3. Bottle up the twin tight ends (Ertz and Goedert)
So far in 2019, eight different Eagles players have at least nine total receptions this season.
Of that group, one is out for the year now (DeSean Jackson), one is questionable for Sunday’s game and didn’t practice at all on Wednesday (Alshon Jeffery), and one is questionable and was severely limited in Wednesday’s practice (Jordan Howard). Of the five remaining healthy players, only two play wide receiver (Mack Hollins and Nelson Agholor), one plays running back (Miles Sanders), and the final two play tight end (Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert).
If Jeffery can’t suit up Sunday against the Patriots, that means that Agholor, Ertz, and Goedert would enter the game with the highest Philadelphia target shares so far on the season. Ertz is No. 1 overall in targets as well as No. 1 in total receiving yards. Goedert is tied with Agholor and Jeffery for No. 1 in receiving touchdowns this season with three scores.
Translation: this Philadelphia offense flows through its twin tight ends.
Ertz is 6-foot-5 and 250-pounds and Goedert is 6-foot-5 and 256-pounds. Ertz was a second-round pick in 2013 and Goedert was a second-round pick in 2018. While these two players aren’t exactly the same, there are certainly plenty of similarities between them – and they’re both deadly on the field in open space.
Thankfully, the Patriots have actually been pretty exceptional this season at defending tight ends. In fantasy football they rank as the third-toughest matchup against TEs through nine games this season. Granted, New England’s defense also hasn’t faced some of the better tight ends in the NFL through that stretch, but it’s still an impressive mark nonetheless.
The Pats did allow three tight ends on the Ravens to catch nine of their 10 targets in the loss to Baltimore, however. They limited those players to just 63 total yards and a touchdown on those nine receptions, but it’s still a development worth monitoring as the New England defense gets set to face another pair of talented tight ends this week in Philly.