Here is the goal for Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh when the Birds have the football on Sunday in New Orleans: Score a touchdown every time. That’s the dream. That’s perfection. It’s not going to happen, but Groh sees improvement across the board for the offense since the team played in New Orleans two months ago.
“I think we've made a lot of improvements since that last game. I think we’re 6-1 since that game and feeling good about where we are offensively,” Groh said Tuesday during his weekly press conference at the NovaCare Complex. “Obviously, every week there's things that you want to improve in and get better at based on what people try to do to you. We know we have a tremendous challenge. They are an excellent defense. They have had a really good year and done a lot of things really well. So, we're excited for it. We've created a great opportunity for ourselves to be here in the Divisional Round and looking forward to getting back there.”
New Orleans dominated the Eagles in November, intercepting quarterback Carson Wentz three times as the Eagles scored only on a Josh Adams touchdown run. Otherwise, it was a miserable day for the Eagles’ offense.
Sunday is a new day, though. The Eagles have won six of their last seven games and are scoring points early and late, as we saw on Sunday in Chicago. One of the big areas of improvement since the loss in New Orleans has been the play of the offensive line, which got back left guard Isaac Seumalo in the Chicago game. Seumalo was part of a strong pass-protection game against the Bears' outstanding front seven.
“I've said this all season long, we've got a ton of confidence in our entire offensive line unit, and we just found a little bit of a groove, I guess,” Groh said. “Got some traction and guys are playing confidently, playing well and really preparing hard and preparing smart and taking advantage of the reps that we get every day out there at practice. We're going out there and we're executing at a high level right now.”
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Another plus has been the continued development of rookie tight end Dallas Goedert, the team’s first draft pick. He was key on Sunday with a touchdown reception and a terrific catch-and-run on the game-winning fourth-quarter touchdown drive and he’s also been a strong blocker.
“That was a heck of a catch, down on the shoe tops like that, and not only that, just to be able to control the ball and spin out of a tackle and make a first down – that was a huge first down, and that drive on a second-and-long,” Groh said. “I believe the play before that, had a couple guys open, had a little pressure, wasn't able to get it to him and to be able to make a play there on second down was critical to keeping that drive alive. That's a really good example of Dallas stepping up. The moment is not too big for him, for a rookie there in his first playoff game, to make that play, and the route he ran for the touchdown was excellent."