The case for TE Higbee
The entire NFL awaits the return of the December 2019 version of tight end Tyler Higbee. In his first game, the LA Rams threw his way four times. He caught three passes for 40 yards. That’s pretty basic. Not too much, perhaps a little on the low side. But it is enough to keep the pipeline of passes to Higbee set up for a big game this week.
Higbee surprised everyone in 2019. The fact is that the Rams needed extra blocking to make the run game possible, and discovered that they could still pass effectively out of 12 packages on offense. The Rams offensive line faces a Philadelphia Eagles defensive line that may find the return of Javon Hargrave, Derek Barnett, and Brandon Graham. While Graham saw some action against Washington, but Barnett and Hargrave would be new additions to the defensive front. With a tougher assignment, this could be a great game to pop out the 2 tight end offense. The Rams have certainly practiced it this year.
12-package favors Higbee as a receiver
Of course, running two tight ends will cause a lot of confusion for the Jim Schwartz wide-9 defense. The Eagles run a 4-3 defense, but the way they run it is very similar to the 3-4 defense without a burley strong nose tackle. In the Eagles version, defensive ends line up outside of the offensive tackles. Defensive tackles line up on the outside shoulder of the offensive guards. The middle linebacker must shed the center on run blocking. An excellent offensive choice for the Rams would be to go with two tight ends.
The 12 package gives the Rams two extra blockers to help on outside runs, gives the Rams more protection to prevent back door tackling on interior runs, and opens a host of passing options for the team as the Rams can go with 2 WRs and 2 TEs plus a running back. In fact, if Henderson is used, he would be an ideal running back to compliment two tight ends. And as the Eagles try to match the Rams 12 package with big defenders, Higbee is off to the races in the receiving department.