Is it a bold statement? Sure. But is it true?
When the Eagles drafted Dallas (right in front of Dallas, in Dallas, classy), all we knew was that he was a raw super talent from a smaller school in South Dakota State.
Then, we experienced that we couldn’t tell the difference between Ertz and Goedert when they are on the field together, as they are built almost identically at 6’5″ and differ around 6 lbs. They run routes in a similar flashion and just for fun, both play with a black sleeve for most games.
What we are starting to realize now is that the two form the perfect TE duo. A duo that opens up a world of opportunities on offense.
Perfect in each and every way
Zach Ertz the pass catcher, Dallas Goedert the bulldozer. A simple way to put it, but not exactly false, either.
Zach Ertz has been the leader in receiving yards for the Eagles since 2016, finally eclipsing the single-season 1,000-yard mark last year alongside 8 touchdown catches. He’s a pass-catching machine with a Masters degree in creating separation and making catches in traffic.
Dallas Goedert has unexpectedly become one of the best blockers in the league. Something he didn’t do much in college, blocking has come naturally to Goedert in his early professional career. In his rookie season, he was ranked as the 5th best blocking TE by PFF. Through the opening four games of 2019, he is the 3rd best run-blocking TE in the league.
A complimentary pair
While both excel in each facet of the game, they compliment each other very well, and it showed in the win over Green Bay.
Here are two plays out of 12 personnel where Eagles run zone. On both plays, Ertz and Goedert seal off or push their respective defender out of the play, leaving a lot of space for gap opportunities for the RBs.
Further, on plays where one of them line up as the “wing” (meaning off the line but still 12 personnel), they do a good job of overlapping on “wham” plays, where the wing goes inside and TE on the line goes outside, which is the key blocking element to get an open gap. They executed to perfection:
Their ability to work together in run blocking is what propels them past other tandems. This play is a great example, where Ertz helps Goedert win the momentum against the DE, and subsequently flips his hips and seals off the DB on the outside, springing a gap open for Howard:
In the passing game, teams are respecting Ertz so much that whenever he crosses the middle, they will occasionally put 2 guys in coverage on him. That sets up for some trickery, as that attention leaves Goedert unaccounted for. A rookie mistake as highlighted by this beautiful screen pass:
In the end, both guys are big, strong, and physical guys who run above average routes. That means you can come out in a spread formation (2 receivers to each side) with Goedert and Ertz lined up as the slot WRs, have them run the same routes, and expect atleast one of them to create a huge mismatch. Something Wentz used nicely here:
Expectations moving forward?
The game against Packers was really our first real glance at the duo a year into Goedert’s career, in which he will be used a lot more than 2018.
A game in which both TEs were top-notch elite with 90+ grades in both receiving and blocking.
It’s a unique situation. If defensive coordinators take the attention off Ertz, he will exploit it, if they give him too much attention, Goedert will mismatch a small DB or slow LB.
Eagles are in a great situation with the best TE duo in the league that will flourish together in both the run and passing game.
Mandatory Photo Credit: AP Photo/Michael Perez