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Eagles-Patriots snap count analysis

DeMarco Murray's playing time decreased, Ed Reynolds played a big role, and Miles Austin was nowhere to be found. Here is the playing time distrbution from the Eagles' 35-28 win over New England:


Sam Bradford: 61 (100%)

Analysis: Bradford returned to the lineup after missing two games and played every snap. He said after the game his left shoulder did not bother him. He only had 24 pass attempts and was hit to the ground four times, including one sack. Mark Sanchez was the No. 2 quarterback and did not enter the game.


Allen Barbre: 61 (100%)

Matt Tobin: 61 (100%)

Lane Johnson: 61 (100%)

Jasom Peters: 61 (100%)

Jason Kelce: 61 (100%)

Analysis: The Eagles played their starting offensive line play every snap for just the fifth game this season. They are 4-1 in those games. They are 3-0 when Peters plays every snap. That continuity is important, and the Eagles benefited from it on Sunday.


Darren Sproles: 35 (57%)

DeMarco Murray: 14 (23%)

Kenjon Barner: 12 (20%)

Analysis: This was the playing time distribution that received the most attention. Murray had a significantly reduced role, serving as only a bit player on Sunday. He carried the ball only eight times. Sproles saw an uptick in snaps and had 21 offensive touches. Barner was featured almost every time he entered the game, with 11 touches on 12 plays. Ryan Mathews missed his third game with a concussion.

This was a clear change at running back. Coach Chip Kelly said the Eagles made the change because of the matchup with the Patriots' linebackers and not Murray's production to date. It will be an important development to monitor when the Bills visit on Sunday.


Zach Ertz: 53 (87%)

Brent Celek: 37 (61%)

Trey Burton: 2 (3%)

Analysis: Ertz returned to the lineup after missing Thanksgiving with a concussion. He took most of the snaps and caught his first touchdown of the season. The Eagles continued to use 12-personnel, keeping Celek on the field. Celek and Ertz combined for five targets and three catches.


Jordan Matthews: 46 (75%)

Riley Cooper: 34 (56%)

Nelson Agholor: 33 (54%)

Josh Huff: 31 (51%)

Jonathan Krause: 8 (13%)

Analysis: The Eagles made a big change when they scratched Miles Austin and dressed Krause. With Austin out of the lineup, there were more snaps to go around. Agholor and Huff had a near equal distribution. Matthews continued playing the most snaps. Krause has impressed the Eagles as a practice squad player this season and earned the promotion. Look for him to continue to have a role on the team.


Fletcher Cox: 66 (74%)

Vinny Curry: 55 (62%)

Taylor Hart: 34 (38%)

Bennie Logan: 19 (21%)

Brandon Bair: 16 (18%)

Beau Allen: 15 (17%)

Analysis: Cox continued to lead the defensive linemen in snaps, but the number that should jump out to you here is Curry. The Eagles were in their nickel and dime packages more than usual on Sunday, and the Eagles wanted Curry for passing situations. He had four quarterback hits. With Cedric Thornton out because of an ankle injury, Hart started for the Eagles, but he didn't take the majority of the snaps with the Eagles in nickel. Bair was active because Thornton was inactive and saw time. Logan, who is most valuable as a run stopper, saw a decrease in playing time because of how much the Patriots passed the ball.


Connor Barwin: 82 (92%)

Kiko Alonso: 70 (79%)

Brandon Graham: 67 (75%)

Mychal Kendricks: 48 (54%)

DeMeco Ryans: 21 (24%)

Marcus Smith: 10 (11%)

Bryan Braman: 2 (2%)

Analysis: Alonso saw a spike in playing time at inside linebacker, and even Kelly admitted it was too much for Alonso. They want to try to balance it out and play Kendricks more. But it's understandable why the order was Alonso/Kendricks/Ryans, considering how much the Patriots passed the ball. The Eagles like Alonso in coverage on tight ends.

Barwin and Graham both registered two sacks and applied pressure around the edge. They seldom came off the field, and the Eagles continued the pattern of not featuring a third outside linebacker. Smith did not record a tackle in his 10 snaps, although he had a solo tackle on special teams.


Malcolm Jenkins: 89 (100%)

Byron Maxwell: 89 (100%)

Walt Thurmond: 89 (100%)

Eric Rowe: 86 (97%)

Ed Reynolds: 79 (89%)

E.J. Biggers: 39 (44%)

Jaylen Watkins: 3 (3%)

Analysis: The player that should stand out in this group is Reynolds. He was a key defensive player on Sunday, barely coming off the field. He has replaced Chris Maragos as the Eagles' nickel safety. He finished with five tackles. Rowe is now a starting cornerback because of Nolan Carroll's injury and took almost every snap on Sunday. Jenkins and Maxwell are constants, and both players had interceptions. The Eagles value Biggers, who plays in dime situations. He played a lot of snaps because of the Eagles'  use of sub packages. It was noteworthy that Watkins dressed over Denzel Rice even though Watkins just returned to the team last week.