Evaluating the Eagles’ skill position players through five games

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From the Bleachers #82!

I began this afternoon by recording an episode of From the Bleachers. I discuss how the Eagles’ running backs, tight ends and wide receivers have performed through the first five weeks of the season. You can listen to that below.

As I was beginning to wrap up the episode, the news broke that Dallas Goedert has been added to the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Zach Ertz has played fewer snaps than Dallas Goedert in every game this season. Ertz is at 185 snaps. Goedert is at 224. With Goedert unlikely to go on Thursday, needing two negative tests 24 hours apart to be cleared to play, it’s time for 30-year-old Ertz to play like late-20s Ertz against the Buccaneers.

Despite the discrepancy in snaps, Ertz actually has more targets this season (25) compared to Goedert’s 19. I thought it would be time for Goedert to become a larger part of the offense, but the Eagles will find themselves relying on Ertz yet again, as they have for nearly a decade.

Other notes on the Eagles’ skill position players that are on my mind:

I wrote yesterday about how Quez Watkins is tied for the league lead with 20.5 yards per reception. I don’t care if there are concerns about Jalen Hurts’ arm strength. The Eagles’ two most explosive plays this season have come on bombs to Watkins. The Eagles need to play balls-to-the-wall to have a chance to knock off Tom Brady and the Bucs. Nick Sirianni should be cooking up a deep shot to Watkins on the first offensive possession of the game.
I’m buying all the Kenny Gainwell stock that I can. This new coaching staff doesn’t seem to have faith in Miles Sanders. I wouldn’t after his hair-pulling runs at the end of the Panthers game. Gainwell isn’t just the RB1 of the future, he should be the RB1 now.
DeVonta Smith? He continues to ball out. It couldn’t be more evident that he’ll be a very good pro for years to come.
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside is contributing as a special teams player, but he’s on the All-Cardio Team offensively without a single target coming his way in 2021.
Greg Ward is like a bruising power forward who just sets picks and can’t do anything else. He’s basically me in CYO basketball. I’ve seen enough of him in the red zone.

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