Zach Ertz has gone from breaking the single-season receiving record for a tight end, to being a nonfactor in the Philadelphia Eagles offense. How is that possible?
When you think of the Philadelphia Eagles, you probably think of Carson Wentz, Fletcher Cox, and Zach Ertz. There are other stars on the team, but those guys are the faces. Ertz is the All-Pro tight end and one of the city’s most beloved athletes. That’s for good reason.
In the aftermath of a historic 2018 season where he eclipsed Jason Witten‘s single-season reception record for tight ends, Ertz was expected to continue to be one of the most productive NFL stars at his position in 2019. Through almost half of the season, that expectation hasn’t just been missed, it’s been completely erased.
Through the first seven weeks of the regular season, Ertz has registered only one touchdown, and he hasn’t eclipsed 100 receiving yards once (he did so five times in 2018). He’s done this all while leading the league in targets by tight ends (59) through seven weeks. It was a commonly held belief that Ertz was due for some kind of regression due to the sheer amount of talent the Eagles had added around him this offseason, but he’s underperforming even without those players on the field.
To his credit, Ertz isn’t shying away from the criticism the team is facing. Sports Radio WIP 94.1’s Howard Eskin reported Ertz’s thoughts on the team’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys, and he seems to be just as confused about the team’s current state as the fanbase is. For a player that’s proven himself to be one of the top tier talents in the league at his position, it’s undoubtedly been a shock to see him falter as badly as he has.
NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Reuben Frank tweeted out further comments from Ertz following Sunday night’s loss:
The future looks uncertain for the Eagles as they’re currently constructed, and Ertz’s minimal contribution on Sunday night could prove to be telling. He was thoroughly outplayed and out targeted by second-year tight end Dallas Goedert, and he was watching from the sidelines as Goedert caught the Eagles’ lone touchdown pass on the night. For a team that was frequently complimented on its depth, the Eagles seemingly don’t know how to use the personnel they have. Until that issue is remedied, the fear is Ertz’s struggles will continue to mount.