Dave Zangaro

How Doug Pederson got a huge call to go Eagles’ way

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NFL

How Doug Pederson got a huge call to go Eagles’ way

Sometimes the squeaky wheel really does get the oil. 

It worked in Doug Pederson’s favor Sunday in the Eagles’ 20-16 win over the Colts, when the Eagles got a much-needed defensive holding call to extend their game-winning touchdown drive. 

Pederson revealed Monday morning on WIP that earlier in the game, he called over the referee to let him know that the Colts’ defensive line had been holding their offensive tackles. Pederson told him to just “be aware of it.” 

Then on 4th-and-5 at a crucial moment in the fourth quarter, that little chat ended up helping the Eagles in a big way. 

That’s a pretty clear hold. Jabaal Sheard holds Lane Johnson so Margus Hunt can get around the edge on a stunt. It works and Hunt forces Wentz to throw the ball early. 

Maybe if Hunt isn’t in his face, Wentz delivers a perfect pass to Jordan Matthews to get the first down. He probably does, but we’ll never know. If you think the Eagles get a first down, we’d have to assume Wentz’s non-pressured throw would be on the money and Matthews would catch it. Very possible, likely even, but not guaranteed. 

This penalty gave the Eagles the first down and they scored the go-ahead touchdown seven plays later. 

During Monday’s press conference, I asked Pederson if he’s strategic in bringing up these things to refs: 

No, it’s common practice. I get a chance to meet with officials before the game. I get a chance to meet with the head referee before pregame. Listen, it’s a tough job. And if there’s something out there that we see, they want to know about it so they can get it right. It’s not strategic, it’s not planned in any way. It’s something that we saw throughout the game and wanted to bring to their attention and it was a true hold on Lane and they got it right. It’s not a competitive advantage other than we just want to make sure that everything is officiated correctly. I’m sure Frank (Reich) had things on their sideline too that he could talk to them about. It’s fair game, so to speak. It’s just common practice throughout the league.

It might not have been strategic, but it’s a good thing Pederson pointed out those penalties that hadn’t been called earlier in the game. 

Holding calls on defensive linemen are pretty rare; it’s not something refs are probably super focused on during games. They’re looking for holding from offensive linemen and from defensive backs. So Pederson’s bringing it up to the officials likely put it on their radar. 

And it helped the Eagles when they really needed it.

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Eagles Injury Update: Good news for Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles

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NBC Sports Philadelphia

Eagles Injury Update: Good news for Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles

The trifecta of Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood and Josh Adams performed well in Sunday’s 20-16 win over the Colts, but reinforcements might be on the way. 

Jay Ajayi (back) and Darren Sproles (hamstring) are both considered day to day, but head coach Doug Pederson expects them to be available in practice, barring setbacks, this week. 

That’s good news after they missed all of last week in practice and were ruled out Friday before Sunday’s game. 

Pederson said the Eagles will evaluate them Tuesday before the first day of practice on Wednesday. 

Alshon Jeffery 
The Eagles’ best receiver has still not been cleared for contact and — as we all know from waiting for word on Carson Wentz — that’s the last step before being allowed to play in games. 

It definitely appears that Jeffery is getting closer. He has been ramping up in practice and was listed as questionable for the Colts game. 

This week in Nashville or the following week at home against the Vikings seem realistic. 

“He’s getting close,” Pederson said. “We’ll get him in the mix a little more this week and see, see where he’s at health-wise.”

Rodney McLeod
The Eagles’ starting safety injured his right knee during the game and we still don’t know how severe that injury is. Pederson said the Eagles are still evaluating him today and tomorrow and will have a better idea of the severity Wednesday.

After the game, McLeod wasn’t limping and said he felt OK, but said there were more tests in his future.

If McLeod can’t play Sunday, veteran Corey Graham would start next to Malcolm Jenkins.

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Eagles snap counts: Tight ends get a ton of playing time

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Eagles snap counts: Tight ends get a ton of playing time

About time the Eagles finally used rookie tight end Dallas Goedert more.

Before Sunday’s 20-16 win over the Colts, the rookie had played just 34 snaps or 23 percent of offensive plays. He crushed that Sunday.

Goedert played 55 of 82 offensive snaps (67 percent). The only skill players to play more than him were Zach Ertz (81 snaps) and Nelson Agholor (80). 

And Goedert finally produced. He caught seven passes for 73 yards and his first NFL touchdown.

We know Ertz played nearly the entire game and Goedert played 67 percent, but even Josh Perkins played 31 snaps (38 percent) as the Eagles used 13 personnel to start the game and came back to it later. 

The three tight ends combined to have 13 catches for 156 yards. 

Other offensive snap count notes

• The Eagles’ played 82 snaps on offense. That’s a lot. That 17-play game-winning drive helped that. 

• Kamar Aiken saw his snaps decrease some, but he still played 45 and wasn’t targeted once. In the two weeks, he’s been back with the Eagles he’s played 107 snaps and has five catches for 39 yards. 

• Carson Wentz and the entire offensive line played all 82 snaps. If they can keep that going, it would obviously be huge. 

• Without Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles, Corey Clement led the way for the running backs with 45 snaps, followed by Wendell Smallwood (29) and Josh Adams (8). All three played roles in the win. Adams was particularly efficient, carrying the ball six times on his eight snaps for 30 yards. 

• Jordan Matthews, who signed during the week, played 33 snaps (40 percent). He caught two passes for 21 yards and, no, he didn't drop any. 

Defensive snap count notes

• It’s amazing how even the defensive end rotation has been. Here’s how it went Sunday: Derek Barnett 38, Chris Long 36, Michael Bennett 35, Brandon Graham 34. A little interesting to see Graham’s number dip, but this rotation keeps them fresh so when they’re not getting great pressure for a lot of the game, Barnett can come up with a huge sack at the end. 

• Malcolm Jenkins, Jordan Hicks and Ronald Darby played all 59 snaps. 

• Rodney McLeod played 34 before leaving with a knee injury. Corey Graham, who was already playing some, finished with 47 snaps thanks to the injury. 

• Fletcher Cox said he wanted to win Defensive Player of the Year and he’s starting off the season strong. He has 2 1/2 sacks through three games. But more impressively, after playing 52 snaps Sunday, he’s played 163 snaps of 187 (87.2 percent) so far this season. In games he played last regular season, Cox played 66.5 percent of the defense’s snaps. Then in the playoffs, he played 86 percent. So we’re seeing him take on that playoff percentage in this regular season and it’s made a difference. I wonder if it’s sustainable. 

• Josh Sweat was active for his first NFL game but didn’t get a defensive snap. 

Here are full snap counts: 

Offense

Carson Wentz: 82 snaps (100 percent)

Stefen Wisniewski: 82 (100)

Brandon Brooks: 82 (100)

Lane Johnson: 82 (100)

Jason Kelce: 82 (100)

Jason Peters: 82 (100)

Zach Ertz: 81 (99)

Nelson Agholor: 80 (98)

Dallas Goedert: 55 (67)

Corey Clement: 45 (55)

Kamar Aiken: 45 (55)

Jordan Matthews: 33 (40)

Josh Perkins: 31 (38)

Wendell Smallwood: 29 (35)

Josh Adams: 8 (10)

Isaac Seumalo: 2 (2)

Shelton Gibson: 1 (1)

Defense

Malcolm Jenkins: 59 snaps (100 percent)

Jordan Hicks: 59 (100)

Ronald Darby: 59 (100)

Jalen Mills: 55 (93)

Fletcher Cox: 52 (88)

Corey Graham: 47 (80)

Sidney Jones: 46 (78)

Nigel Bradham: 41 (69)

Derek Barnett: 38 (64)

Chris Long: 36 (61)

Michael Bennett: 35 (59)

Brandon Graham: 34 (58)

Rodney McLeod: 34 (58)

Haloti Ngata: 27 (46)

Destiny Vaeao: 13 (22)

Kamu Grugier-Hill: 9 (15)

Rasul Douglas: 3 (5)

Bruce Hector: 2 (3)

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