The Philadelphia Eagles’ tight ends have a difficult matchup on Sunday.
In recent years, the Philadelphia Eagles‘ tight ends have played major roles in the offense. Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert have been quite the tandem when healthy. This year, Ertz has battled injuries and hasn’t produced when he’s been on the field. Last week, he returned to the lineup and had a couple of nice catches. Maybe that will carry over into this week because the Eagles could use it. It’d be great to see him finish the year on a good note if this is, indeed, his last season in Philly.
Goedert has also had a few injuries but, overall, he continues to shine when on the field. Over the course of his last three games, he has added 17 catches for 218 yards and two touchdowns to his resume. Other than running the wrong route on Carson Wentz’s interception in Week 12, he’s been phenomenal. Goedert’s run blocking ability is unmatched as well.
So what does this mean if you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan?
While Ertz and Goedert can be a great duo at times, the New Orleans Saints defense is built to shut them down. This year, they’ve allowed just 501 yards versus tight ends which ranks seventh in the NFL.
The linebackers are a big part of that, especially Demario Davis who could make his second All-Pro team. Davis is always around the ball making plays. He is a typical sideline to sideline backer. Then, there’s also Kwon Alexander who the Saints added midseason. He’s stepped right into the lineup and performed at a high level. Alex Anzalone also comes and makes an impact when called upon. Eagles fans know Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins very well. He’ll probably cover Ertz or Goedert at times since he’ll be playing down in the box.
As Ross Jackson from Canal Street Chronicles pointed out in a recent game preview, the Saints play a two-level defense. They are known for locking up all windows underneath and at the intermediate level. The Eagles love to try to and hit Ertz and Goedert down the seam, on dig routes, and on sit routes underneath against zone. If the Saints take away both of them, rookie Jalen Hurts’ job will become more difficult. The ‘Birds’ have to get him in a rhythm early and the tight ends will be integral.
In the red zone, the Saints do struggle a bit though. Opposing offenses have a 66.7 red-zone percentage. The Saints are 25th in the league in that category. While they have limited opposing tight ends, they have allowed six touchdowns to them which is 18th in the league. Look for Ertz and Goedert to get most of their work inside the opposing 20-yard line (if the Eagles get there).