The Green Bay Packers’ inability to cover the middle of the field has made life really easy on opposing tight ends.
Over the last five games, the Packers have been carved up by the position.
In games against the Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers, the Packers gave up 36 completions for 546 yards and five touchdowns to opposing tight ends.
The destruction began against the Raiders on Oct. 20 against the Raiders and continued well into Sunday night’s implosion in San Francisco. Mike Pettine has healthy linebackers and safeties, and he even had the opportunity to re-assess his coverage against tight ends during the bye week. The issues covering the middle of the field are becoming inexcusable.
The Packers came off the bye and gave up six catches on six targets for 126 yards and a game-sealing, 61-yard touchdown to George Kittle. Three of his catches went for 20 or more yards.
Here’s the recent damage from tight ends:
Darren Waller/Foster Moreau/Derek Carrier: 11 catches, 172 yards, 3 TDs
Travis Kelce: 4 catches, 63 yards, TD
Hunter Henry: 7 catches, 84 yards
Greg Olsen: 8 catches, 98 yards
George Kittle: 6 catches, 129 yards, TD
Up next for the Packers is Evan Engram and the New York Giants. He’s a big, athletic target who has 44 catches, almost 500 receiving yards and three scores this season.
Overall, the Packers have allowed the third-most receiving yards and fourth-most receiving touchdowns to the tight end position in 2019. Until Pettine’s defense figures out the issues in the middle of the field, the Packers will continue to get gashed by tight ends.