duo. Although it could be due to rust as neither one of them played much in the preseason. That’s certainly a storyline to watch for moving forward, Alonso should overtake Ryans as the clear starter alongside Kendricks as well.

The big boys up front continued there dominance for the Eagles, which was one of the lone bright spots for the defense. Fletcher Cox and Bennie Logan looked downright dominant at times, which shows in their overall grades. Cedric Thornton struggled a bit but second-year defensive end Taylor Hart played well in just 19 snaps, a promising sign considering it was his NFL regular season debut. Philadelphia’s defensive front held Atlanta to 3.0 yards per carry which is certainly an encouraging sign.

That’s all for this week’s review of the snap count totals and PFF grades for the Eagles’ disappointing primetime loss to the Falcons. Be sure to check back here at Inside The Iggles for the latest news, analysis and more regarding your beloved Birds!

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