Without Dannell Ellerbe, Eagles went small on defense

Without Dannell Ellerbe, Eagles went small on defense

Here's the most important thing you need to know about Eagles' snap counts from Sunday night: Nate Sudfeld got three snaps. 

He carried the ball three times for negative-four yards. Victory formation. 

The Eagles are heading to Super Bowl LII. And this is the play time recipe that got them there: 

On defense, the Eagles were without starting MIKE linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, so Najee Goode started but played just six snaps. 

Without Ellerbe the Eagles elected to go with a smaller lineup. Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod didn't leave the field, playing 67 defensive snaps. Patrick Robinson played 56 and Corey Graham played 35. Getting a big lead in this game played into the Eagles' hand. They probably wanted to get to a smaller lineup. 

Fletcher Cox played 53 of 67 snaps (79 percent). He played 90 percent in the last game, but the Eagles' huge lead in this one certainly allowed for more rotation. 

Rookie Derek Barnett actually played 33 snaps, two more than Chris Long. But both players came up with huge plays in the 38-7 win. 

On offense, the entire offensive line played all 65 snaps, while Nick Foles played 62. He was pulled early and got a huge ovation from fans who watched him slice and dice the NFL's best defense all evening. 

Jay Ajayi led the way in snaps for running backs with 30 and finished with 99 all-purpose yards. Corey Clement got 21 snaps, while LeGarrette Blount had just 11. But Blount made the most of his snaps; he had that big 11-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to give the Eagles the lead. 

Here are full snap counts from the NFC Championship Game win: 

Lane Johnson - 65 snaps (100 percent)
Halapoulivaati Vaitai - 65 (100)
Brandon Brooks - 65 (100)
Stefen Wisniewski - 65 (100)
Jason Kelce - 65 (100)
Nick Foles - 62 (95)
Alshon Jeffery - 59 (91)
Zach Ertz - 53 (82)
Nelson Agholor - 46 (71)
Torrey Smith - 41 (63)
Jay Ajayi - 30 (46) 
Brent Celek - 28 (43)
Corey Clement - 21 (32)
Mack Hollins - 15 (23)
Trey Burton - 13 (20)
LeGarrette Blount - 11 (17)
Isaac Seumalo - 8 (12)
Nate Sudfeld - 3 (5)

Rodney McLeod - 67 snaps (100 percent)
Malcolm Jenkins - 67 (100)
Nigel Bradham - 67 (100)
Jalen Mills - 67 (100)
Ronald Darby - 66 (99)
Patrick Robinson - 56 (84)
Brandon Graham - 53 (79)
Fletcher Cox - 53 (79)
Mychal Kendricks - 37 (55)
Vinny Curry - 36 (54)
Corey Graham - 35 (52)
Derek Barnett - 33 (49)
Chris Long - 31 (46)
Tim Jernigan - 27 (40)
Beau Allen - 24 (36)
Destiny Vaeao - 11 (16)
Najee Goode - 6 (9)
Nate Gerry - 1 (1) 

Predicting Carson Wentz will start Week 1

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Predicting Carson Wentz will start Week 1

On the latest edition of Eagle Eye, a Philadelphia Eagles podcast, Derrick Gunn and Barrett Brooks predict after seeing Carson Wentz in OTA's, he will start the regular season opener. The Eagles' depth at linebacker will be tested immediately. The NFL announces a national anthem policy and new kickoff rules. Why this is another step towards the NFL removing kickoffs alltogether.

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How will NFL’s new national anthem policy affect Eagles?

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How will NFL’s new national anthem policy affect Eagles?

The NFL has adopted a new policy it hopes will eliminate on-field protests during the national anthem. 

Sparked by Colin Kaepernick and then various other players in the NFL, demonstrations during the anthem had popped up in many cities over the last couple of NFL seasons. It also included the Eagles as Malcolm Jenkins led the charge of demonstrating against social injustice in an attempt to further discussion about racism in the United States. 

At one point before last season, Jenkins questioned whether or not he would continue his protest, not because he didn’t believe in his cause, but because he was concerned the focus was being placed on the demonstration rather than the reason for it. 

This policy attempts to eliminate demonstrations, seemingly without addressing the impetus for them. 

“It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were patriotic,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement released by the league. “This is not and was never the case. 

“This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem. Personnel who choose to not stand for the Anthem may stay in the locker room until after the Anthem has been performed.” 

Here are the specifics of the policy: 

1. All team and league personnel on the field shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.

2. The Game Operations Manual will be revised to remove the requirement that all players be on the field for the Anthem.

3. Personnel who choose not to stand for the Anthem may stay in the locker room or in a similar location off the field until after the Anthem has been performed.

4. A club will be fined by the League if its personnel are on the field and do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.

5. Each club may develop its own work rules, consistent with the above principles, regarding its personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.

6. The Commissioner will impose appropriate discipline on league personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.

So what does this mean for the Eagles? 

Well, the Eagles have traditionally been one of the most socially aware teams in the NFL, with players like Jenkins and Chris Long at the forefront. Jenkins is the leader of the Players Coalition. 

During last season, Jenkins discontinued his anthem demonstration of raising his fist after he became encouraged by the NFL’s efforts regarding social injustice. The league pledged $100 million to causes aimed at combatting social injustices. 

This offseason, however, the Eagles traded for Michael Bennett, who sat through the anthem last season as a protest. Bennett has previously said he plans on continuing his protest, which would put the Eagles in an interesting position. 

Based on the new policy, the NFL will not fine individual players, but will fine the team of players who don’t show “respect.” It will then be up to the club to determine the punishment to hand down to that player, if any. Jeff Lurie is considered one of the more socially-forward thinking owners in the league, but this is tricky. The policy was said to be passed unanimously, but the 49ers' owner apparently abstained

The Eagles did not immediately have a comment on the NFL’s new policy. 

In the statement from the league, the NFL says the policy was created “in concert” with a commitment to local communities and that the league is dedicated to “continuing our collaboration with players to advance the goals of justice and fairness in all corners of our society.” 

But an NFLPA spokesman said their group was not involved in these discussions.