The Philadelphia Eagles defense has improved throughout the season, but even in victory, their Achilles heel showed on Sunday night -- covering the tight end.
Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten torched the Eagles to the tune of 12 catches for 135 yards on Sunday night, easily the veteran tight ends best game of the season.
While Witten is a solid player, he is not what he used to be -- and he certainly isn't in the class of New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham.
Something that is bad news for Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis.
"He's the No. 1 target they have and he's been their most consistent target," Davis said on Tuesday. "He's a big, athletic tight end, catches everything thrown near him. They move him all over the place so it's tough to practice and get a beat on how to help guys on him.
Graham once up again put up big numbers this season, finishing with 86 receptions for 1,215 yards and a whopping 16 touchdowns. At 6-7, 265 lbs, he is a matchup nightmare for any team, let alone one that struggles to cover tight ends to begin with.
"I think we have been good at times and struggled at times," Davis said of his defenses' ability to cover tight ends. "Like anything, the talent level of the tight end that's coming at you, how much I help on the tight end with a call or I don't, depending how many weapons they have or the situation, sometimes I give a lot of help, sometimes I don't and I think it just moves, it's a moving target."
The Eagles do not have a ton of experience covering Graham, as he has has faced them just once in his career, finishing with seven receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown.
How the Eagles decide to cover Graham will be interesting.
Amongst the linebackers, there is no clear answer as to who can matchup with Graham. The Eagles most athletic linebacker is Mychal Kendricks, but at just a little under six feet tall, Kendricks gives up nearly seven inches to Graham. Kendricks is also best when he is allowed to rush the passer, so having him drop back into coverage all day is not ideal for the Eagles.
Connor Barwin is a possibility, as he has the size to hang with Graham, but does not have the speed to keep up with Graham.
It is possible the Eagles could decide to stick a cornerback on Graham, as they have two tall, long cornerbacks in Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher.
On Tuesday, Williams said that he doesn't have a ton of experience covering tight ends, but would be willing to try if asked.
"They have been physical. Made him change his footing. Stop and start. He isn't exactly the fastest guy out there -- he has good speed, but he is a build up guy. If you give him a free release, he is going to have a lot of success. But if you get in his face, and you harass him a little bit, I don't think he necessarily likes it."
Although they will need to use either Williams or Fletcher on Saints wideout Marques Colston -- who is 6-4 -- they could put a smaller corner on the Saints other wideout, Kenny Stills, who is just over six feet tall.
Putting a player like Roc Carmichael on Stills would allow the Eagles to let Fletcher or Williams matchup with Graham, presenting the Eagles with perhaps their best chance of containing the Pro-Bowl tight end.
No matter how they decide to do it, however, it is going to be critical for the Eagle to try to slow down Graham.
In the Saints four losses this season in which Graham played, the tight end averaged just over four catches a game. In the Saints 10 wins with Graham, he averaged close to seven catches.
Meaning if the Eagles want to advance past the wild card round of the playoffs, stopping Graham is going to have to be priority No. 1.