Dallas Goedert's shutout in Week 1 and DeVonta Smith's 2022 Week 1 disappearance are noncomparable

Dallas Goedert's zero-catch performance in Week 1 has been compared to DeVonta Smith's disappearance in Week 1 last season. The cold hard facts are those performances are unrelated.
Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles
Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

Following the Philadelphia Eagles’ Week 1 win versus the New England Patriots, vibes were put in limbo. Yes, Philly won. Ultimately, that's all that matters, but we never saw the dominant performance from the Birds that we wanted (or probably should have seen).

Week 1's game was a swift reminder that the 2023 Eagles may not pick up where the 2022 Eagles left off. This is a new team and a new season. They're no longer the hunters. They're now the hunted, but that didn't prevent any adrenaline rushes.

There's no nice way to say this. The Eagles have to be better, especially on offense.
During Week 1's game, tight end Dallas Goedert was targeted once. He didn't haul in any receptions as a result.

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni and others have compared this to Week 1's game in 2022, one where wide receiver DeVonta Smith also recorded zero receptions. Sirianni essentially told us during a recent presser that Goedert’s usage (or lack thereof) wasn't anything to worry about. Keep in mind the fact that, in Philly's next game, Smith collected 70 receiving yards and went on to end the 2022 season with 1,196 receiving yards and 95 receptions. The latter is a franchise record for wide receivers.

It's a fair point. It's also one we can disagree with.

The biggest difference between the Eagles' offensive showing during Week 1 of 2022 and their effort in the 2023 opener comes down to one word, efficiency.

Let's state this again. It’s hard to disagree with Nick Sirianni. Dallas Goedert is going to get his fair share of targets throughout the season. We all know that. Goedert knows that. The issue here is that there may not have been enough plays drawn up to specifically get Goedert involved.

Philly's offensive attack during Week 1 of the 2023 opener paled in comparison to what we saw from the Birds in 2022's opener. DeVonta Smith's shutout was noticeable, but it ultimately didn't hurt the team. Conversely, Philly needed Dallas Goedert in Week 1, and ignoring him almost cost this team a win.

The Eagles scored 28 points last September versus the Lions. Philly's offense could only muster seven points last Sunday. That score (one thrown to Smith) was the result of Jordan Davis forcing a fumble. That gave the Eagles the ball on the Patriots’ 26-yard line. 

We could argue that a few drives set Jake Elliott up for some makable field goal attempts. That can be debated, but in the end, Jake is the NFC's Special Teams Player of the Week because the offense stalled on so many occasions.

The differences between the offense’s efficiency and effectiveness are very glaring when comparing the last two Eagles regular-season openers. We could argue there is an apples-to-oranges comparison of Detroit and New England's coaching staffs, but the play calling by Shane Steichen in 2022 was better than what we saw from Brian Johnson on Sunday.

Steichen's success in 2022 created an atmosphere where the ball didn't have to be 'forced' to DeVonta Smith. There was minimal effort to get Dallas Goedert involved this time around, and that hurt the team, especially when there were no noticeable adjustments.

Overreactions from Week 1 games are a thing, and we’re trying to avoid the temptation to do so here. We're simply attempting to highlight the most effective and efficient tight end in the NFL. 

After the Eagles had three consecutive three-and-outs, it felt like we all were bashing our heads against a brick wall. If you’re calling a game and you’re having trouble converting on 3rd downs, how could you not dial up a play to get Dallas Goedert the ball? He's much too dominant to not do so going forward.

Don't push the panic button here. Philly will get this figured out, but they have to let their playmakers make plays. Doing so will save them a lot of aggravation and create a few offensive fireworks. In short, let Dallas Goedert eat, especially when this team is hungry for production.

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