Snap counts: Eagles keep Saints defense on the field, in nickel _lowres

Philadelphia Eagles' DeMarco Murray, right, cannot pull in a pass against New Orleans Saints' Dannell Ellerbe during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHILADELPHIA — In the aftermath of Sunday’s discouraging 39-17 loss at the hands of the Eagles, Saints defenders resisted the idea that fatigue played a part in their second-half collapse.

But Saints coach Sean Payton thought Philadelphia’s 34 minutes of possession had an effect.

“We turned the ball over, really struggled to stay on the field offensively,” Payton said. “Defensively, you get that many plays and pretty soon you begin to wear down.”

The New Orleans defense faced far more snaps than the team ever has before. New Orleans faced an average of 63.75 snaps through the first four games; Philadelphia ran 84.

More importantly, the Eagles had success by keeping the Saints’ nickel on the field. David Hawthorne, who still lines up with the first team in the base defense, played just 11 snaps, his lowest total of the season, and Dannell Ellerbe played 63, or 75 percent of the overall snaps, suggesting that New Orleans spent the vast majority of the game in sub-packages.

On offense. two developments were clear: Mark Ingram took 35 snaps, a tad over 50 percent of the 69 overall the offense had, andWillie Snead is now the Saints’ clear No. 2 receiver. Snead played 49 snaps, far ahead of either Marques Colston (30) or Brandon Coleman (26).

See full list of snap counts here.