Week 4: Eagles Snap Count Analysis

Vinny Curry

Here’s a look at how Chip Kelly divvied up playing time Sunday afternoon against the Broncos.

Overall Snaps
Snap %
LeSean McCoy4259%
Bryce Brown2332%
Chris Polk68%

LeSean McCoy played 59 percent of the snaps. He had trouble dealing with the mile-high air and sat out for stretches in the first half. McCoy still averaged 4.6 yards per carry (16 for 73) and caught one pass for 21 yards.

Bryce Brown filled in for McCoy, playing 32 percent of the snaps. He had eight carries for 19 yards and also caught two balls for 41 yards. At one point, it looked like the TV camera caught Kelly yelling at Brown to turn upfield, rather than run east/west.

Sidenote: Can someone get Brown new cleats? He slipped on a 35-yard catch and run that should have been a touchdown. The Eagles would later get in the end zone on the drive.

Chris Polk had never played an offensive snap before Sunday. His first in an NFL game was a 4-yard TD run. Polk ran hard even when the game was out of hand. He had three carries for 33 yards.

Overall Snaps
Snap %
DeSean Jackson6085%
Riley Cooper5983%
Brent Celek5272%
Jason Avant5172%
Zach Ertz3144%
Jeff Maehl1217%
James Casey1014%
Damaris Johnson1014%

DeSean Jackson played 60 of 71 snaps; Riley Cooper 59. The Eagles’ starting wide receivers combined for four catches for 59 yards.

The Eagles still used a lot of ’11’ personnel as Jason Avant was on the field for 72 percent of the snaps.

Brent Celek also played 72 percent of the snaps, finishing with three catches for 57 yards. But he had one huge drop in the red zone in the first quarter.

Zach Ertz played a career-high 31 snaps. He had one catch for 38 yards. Ertz has five catches on the season; three have gone for 20+ yards. He’s averaging 22.4 yards per reception.

James Casey also played a season-high 10 snaps. He had one grab for 12 yards.

Overall Snaps
Snap %
Cedric Thornton4764%
Fletcher Cox4663%
Bennie Logan2636%
Clifton Geathers2534%
Isaac Sopoaga2433%
Vinny Curry1318%

Cedric Thornton played 64 percent of the snaps; Fletcher Cox 63 percent. Cox jumped offsides twice, giving the Broncos first downs both times.

The Eagles’ rotational linemen – Bennie Logan and Clifton Geathers – have been non-factors through the first four games.

Vinny Curry was active for the second straight week, but played only 13 snaps. Per Pro Football Focus, he had a grand total of four opportunities to rush the passer.

Overall Snaps
Snap %
DeMeco Ryans6488%
Mychal Kendricks6285%
Connor Barwin6082%
Trent Cole5373%
Brandon Graham2027%
Casey Matthews1419%
Jake Knott1115%
Najee Goode912%

Connor Barwin was used a lot in coverage. Per PFF, he dropped on 20 of 36 passing downs, or 55.6 percent of the time.

Trent Cole dropped nine times. He had only been in coverage seven times in the previous two games combined.

The Eagles got zero sacks and zero QB hits from their outside linebackers. Brandon Graham played 20 snaps. He had just eight chances to rush the passer, per PFF.

Casey Matthews played 14 snaps.

Overall Snaps
Snap %
Earl Wolff6488%
Nate Allen6488%
Bradley Fletcher6488%
Cary Williams6488%
Brandon Boykin4663%
Colt Anderson912%
Kurt Coleman912%
Roc Carmichael912%

Earl Wolff and Nate Allen were the starting safeties.

Brandon Boykin played 63 percent of the snaps as the nickel corner. On 25 passing downs, he rushed the passer six times, or 24 percent of the time. Billy Davis will have to answer this week why he’s using Boykin, one of his better cover guys, to rush the passer so much.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
Become a fan of Birds 24/7 on Facebook.

Around The Web

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • anon

    Tables aren’t coming through

    • anon

      I don’t need the charts to see that once again Vinny was misused for another week.

      • evanphilly

        The more Curry plays, the more he will show that he should be playing everyday. Dude has a motor.

    • sdk152

      Looks like a mobile issue with the redesign. Thanks for the heads-up. We’re looking into it. Thanks – SK

  • evanphilly

    Sounds like Kelly is bringing some of these guys along slowly to replace the old guard. I have to give him credit for that…he could have completely cleaned house along both fronts and with a 1-3 start this would have been expected, but he gave people that have been here a chance…I just hope he doesn’t get burned for it.

    At the end of the year, Ertz will be the starting TE and Casey may be the #2. Curry will be starting in place of Cole, or if Cole is playing at a high level, Curry will and should still be seeing a lot of playing time.

    Hope Cox and Kendricks turn it around. I liked those picks last year but right now this is turning into a black mark for Roseman (12 was his draft according to Lurie. Will be interesting to see the spin cycle if they fail to live up to the hype)

    Here is an interesting sidenote: Still plenty of time to fix things and get into the playoffs (8-8 or 7-9 will win the division). Do we want to see this team in the playoffs this year knowing that anything can happen or miss the playoffs and get some high draft picks?

    • Token

      I want progress over anything else this year. All im seeing is the same thing ive seen for the past few years with the exception of McCoy getting more carries.

      Defenses arent shocked by read option like last year. Its already dried up around the league. All the fake hand off each play does right now is take away a valuable second that the QB could use to read the play and get the ball out. I dont see it freezing any defenders.

      If Chip really is a offensive genius its time to show something.

      • EaglePete

        well it would help to actually keep the ball here or there (Vick or not). Otherwise just handing it off every time isnt using it to your advantage. I agree though that its drying up. These last two games just seems like what looked so promising in the first two games per scheme has changed somewhat and not for the better. For whatever reason, the scheme seems more stale now.

    • BlindChow

      I think Casey should be the #1 next week. He can block, and made some amazing catches in Houston. Plus, we paid him good money, so it’s time to cash in…

      And I only want to make the playoffs if we improve enough to deserve the spot.

  • JofreyRice

    Field was bad, a lot of folks were slipping. Desean, Welker, a bunch of guys.

    I’m wondering if the success of CK’s offense so far has more to do with the singular talents of Lesean McCoy, and the fact that he now has an opportunity to show the full scope of those talents. Polk didn’t look great in the offense in the preseason, and Brown has looked so-so on the OZR/IZR plays so far. The guy is a lateral Larry, never wants to go N-S.

    Curry looked like he was being shot out of a cannon at the snap. No way that guy should be on the sidelines. He has to start, in some capacity. On a defense this bad, you can’t sit talented players just because they may not fit exactly what you want to do. Yo Davis, newsflash: even when you had “your guys” your defenses weren’t that good, anyway! Play the guy who is beating interior blockers like drums!

    Logan doesn’t look like he’s got the strength to man the nose right now. Was getting handled one on one versus the center. That really can’t happen to a NT in the 3-4. Sopoaga is a just a guy, but I don’t think he loses ground on 1 on 1 center matchups, consistently.

    • Token

      uh man its bad out there.

      Boykin playing only 60% of the time and rushing the passer 25% of that time? Its insane. Its beyond stupid at this point. Its a guy who has no clue what hes doing just throwing things at the wall. Graham blitzed from the slot corner spot.

      I can say it over and over but 3-4 has to go. If that switch isnt made now, I have little faith in the entire staff going forward. Its blatantly forcing square pegs in round holes worse than even Reid did. I realize its a big move to change your base alignment in season. Dont know if that even happens in the league. But im sure its doable. At worst the defense will look lost and ineffective, which puts you at the same spot you are now. At best it puts some of the very few talented guys you have on defense in a better position. I hate seeing Cox wasted like this.

      Offense. Chips losing me. I realize its 4 games. I realize we dont have a pro bowl offensive roster. But, IMO its not THAT bad. Its not bad to the point where it should be this ineffective. I dont care about yards. I care about points. And they arent scoring them. All I want to see is progress from Chips group. I dont see it.

      Hes basically trotting the same things out there every week expecting something different. I see no real effort to get Jackson space. If not for the amazing talent of McCoy, I cant imagine how bad things would look. As I think you are saying, giving the ball to McCoy more by default results in making the offense look better. I dont give Chip a bunch of credit for that.

      Its time for a bunch of changes right now. I dont know what happens in the locker room. But playing nice isnt working. These guys are quitting already.

      Time to sit a bunch of players. Let these guys know its not acceptable. Cooper should sit in favor of more Johnson, Maehl, 2 TE sets. Herremans has to sit. I think Ryans is pretty much done. Especially in this system. Williams should sit. Curry not playing is just crazy and another reason the scheme itself needs changed.

      In theory, you could have 3 pretty good 4-3 lineman in him, Cox and Graham. Thornton maybe. They are ok with just throwing that away. Likely making the rebuild much longer.

      Davis is so bad hes actually making fans that dont know better question Cox as a player. Cox is a player. I have no doubt about that. Hes one of the few we have. Its not his fault. Crazy that Howie and Chip would be ok with basically wasting one of Howies only good draft picks.

      • BlindChow

        Man coverage stalling your offense? There are adjustments you can make: putting receivers in motion, in the backfield, bunch sets, etc. It didn’t look like Kelly even tried to make any changes. Do we even run screens anymore? Maybe Kelly, too, thought the turnovers were the problem last week. I guess now we know better.

        And didn’t we run, like, 40 zone read plays against Washington? Now we have maybe 5 per game? Maybe he took the “college boy” stuff to heart…

        • nicksaenz1

          Maybe this is all part of the master plan from Chip. Have everyone praise him too soon, bring everyone back down to Earth in crippling fashion, and then just build week by week.

    • Richard Colton

      Logan isn’t a true NT, is he? He looked more effective at DE or 4-3 DT

      • morgan c

        His natural fit is 4-3 DT for sure. And ya, Curry HAS to play more. Thornton was terrible in this game. We had no pass-rush. Why you’d sit your best pure pass-rusher on the line is asinine.

      • JofreyRice

        I think they might see him as that. He’s playing a good amount of snaps there.

    • nicksaenz1

      I think you raise a valid point in the second paragraph, but, the offense hasn’t run the same since everyone blew their collective load at the 53 snaps in the first half. No bubble screens/hitches to Desean, few quick packaged plays, just nothing similar to what we saw at WSH. I think the ground game looked good yesterday, but I have to give some credit to the Denver front seven: there were at least 3 plays were Shady looked like once he got through a gap he was gone, and their D-line/Lbs were able to get off the block last second and managed to wrap him up with an arm and pull him back.

      • JofreyRice

        Agreed. Right now it looks far more “Mr. Me Too” than what we thought it would. And I’m not in love with all the lateral running at the handoff. If you don’t have a guy capable of cutting like Shady, I think it really puts the ballcarrier in a tough position with the speed of NFL defenders.

        Is the perimeter run game married up to the same old WCO the only innovation Kelly is bringing to the NFL? If so, I don’t think it’s enough. As other people have pointed out, where were the bunch sets to beat man, the movement, whatever. That stuff has been around forever.

        I read somewhere that they optioned 7 different defenders in the Patriots preseason game (including Wilfork), and were constantly moving the mesh point of where the handoff was occurring, which was confusing defenders. Where is that kind of stuff? Where is “Big Balls Chip”? He looked lost and embarrassed yesterday.

        It’s interesting that all the Oregon Ducks fans we had in these comments have faded away.

        • nicksaenz1

          Good point in your last sentence. Haven’t seen many of them. Where’s “big people beat up little people”? I know we’ve seen Cooper manhandling d-backs, but other than that, not much. I think w/o Shady this offense is garbage, overall. Teams would double Desean more than they already do and there’s nobody else to make anyone scared. Sadly, it appears the FO is too stubborn to make any moves, so this year is just going to be a tough pill to swallow.
          Remember when Vick said after the Washington game that this is only 60% of the offense? Well, I do, and if the last 40% is what we’ve seen over the last 3 weeks, please, just keep it at the first 60% so we can enjoy some football.

    • Wilbert31

      One of the few times I saw Chip getting really animated was when he was telling Brown to turn it up. Definitely more N-S would work with him.

  • Capt. Chippahpants

    Vinny playing how much? Boykin blitzing how much?? Brandon Graham over the slot???

    Fire Billy Davis.

    • Richard Colton

      whoa. bit early for that isn’t it? especially considering the stuff he has to work with. Unless Rex Ryan becomes available in the offseason, who’s going to replace him?

      • Capt. Chippahpants

        There’s ALWAYS somebody. And I’m saying fire him at the end of the season. He’s attempting to make fletcher cox a two gapper when CLEARLY he’s better at one gapping. Not getting Vinny on the field because of this scheme? Unforgivable. BOYKIN PLAYING AN OUTSIDE LINEBACKER ROLE?!?!

        We can’t forget Davis’ amazing track record either.

        • Richard Colton

          150lb Boykin blitzing on 30% of the plays? it hasn’t worked yet…but when it does, genius!

      • BlindChow

        Jeff Stoutland.

        • Richard Colton

          too soon

    • BlindChow

      It would be one thing if the defense was being burned so bad that bizarre schemes were our only hope, but it seems like we skipped right to the bizzare schemes stage…

  • GiveMeABreak

    Only in Philly could a backup defensive lineman be the subject of so much fan love. When I look at VC, I just think what would have happened if the Eagles had picked Russell Wilson with that pick or the OT the Ravens picked with the very next pick who has started every game last year and this year. Better get used to the bad results, no coach in the NFL could do a great job with this talent set.

  • nicksaenz1

    Blitzin’ Boykin needs to revert to strictly pass coverage. His misusage is a joke. If you want to blitz a DB, blitz Allen. This way he isn’t a liability in coverage.

    • BlindChow

      I know, Boykin blitzed on the goal line, and Welker walked in for a touchdown. You know: Welker, that 36-inch tall red zone threat…

      • nicksaenz1

        If I’m Davis, Boykin shadows Welker all game. That’s it. That’s his only mission. Shadow Welker. I can’t, for the life of me, comprehend the Blitzin’ Boykin strategy. However, I may trademark that.

      • LeClaw

        It looks like Nate Allen was suppose to cover Welker…but I have no idea how he was suppose to get over to the OTHER SIDE OF THE FIELD…disguise is one thing but every NFL QB can read a wide open receiver….except Gabbert

        • nicksaenz1

          Don’t push it, he might have a career game (by his standards) against our D.

          • LeClaw


      • anon

        That’s my thing. It’s clear we have players that can’t cover (see Nate Allen). Why not blitz them? There’s no element of surprise since Boykin has been blitzing every game. Why you would ever take him off the best slot receiver ever, in the red zone, when Peyton holds the ball for 2 seconds is beyond me.

  • morgan c

    Please take what I’m about to say with a grain of salt, because I love Shady, and he’s absolutely awesome, but:

    Is it just me, or is it kind of weaksauce that he was sucking wind so bad before the second quarter even started? The dude sat out and ENTIRE series (our lone first-team TD). I know the mile-high air is tough and our up-tempo is tough and all, but the extent to which he was gassed was inexcusable to me. The guy is paid 7 million a year to play football and be in excellent shape. I have noticed before that he gets gassed easily. Honestly, I think he’s a bit out of shape and I think he needs to take this more seriously. The twitter spats and party bus stories, not to mention all the red flags during his college days, have me concerned that he’s not exactly a hard worker. Being out of shape kind of confirms this to me. The guy needs to work harder in the off-season and lay off the effing chocolate.

    Rant over. Thanks.

    • Capt. Chippahpants

      How many times have you sprinted in high altitude and low oxygen? Ever? It takes a toll on everyone out. That’s why it’s called one of the best home field advantages in American sports.

    • UKEagle99

      There is a reason a number of marathon runners and pro cyclists train in Colorado and I don’t think it is any slight on Shady’s fitness. Altitude can affect people in very different ways and short of him living in Denver for the past few weeks there is little he can do about it if he is susceptible to the symptoms.

    • Cyrus Robinson

      Do you see how hard he works to get a 5 or 10 yard gain? Explosive jukes, jumps and sprints? Combine that with thin air and you get somebody who feels very lightheaded.
      Somebody who gets lightheaded playing football may secretly wonder if they got a concussion.

  • brza

    The Broncos offense is great and the Eagles D is not that talented. But it still doesn’t excuse the misuse of the talent that is there.

    I hope you can get some serious answers to the lack of playing time for Curry, repeated slow-developing OLB blitzes from way outside the box and the misuse of Boykin as a pass rusher and even to some extent Cox as a two-gapper. The whole offseason Kelly and Davis preached adapting the scheme to the personell but the defense is doing the exact opposite of that.

  • GiveMeABreak

    BRZA, the guy is the #1 back in the league. Altitude can affect even highly conditioned athletes. A rant against Shady? Really, with so many other targets to choose from? I would select a different target.

    • nicksaenz1

      Think you mean morgan c, but either way, agreed. Guy had an almost an entire series of him rushing and juking people outta there shoes. Doing that on 85% of the oxygen is tough on everyone, but especially the guy doing wind sprints with little time to catch his breath.

      • GiveMeABreak

        you’re right. I hate it when my job interferes with my postings

        • nicksaenz1

          Same here. The audacity…

  • ICDogg

    [table 260 not found /]

    • nicksaenz1

      You too? Thought it was only me because of being on the work comp. Not sure I’m a fan of the new format.

      • anon

        Yeah not all change is good.

  • PaoliBulldog

    Davis’s scheme and calls have shown me nothing good so far. We all knew the secondary was gonna suck, but there is some talent up front and it’s not being utilized well.

    • nicksaenz1

      We have bigger corners, too. Why aren’t they up at the line jamming receivers and breaking up timing? 10 yards off the ball doesn’t do anything but give Peyton more time.

      • PaoliBulldog

        Beats me. Maybe worried that safeties wouldn’t be able to support if the WRs get off the jams.

        • nicksaenz1

          Certainly possible. But if you’re going to set up the best qb ever, IMO, to connect at will anyway, who cares? Throw them into the fire and see if they can respond. It’s not like that game would be the only measurement used for Wolff. We already know Allen blows.

          • PaoliBulldog

            I know, I know. It’s not as if these CBs are going to play man-on-man press coverage all day.

      • anon

        He’s too scared of getting beat over top b/c our safeties suck. I think his scheme is all about not getting beat over top — but it just lets team complete passes underneath. But funny that you’d not take way the slot when it’s what Peyton is best at.

        • nicksaenz1

          Responded below the way I’ll respond here. It’s very likely that you’re right as to the reasoning. But, what’s the point if you’re going to let Peyton get in rhythm and hit everything underneath? Keeps the O in front of you, sure, but it’s not like the result was any different.

      • JofreyRice

        So weird. Lets sign press man corners and have them play sissy soft zone.

      • EaglePete

        and getting the WRs off timing is the way to beat Peyton. Yet they dont even attempt it. Soft zone, Manning just loves that

  • MAC

    I am really losing patients for coaches that don’t want to put guys on the field even though they are one of the few that have produced. Curry looked motivated, quick, and just has a great first step. Why is Davis refusing to play him? I mean it’s not like the other guys are so fundamentaly sound or playing so well that he can’t get on the field. The other guy is Graham that needs to be used. Come on Davis your personel is not good. Play the guys with talent and upside. Graham has shown that he can rush the passer.
    This is two coached in a row that have under utilized Graham and Curry. There is no excuse and it’s plain to see. I sometimes think coaches over think strategy. Not sure why not playing Curry. Is it supposedly bc he struggles against run? Newsflash Davis the entire defense struggles against the run and the pass. Unleash Graham and Curry and just see what happens. When Chung comes back bench Allen for Wolff also. I am over the vetera guys getting benefit of the doubt while young talented guys get 15% of snaps on a bottom 10 defense and team. Time to see what these guys can do.

    Davis plays to much zone with these corners and his defense continuously shows there hand before the snap. They did it against Rivers also and these veteran QB’s know what’s coming before they snap it. Davis doesn’t have the talent yet, but I wonder if even when he does wil he know who and how to deploy it. His hiring has been my biggest concern since Kelly got the job. Look at what the Jets assistants are doing with defenses this year. One in Kansas City and other in Buffalo. We chose Davis and he has not been successful even when he has had talent.

  • Jernst

    Shocking! You take your best defensive players and put them on the bench. Take the best of the remaining players on the field and ask them to do something that they in no way excel at, while simultaneously keeping them from doing what they do best. At the same time, take the rest of the front 7 and play them in a system that they do not fit, and which in no way takes advantage of their skills. All the while slap a ridiculously over matched band-aid on the back end. Anyone really shocked that this defense sucks?

  • DayToday

    IM DONE WITH THE 3-4!!!!!!
    we dont have the players for a 3-4 but lets just go head and try and fit this square peg into a round hole….
    – we have 2 top picks who arnt playing because of this dumb defense….brandon graham and vinny curry are 4-3 defensive ends and both get great pressure but NOOOOOO lets play a 3-4 and waste them

  • couteis

    An awesome oppoℝtunity to eaℝn by working part time from a ℳacbook air. See here http://www.ℒock40.ℂom