Oct 13, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (85) reacts after scoring a touchdown during the second quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
It’s no secret, at least to NFL teams, that the Arizona Cardinals can’t cover the tight end position very well. Is it a by product of what the Cards defense will give you? I guess you could make that argument, however, if that’s the case, then they are giving up too much. Way too much.
In week one, St. Louis Rams tight end Jared Cook torched the Cards for seven receptions for 141 yards and two touchdowns. In week three, New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham torched the Cards for nine receptions for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Then there was yesterday where San Francisco 49’ers tight end Vernon Davis torched the Cards for eight receptions for 180 yards and two touchdowns, albeit all but one reception was in the first half. Notice a trend here?
In the other three weeks where they weren’t being bullied by the opposing tight end, that opposing tight end was still the leading receiver that week for the Cards opponent in two of those weeks. The only week the opposing tight end has not been the leading receiver for his team was in week two. Detroit Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew only caught three passes for 32 yards. That’s because they have Calvin Johnson, who went off with six catches and 116 yards.
The Cards opponents are clearly seeing something in the defensive alignment and are putting their offensive plans in place to almost perfection. It doesn’t get any easier from here. The Seattle Seahawks don’t rely on their tight end like a lot of teams do, so this may be another week where it isn’t an issue. However they have games upcoming with the Atlanta Falcons and the Houston Texans where the use of the tight end is a huge part of their offensive scheme. Ever hear of a guy named Tony Gonzalez? Yeah, the Cards may be in for another long afternoon on October 27th.