We all know that a good tight end can make a quarterback’s life easier in the NFL. And we also know that a GREAT tight end can possibly become a quarterback’s best friend. Look at Rob Gronkowski.
As of now, he is the alpha male of tight ends in the NFL, and he certainly makes Tom Brady’s job look that much more easy during an NFL game, and causes nightmares for defenses and defensive coordinators.
Now some people would say that Jimmy Graham, Jason Witten, Travis Kelce and Greg Olson would round out that Top 5 for Tight Ends. However, room needs to be made for one more, and he may be the biggest threat to Gronk’s “throne”. Make way for Tyler Eifert of the Cincinnati Bengals.
This season, he and Andy Dalton have hooked up for the most touchdowns by any quarterback and pass-catcher duo. No one has caught more touchdowns than Eifert’s nine, and the scary thing is that he may be on his way to a record breaking season. It also helps that Dalton doesn’t hide the fact that Eifert being such a versatile weapon and so hard to defend has made life easier for him and the rest of the Bengals’ offense.
Last night, against the Cleveland Browns, Eifert finished the game with five grabs for 53 yards and three scores. However, one of his scores wasn’t meant for him. It happened in the second quarter when Dalton was scrambling at the goal line and fired a pass toward the back of the end zone that was intended for rookie offensive tackle Jake Fisher; but Fisher was well covered and Eifert reached up and grabbed the ball.
His third touchdown would come in the fourth quarter as he gave Cincinnati a 31-10 lead and effectively put the game out of reach for the Browns. It’s rare any player catches three touchdowns in a game, let alone a tight end.
With his three scores Thursday night, Eifert is now tied with former Bengals great Bob Trumpy for the most touchdown grabs by a tight end in a single season. Trumpy set the record way back in 1969 with nine scores in 14 games. Eifert already has reached that mark through eight games, and there’s little doubt he’ll break it.
Eifert is also on pace for 74 catches and 868 yards this season. That would break Dan Ross’ single-season marks of 70 catches and 910 yards by a tight end.
But the most impressive stat is how Eifert is on pace to finish this season with 18 touchdowns. That would be a Bengals franchise record for most touchdown catches by any position in one season. Only four players in NFL history have caught that many scores: Mark Clayton (18), Sterling Sharpe (18), Jerry Rice (22), and Randy Moss (23).
Pay close attention to Eifert, as we may be seeing the man to challenge Gronk for his thrown. Can it be sustainable? Who knows, but it will be fun to watch.