Recently, an anonymous team source spoke with Josina Anderson and spilled the beans with three reasons why the Philadelphia Eagles are struggling.
Why are the 2018 Philadelphia Eagles struggling? Is it a Super Bowl hangover? Does it have to do with injuries? Both of the above statements are true and could factor in as to why the Eagles aren’t doing so hot. There’s a lot more to it, though. According to an anonymous team source that spoke with ESPN’s Josina Anderson, there are three simple reasons why the Eagles are struggling.
To make a long story short – Basically, the 2018 Eagles are struggling because the chemistry is not the same as last year, and the backfield hasn’t been as effective as it was last season. Some pretty obvious stuff here. However, the third reason as to why the Eagles offense is struggling may come off as a bit puzzling. According to the source, Carson Wentz’s constant need to target Zach Ertz has become a bit of a problem within the offense.
Say what? Are we really going to complain about a guy who is on pace to shatter records for receptions this season? If I’m not mistaken, Zach Ertz has been one of the bright spots for the Eagles offense this season. After all, he leads the team in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. When you look at the numbers, Ertz has caught 84 of his 111 targets for 895 yards and six touchdowns. So, what’s the problem here?
Does this “source” have a point?
"“I feel like we’re over-targeting Zach Ertz,” which is the tight end. Right now, Zach Ertz leads them in targets with 111. And even though he’s catching 76% of those, the source says that he feels like it’s disrupting kind of the rhythm with everybody else getting into a groove on offense, even though Zach Ertz right now is on pace to have the most receptions in NFL history in a single season for a tight end.”"
Bleeding Green Nation suspects that this “source” must be an offensive player. More specifically, it could be wide receiver, Alshon Jeffery. Again, all of this is speculation, but when you think about it, it’s not a poor guess at all. So assuming that an offensive player did bring up the over-usage of Zach Ertz, do they have a point?
All bias aside, there is a good point in what this source is saying. Yes, it does feel like Carson Wentz has relied too heavily on his tight end. For a young quarterback, that’s to be expected. But Wentz hasn’t precisely been distributing the ball around as well as he did last season, which is causing issues on the offense.
There is the argument that Wentz simply doesn’t have time to let the plays develop, or that none of the wideouts are getting open. For the most part, though, Wentz does seem to stare down Ertz and rely on him more often than not. The chemistry between Wentz and Ertz has always been there, but some other guys seemed to have lost their groove with Wentz since Nick Foles took over last season.
Will this change in 2018? It’s doubtful. With the way the offense has been struggling this season, the Eagles coaching staff haven’t really found any answers 12 weeks into the season. As long as Ertz is being productive on paper, nobody can really complain anyway. In a way though, the theory makes sense. Hopefully, this doesn’t become a long-term concern for the Eagles beyond this season.