It was his first NFL game, but that didn’t prevent the Eagles from showing that Miles Sanders might simply be their lead back this season.
While his numbers weren’t very good — 11 carries for 25 yards — Sanders did have a 21-yard touchdown called back and showed great burst on a 19-yarder earlier in the game. And he showed off his pass protection by standing up a linebacker against Washington.
The breakdown from this game should show you what the Eagles think about Sanders:
Miles Sanders: 36 snaps (48 percent)
Darren Sproles: 23 snaps (31 percent)
Jordan Howard: 17 snaps (23 percent)
Corey Clement: 3 snaps (4 percent)
The fact that Sanders played double the amount of Howard’s snaps, should be a relief to those who have Sanders on their fantasy teams. Because Howard probably deserved more snaps and carries based on the way he ran the ball (6 for 44) and still didn’t get them. Remember, Howard was third in the NFL in rushing yards over the last three years and the Eagles played their second-round pick twice as much as him in the very first game of the season.
And even though Sproles got 12 offensive touches, that doesn’t seem very sustainable for the 36-year-old.
So it seems like the Eagles are starting this season with the goal of giving Sanders the bulk of the workload.
Other offensive notes
• Brandon Brooks was on a pitch count. He was supposed to play 30 snaps, but ended up playing 55. After coming out in the second half, he did sneak out there for the victory formation snap. Halapoulivaati Vaitai played 20 snaps in relief.
• Aside from Brooks, the rest of the OL and Carson Wentz played all 75. That includes Jason Peters, who played every snap in just six of 16 games last season.
• Among sill position players, Zach Ertz played the most snaps (62 of 75), followed by Nelson Agholor and Alshon Jeffery (60), DeSean Jackson (52) and Dallas Goedert (41). The Eagles used some different formations on Sunday, so it wasn’t as simple as Agholor for Goedert going from 11 personnel to 12.
• Mack Hollins played 10 snaps and JJ Arcega-Whiteside played just five. That’s a little surprising. You’d think the Eagles would want to get the second-round pick on the field more. But one of those five plays for JJAW was a hold that negated Sanders’ touchdown.
• A good sign for the guys coming back from injury. Rodney McLeod (ACL) and Nigel Bradham (foot) played all 67 snaps. Derek Barnett (shoulder) led the defensive end rotation with 55 snaps. Ronald Darby (ACL) played 48 and Fletcher Cox (foot) played 44. It seems like those last two will ramp up.
• At cornerback, Avonte Maddox played 61 snaps despite leaving with cramps for a bit. He was followed by Rasul Douglas (56), Darby (48) and Sidney Jones (34).
• Andrew Sendejo is going to play a lot this season. He got 38 snaps in the opener as the third safety and Johnathan Cyprien even got one snap on a 3rd-and-long situation. The Eagles are going to use three safeties quite a bit.
• Nate Gerry got just two snaps in the Eagles’ base defense, which we really shouldn’t call their base defense anymore. But Gerry led the team in special teams snaps with 24, followed by TE Alex Ellis (22), who was called up on Friday from the practice squad.
• Josh Sweat played 14 snaps (21 percent). Because of that minimal workload, there’s no reason to keep five DEs active on game day. Sorry, Daeshon Hall.
Lane Johnson: 75 snaps (100 percent)
Isaac Seumalo: 75 (100)
Jason Kelce: 75 (100)
Jason Peters: 75 (100)
Carson Wentz: 75 (100)
Zach Ertz: 62 (83)
Nelson Agholor: 60 (80)
Alshon Jeffery: 60 (80)
Brandon Brooks: 55 (73)
DeSean Jackson: 52 (69)
Dallas Goedert: 41 (55)
Miles Sanders: 36 (48)
Darren Sproles: 23 (31)
Halapoulivaati Vaitai: 20 (27)
Jordan Howard: 17 (23)
Mack Hollins: 10 (13)
JJ Arcega-Whiteside: 5 (7)
Andre Dillard: 4 (5)
Corey Clement: 3 (4)
Alex Ellis: 2 (3)
Malcolm Jenkins: 67 snaps (100 percent)
Rodney McLeod: 67 (100)
Nigel Bradham: 67 (100)
Avonte Maddox: 61 (91)
Rasul Douglas: 56 (84)
Derek Barnett: 55 (82)
Brandon Graham: 48 (72)
Ronald Darby: 48 (72)
Fletcher Cox: 44 (66)
Andrew Sendejo: 38 (57)
Malik Jackson: 34 (51)
Sidney Jones: 34 (51)
Zach Brown: 29 (43)
Tim Jernigan: 25 (37)
Hassan Ridgeway: 24 (36)
Vinny Curry: 23 (34)
Josh Sweat: 14 (21)
Nate Gerry: 2 (3)
Johnathan Cyprien: 1 (1)
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