Leading up to the Eagles match-up with the New York Giants on Saturday, Sports Talk Philly and Eagledelphia will compare the personnel of the two teams each day until gameday is here.
In this edition of our week-long comparison, we will look at the receivers and tight ends that the Eagles and Giants will field on Saturday.
Philadelphia WRs & TEs | Devonta Smith, AJ Brown, Quez Watkins, Zach Pascal, Britain Covey, Dallas Goedert, Jack Stoll, Grant Calcaterra
The Eagles have new record holders here – two of them. While AJ Brown set a record with 1496 yards on the season (88 receptions and 11 touchdowns), DeVonta Smith set a receptions record with 95 on the season (1196 yards and seven touchdowns).
Beyond that, the Eagles receiving corps has not been stellar with Quez Watkins, a player arguably responsible for four interceptions and a lost fumble over the last several weeks, posted just 33 receptions and 354 yards with three touchdowns on the year. In far fewer snaps, Zach Pascal added 15 receptions for 150 yards and a touchdown as the fourth option.
At tight end, Dallas Goedert is the unquestioned star. In just 12 games, he posted 702 yards and three touchdowns on 55 receptions, putting him on pace for 994.5 yards had he not missed five games as a result of an uncalled facemask penalty by Washington. The Birds second tight end, Jack Stoll, does not have eye-popping stats (11 receptions, 123 yards) but is one of the leagues best blockers at the position, helping more in the running and screen game than he does in the passing game.
Britain Covey serves mainly on punt returns while Grant Calacatera is typically only found if there is an injury at tight end.
Giants WRs & TEs | Darius Slayton, Isaiah Hodgins, Kenny Golladay, Richie James, Marcus Johnson, Kalil Pimpleton, Daniel Bellinger, Lawrence Cager, Nick Vannett
The Giants don’t really have a clear-cut “Number One” guy, but that decision would really come down to Slayton or Richie James. While Slayton has the clear lead in yards (724), it’s James who has been the most frequently used outlet with 57 receptions compared to Slayton’s 46. The pair have recorded six touchdowns on the season.
Isaiah Hodgins was a waiver claim for the Giants who posted 392 yards and four touchdowns on the season, usurping the third receiver spot on the team. He came up big in the wild card round, posting 105 yards and a touchdown against the Vikings last week. He could be an X-Factor for the Giants Saturday.
Kenny Golladay is probably the most recognizable name on this list to most NFL fans, but these days he’s known as being a massive waste of cap space. He has a cap hit over $21 million this year and that only goes up next year. His on-field performance has been negligible – six receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown and 25 of those yards came on one play against Darius Slay in Week 18.
Marcus Johnson, a player whose name may be familiar to Eagles fans as he was with the team during their 2017 run and became a part of the trade package for Michael Bennett. He operates as a deep reserve for the Giants, making catches in just five games and primarily playing special teams.
Pimpleton has yet to appear in a game.
At tight end, the Giants do not have a major threat in the passing game, but they do regularly rotate their tight ends. Veteran Nick Vannett is the clear third option and would figure to see the fewest amount of snaps. Daniel Bellinger, with 268 yards and two touchdowns, is the team’s biggest receiving threat from the position but Cager (118 yards, one touchdown) is not too far behind. Expect to see both of them on Saturday.
There really isn’t much of a comparison here. Even Giants fans themselves would much rather have the 1000-yard pair of Smith and Brown, let alone a tight end that’s paced for that mark. The Giants may have more depth thrown into games with recent experience, but that is a result of the team not having the receivers they can count on to get open regularly. Unlike the previous two comparisons, this is a slam dunk in favor of the Eagles.