As frustrating it is for fans to watch the run game going nowhere and stalling at the line of scrimmage, as frustrating it must be for Wentz to do everything by himself on long 3rd downs consistently, there may be a new lease of life for the Eagles offense.
In two games, the Eagles are averaging 172 yards on 52 attempts, good for 3.3 yards per carry. No running back has scored a touchdown yet. Against Falcons, the running game failed when it had to compensate for a missing Alshon Jeffery and Desean Jackson, averaging 2.3 yards per attempt on 21 carries. But was that in part due to the absence of Dallas Goedert?
In 2018, Goedert entered the league as a raw prospect out of South Dakota State. It didn’t take long for him to establish himself as the best in a specific category: run blocking.
“I want to be a three-down tight end in the league. So I’m going to have to be able to block. I didn’t do a ton of blocking at South Dakota State, but when I did, I put my head in there. I have to work on it a little bit, but I’ve been doing it already when I’ve been training. I plan on getting a lot better at it and being one of the best tight ends in the league”Dallas Goedert, Eagles Tight End
He was ranked as the 5th best run-blocking tight end in 2018. A big part of his ability showed out in the Wild Card game against the Bears, where he down blocked “best-in-business” Khalil Mack to the bus, sealed off Leonard Floyd multiple times, and was stellar in pass protection.
Against Washington, Goedert played a big role in the run game, as his physical presence allowed the Eagles to pull multiple linemen on outside runs. Against big defenders like Da’Ron Payne and Tim Settle, Goedert stood ground consistently, while moving smaller defenders like Ryan Anderson and Tre Boston.
His performance was good for an elite run-blocking grade of 82.8.
A devastating absence vs Atlanta
Zach Ertz was asked to block a lot against the Falcons. On this power, he was the backside blocker, responsible for keeping the defensive end from crashing down the line of scrimmage:
In split zone blocks, his chip block on the end is key to spring a gap-free on the backside, however, missed it too many times.
Evidently, Ertz couldn’t be counted on. Something that is well known, as he is coming off 3 years of yearly PFF run-blocking grades of <60, which is… well… bad.
Goedert returning to the field against the Lions’ huge front is key, as they may want to go more outside to avoid Damon Harrison and A’Shawn Robinson in the middle.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports