Oct 12, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles tight endJames Casey
(85) celebrates his 26-yard touchdown catch with tight endZach Ertz
(86) and tight endBrent Celek
(87) against the New York Giants during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Philadelphia Eagles Play Tight Versus Cardinals
The Philadelphia Eagles will play tight versus the Arizona Cardinals. Normally, playing tight is a bad thing. But in this case, we’re talking about the Eagles quartet of offensive weapons in tight ends Brent Celek, Zach Ertz, James Casey, and Trey Burton.
A year ago, the Eagles played the Cardinals in a very closely contested and controversial game. The final score was every bit reflective of the struggle, where the Eagles managed a three point victory by a game winning field goal from the foot of kicker Alex Henery. The other points were touchdowns: two from tight end Zach Ertz and one from tight end Brent Celek.
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Coming into the game this year, the 5-1 Philadelphia Eagles travel to face the 5-1 Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals have the number one rushing defense in the NFL. The Cardinals also are stingy, surrendering a meager 19.2 points per game.
But in analyzing the defense, the Cardinals are susceptible to passes caught by tight ends, as they are currently ranked in the bottom half of the 32 teams NFL. Coincidentally, that just happens to be an area of strength of the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles offense is experiencing a bit of a lull in recent weeks. Despite starting out the season with a strong passing game, they’ve struggled of late. While the Eagles have put up 1,628 yards, 10 TDs, and 7 INTs passing, their opponents have managed 1,669 yards, 13 TDs and 3 INTs. While the Eagles have rushed for 696 yards and 4 TDs, their opponents have managed 746 yards and 2 TDs.
So this Eagles offense is not blowing people away this year. Their points per game is a result of excellent special teams and defense play. But in the offense, the Eagles have some strong play from the tight ends. Every one out of five passes target and is caught by a tight end. But three out of ten passing touchdowns and four out of ten passing plays of 20 yards or more result from passing to the tight end.
The game plan seems pretty obvious going into the game. The Eagles need to establish a running game: multiple tight ends will help tremendously. The Eagles need to advance the chains via the passing game: multiple tight ends will help tremendously. The Eagles have a distinct advantage of their tight ends versus a Cardinals defense susceptible to the tight end: multiple tight ends will help tremendously.
So heading into the game, everyone wants the team to play loose. But it would be better if the Eagles play this one tight: three/four tight ends in the offensive formation if you please.