Eagles

Snap counts: How much did Derek Barnett play in his debut?

Snap counts: How much did Derek Barnett play in his debut?

In his first NFL game, the Eagles already trust first-round pick Derek Barnett to be a third-down specialist of sorts. 

In Sunday afternoon's 30-17 win over Washington, Barnett played 26 of 63 possible snaps (41 percent), with a bulk of that work coming on third downs. There were many third downs when Jim Schwartz seemed happy to have Barnett and Chris Long at end with Brandon Graham sliding in at tackle. 

Barnett played a decent amount but struggled against All-Pro Trent Williams (see story). Welcome to the NFL. 

Graham led the way in snaps for the Eagles' defensive ends, although several of his snaps came inside on third downs. He had 43 snaps (68 percent). Next up was Vinny Curry (37 snaps, 59 percent) and Long (26 snaps, 41 percent). The Eagles had four defensive ends up on Sunday; Steven Means was inactive. It's possible at some points in the season, the Eagles will go with a five-man rotation at DE. 

Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Jordan Hicks, Jalen Mills and Nigel Bradham played all 63 snaps on Sunday. That's nothing new for Jenkins; he's missed just eight snaps in three years with the Eagles and missed just one in 2016. 

Ronald Darby played only 18 snaps before leaving the game with a dislocated right ankle. That meant Patrick Robinson played 52 and Jaylen Watkins, safety in title only, got 15 snaps at corner. 

Mychal Kendricks played 23 snaps (37 percent). He's still the odd man out in the Eagles' nickel package. 

On offense, Nelson Agholor played just 42 snaps (62 percent) on Sunday, but he certainly made the most of it. He had career highs in catches (six) and yards (86) to go along with the longest touchdown of his career (58 yards). Most of last season, Agholor was relied on as a starter, playing for most of games and not producing at all. Big change for him as the team's third option. 

Alshon Jeffery (60 snaps of 68) barely left the field, while Torrey Smith played 48 snaps (71 percent). 

Carson Wentz and his offensive line, sans Jason Peters, played all 68 snaps. Peters played 31 snaps before shutting it down with a groin injury. Peters after the game said he's fine and doesn't expect to miss any more time. In his absence, Halapoulivaati Vaitai played 45 snaps (66 percent), although some of them came as an extra tackle/tight end while Peters was still in the game. After Peters exited, Big V took over at left tackle. 

Darren Sproles led the way for running backs with 33 snaps, followed by LeGarrette Blount (23) and Wendell Smallwood (15). None of them had much success on the ground and the Eagles had just 24 rushing attempts compared to 39 passes. Corey Clement played on special teams but didn't get on the field on offense. 

Rookie Mack Hollins played just five offensive snaps in his NFL debut. Marcus Johnson played seven. 

Here's a full look at Eagles snap counts from Sunday: 

Offense
Isaac Seumalo - 68 snaps (100 percent)
Brandon Brooks - 68 (100)
Lane Johnson - 68 (100)
Jason Kelce - 68 (100)
Carson Wentz - 68 (100)
Zach Ertz - 60 (88)
Alshon Jeffery - 60 (88)
Torrey Smith - 48 (71)
Halapoulivaati Vaitai - 45 (66)
Nelson Agholor - 42 (62)
Darren Sproles - 33 (49)
Jason Peters - 31 (46)
Brent Celek - 25 (37)
LeGarrette Blount - 23 (34)
Wendell Smallwood - 15 (22)
Trey Burton - 14 (21)
Marcus Johnson - 7 (10)
Mack Hollins - 5 (7)

Defense
Malcolm Jenkins - 63 snaps (100 percent)
Rodney McLeod - 63 (100)
Jordan Hicks - 63 (100)
Jalen Mills - 63 (100)
Nigel Bradham - 63 (100)
Patrick Robinson - 52 (83)
Brandon Graham - 43 (68)
Fletcher Cox - 43 (68)
Tim Jernigan - 40 (63)
Vinny Curry - 37 (59)
Derek Barnett - 26 (41)
Chris Long - 26 (41)
Beau Allen - 25 (40)
Mychal Kendricks - 23 (37)
Corey Graham - 18 (29)
Ronald Darby - 18 (29)
Jaylen Watkins - 15 (24)
Destiny Vaeao - 12 (19) 

Eric Rowe tracker
We'll keep an eye on Rowe in New England all season. If he plays more than 50 percent of the Patriots' defensive snaps this season, that 2018 fourth-round pick the Eagles got in exchange for him will turn into a third-rounder. 

On Thursday night, Rowe played 37 of 69 defensive snaps — 54 percent. So far, so good. 

5 key matchups Eagles need to win to beat Redskins again

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5 key matchups Eagles need to win to beat Redskins again

The Eagles finally snapped the five-game losing streak to Washington in the season opener on Sept. 10. 

Now they have a chance to start a streak of their own. 

Both teams have found success after that 30-17 Eagles win in the opener. The Eagles are 5-1 with the best record in the NFC, while Washington is 3-2 and second in the NFC East. 

With a win on Monday night at the Linc, the Eagles would be 6-1 and would put another game between them and their closest division opponent. So it could be a big boost (see story)

But remember, these division games aren't normally easy and until this season's opener, Washington had their number. 

Here are five matchups to watch on Monday night: 

Zach Ertz vs. Washington's safeties 
Washington hasn't been able to stop Ertz yet, so this is still a huge matchup problem. In the opener, he caught eight passes for 93 yards. That game kicked off what has already been an incredible season for the tight end. 

In nine career games against the division foe, Ertz has 54 catches for 531 yards. Ertz likes playing against Washington and it's not just his crazy numbers (see story)

And it's not just Ertz. Washington has struggled against tight ends all season. They lead the league in yards surrendered to opposing tight ends with 407 on 29 catches, with two touchdowns. 

Brandon Scherff vs. Fletcher Cox
Washington coach Jay Gruden admitted his team was beaten physically in the first meeting between these two. That started with Cox, who had a huge strip sack on Kirk Cousins in the first quarter. Because Scherff is a Pro Bowl guard, there's a good chance Cox will actually see plenty of 1-on-1 against him on Monday. He'll need to beat Scherff again. 

Scherff has been really good since Washington used the fifth overall pick on him in 2015, but this is his biggest test. And he'll get it twice per season in the next few years. 

"I think the Redskins have a fine offensive line," Eagles DC Jim Schwartz said. "It's going to be one of our biggest challenges." 

Morgan Moses vs. Brandon Graham 
For what it's worth, Moses is ProFootballFocus' 17th ranked offensive guard. That's not great but he's not usually a liability and he's not a bad right tackle. But Graham absolutely spanked him the first time these two teams met. 

In that game, Graham had two sacks, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble. If he has this kind of impact again, it's going to be a long day for Moses. 

LeGarrette Blount vs. Redskins' run D
Blount had just 46 yards on 14 carries in the first meeting but since then, he's really come on and Doug Pederson has shown a devotion to finding balance in his offense. 

Washington has been pretty good against the run, giving up 88 yards per game (eighth in the league). But they'll be without first-round pick Jonathan Allen, one of their top defensive linemen. 

Eagles' WRs vs. Washington's banged up corners
If Blount isn't heavily involved in the game plan on Monday it might be because Pederson sees opportunity in the passing game. Washington's starting cornerbacks Josh Norman (rib fracture) has been ruled out and Bashaud Breeland (knee) is questionable. 

Even if Breeland plays, he won't be 100 percent and they'll definitely miss Norman. Even though the backups have played pretty well, Carson Wentz will probably test this banged up Washington secondary early and often. 

If Washington is without both of their starting corners — or even if Breeland plays — expect Pederson to attack their backups. It could be a big day for the Eagles' passing game. 

Gunn on One: Brandon Graham on Eagles' hot start, slowing down Chris Thompson

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Gunn on One: Brandon Graham on Eagles' hot start, slowing down Chris Thompson

Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham is in his eighth season and is the longest-tenured player on the Birds' defense. He currently leads the defense with four sacks. Recently, I slowed him down just long enough to ask him some questions. The topics included the Eagles' 5-1 record and facing a key offensive weapon on the Redskins.

Gunner: With a 5-1 record, are you guys enjoying having that target on your back? Everyone in the NFC is gunning for you guys right now.

Graham: They didn't give us a chance in the beginning. We were going to be at the bottom of the NFC East. We got a lot of new guys, but we didn't have the chemistry, and now all we do is work. Nobody is worried about 5-1 right now. We're just worried about the Redskins. It's the next game up. We have another opportunity to go out and win a game. I guess after the season we'll look back and say, 'OK this is what we did.' I don't see guys getting caught up in 5-1. We just work.

Gunner: Speaking of the Redskins, a guy you have to watch closely Monday night is RB Chris Thompson. How special is this guy? He's their leading rusher and leading receiver averaging almost 19 yards per catch?

Graham: Man, he's good. He has good balance, good vision, fast. He's everything you want in a running back. I think we have a good challenge up ahead. We just have to play team defense, and rally to the ball. Get numbers to the ball and we should be fine.

You can see the extended version of my conversation with Graham Monday night at 7 p.m. on Eagles Pregame Live on NBC Sports Philadelphia Plus.