Don't look now, but Goedert is the best tight end in the NFC


Going into Sunday’s games, Travis Kelce is the only NFL tight end averaging more yards per game than Dallas Goedert, and anytime you’re in the conversation with Travis Kelce, that’s pretty good company.

Goedert turned in another monster game Thursday night, catching eight passes for 100 yards in the Eagles’ 29-17 win over the Texans in Houston.

And if he’s not the best tight end in the NFC, then who is?

“I hope what everyone is seeing on these nationally televised games is what we see every day in practice and what we've seen consistently through these past two years — that Dallas Goedert deserves attention for being one of the best tight ends in the NFL,” Nick Sirianni said.

“You have Jason's brother who is unbelievable. Travis is unbelievable. I love Dallas Goedert. He deserves to be in the conversation of one of the best tight ends in this league.”

Goedert now has 40 catches for 521 yards in eight games. His 65.1 yards per game average trails only Kelce (79.0) and is nearly 10 yards per game more than any other NFC tight end (T.J. Hockenson 56.4).

Only 14 wide receivers are averaging 65 yards per game and 13 yards per catch.

Last week, Hurts kept throwing deep to A.J. Brown. This week, with the Texans generating way more pass pressure than they should have, and Hurts focused on quick underneath throws to beat the pass rush, Goedert was the main focus of the offense. Against Lovie Smith’s Tampa 2, the middle of the field was open, and Hurts and Goedert have such a remarkable connection, Hurts rarely misses him. 

“We're always looking for the big plays, the explosive plays, but sometimes the defense just plays soft and doesn't let us get it," Goedert said. "And you know we did a great job just finding ways to move the chains. Shoot, 18-play (drive), 10 plays, all that stuff just kind of shows how dominant we can be.”

And once the ball is in Goedert’s hands, it’s over.

“I'd like to say whenever they give me the ball it works for the offense, you know?” Goedert joked postgame. “But, yeah, it doesn't matter what we call. We’ve got great players on this team. … We just have so many playmakers on this team. It's fun to be a part of. 

"Like Jalen says, if it's not coming to me, it's fun to get the popcorn out and watch what the other people do when they get the ball in their hand.”

Thursday night, it was Goedert popcorn night. 

He had four catches of at least 15 yards and has 29 first-down receptions this year, ninth-most in the NFL and second among tight ends to Kelce’s 36.

“We showed a clip (Wednesday) from Friday Night Lights,” Sirianni said. “They were explaining Dallas Carter (High School), and they said, ‘They're big, they're fast, they're mean, they're strong, and they're fast.’ The guy from (Odessa Permian), he was explaining what Dallas Carter is. 

“That's a good explanation of who Dallas Goedert is. He's big. He's strong. He's fast. He's mean. He's fast. That's why he's so productive. You're just seeing his game elevate.”

Goedert’s fourth career 100-yard game was like most of his other big games. He caught eight of nine targets, and his 10.4 yards per target is not only best among all NFL tight ends — and exactly the same as Brown’s — it’s seventh-highest among all NFL players with at least 40 targets. 

Over the last two years, Goedert’s 10.7 yards per target is second-highest in the league and more than a yard per target higher than the next-highest tight end (Browns veteran David Njoku). 

What can’t he do? 

Zach Ertz made three Pro Bowls and caught 116 passes one year and had the winning TD in a Super Bowl. But factor in Goedert’s elite blocking, his yards after the catch and his consistently explosive production and there’s no doubt this is one of the greatest seasons ever by an Eagles tight end so far.

Goedert is on pace for 85 catches, 1,107 yards and 13.0 yards per catch. Those are benchmarks only six tight ends have reached — Kelce, George Kittle, Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Todd Christensen and Kellen Winslow.

“Anytime I can get a target, have an opportunity to make a play, that's ultimately why you play this game," he said. "So it feels good when the ball is coming your way and you can make plays.”

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