EAGLES

Dallas Goedert knows dropped passes are becoming a problem

EAGLES
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Why did the Eagles fall behind Washington 10-0? It didn't help that Dallas Goedert dropped a pass, it hit off his heel, turned into a Landon Collins interception, Washington got the ball on the Eagles’ 26-yard-line and took a 7-0 lead a few plays later.

Why did the Eagles get off to such a slow start against the Giants? It didn’t help that on the first play of the game, Goedert was wide open in the left flat and dropped a first-down pass and potential big gainer.

Goedert has had a bad drop on his first target in each of the Eagles’ last two games, and he’s now up to five drops this year, most on the Eagles and 3rd-most among all NFL tight ends.

Goedert has been very good this year, in particular since the Zach Ertz trade. But the drops have been costly and are troubling.

These haven't been potential circus catches or diving attempts he just couldn't hang onto. They're just drops.

“I try not to let it eat at me too much,” he said Wednesday. “Obviously, you never want it to happen. My drops that I’ve had over the last couple weeks are pretty easy (to fix). Taking my eye off the ball, trying to run before I catch it.

"It’s just one of those things, you’ve got to have focus all the way through the play.”

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The Chiefs' Travis Kelce has the most drops among NFL tight ends with 10, but he’s also caught 83 passes. Jared Cook of the Chargers has six drops and has caught just 44 balls. Goedert has 50 catches, so he’s got one drop for every 17 catches.

As a rookie in 2018, Goedert caught 33 passes and dropped just one. In 2019, he caught 58 passes and had five drops. Last year, he had just one drop and caught 46 passes. So in general drops haven’t been a huge problem in his career. He’s caught 187 passes and dropped 12.

That’s why when it happens back-to-back games on easy catches on his first target in both games when the Eagles are trying it's troubling.

Overall, Goedert has been very good this year.

He has a career-high 759 yards, which is 62 behind team leader DeVonta Smith (in one fewer game). He ranks fifth among all NFL tight ends in yards – trailing only Pro Bowlers Mark Andrews, Kelce, Kyle Pitts and George Kittle – and his 15.2 yards per catch is best among tight ends, just ahead of Pitts’ 14.8 mark.

Since the Zach Ertz trade, he’s increased his production from 43 yards per game to 60. His 759 yards put him on pace for 867 in 16 games, which only Pete Retzlaff (twice), Ertz (twice) and Keith Jackson and Brent Celek (once each) have surpassed among tight ends in Eagles history.

In his four seasons, despite playing behind Ertz most of the time, Goedert still ranks seventh in the NFL among tight ends since 2018 with 2,224 yards.

There’s an awful lot to like about Goedert’s game, and he keeps getting better. He’s got a clear chemistry with Jalen Hurts, and he’s been one of the most consistent players on the team this year.

And that doesn’t even get into his world-class blocking, which is a big reason the Eagles have the NFL's No. 1 rushing attack.

But he knows he needs to eliminate – or at least greatly reduce – the drops.

“It’s something we talk about, something that we work on in practice and something that we need to clean up to keep drives alive,” he said. “Those drops have been hurting us.”