Will 2017 be the year of Zach Ertz?
3 January 2017 Eagles News
Yes, I know this might seem cliche, but next season is the year of Zach Ertz. For the last couple of seasons, we have been constantly waiting for Ertz to breakout. After a stellar second half of the season, it is now time. 2017 is the year of Zach Ertz.
The second half of the season was where Ertz saw the majority of his success. During the first half of the season, Ertz missed some time with a rib injury, he returned from that injury week five. After taking a little time to adjust and build a connection with Carson Wentz, Ertz began to thrive in week nine.
Since week nine, Ertz caught 63 (most in the NFL) passes for 666 (Eight in the NFL, most for TEs) yards and four touchdowns. An average of 7 receptions a game for 74 yards.
What makes this second half of the season outburst different than the rest?
Firstly, after an impression game versus the Browns, Ertz suffered an injury. When he came back, it took him about four weeks to get settled in again. If he did not get hurt, to begin with, you would have to think he would have had an even better season looking back on it.
However, last season Ertz saw an impressive run of form come with just four weeks left in the season, not nine. Like I said before, he looked the part week one, before his injury. I think his injury really set him back this season.
A legit pass catching tight end.
Ertz was seeing a lot of targets (106). That is ten targets a game. He caught 78 of those targets. That is a catch rate of 74%. Ertz was very efficient on his nine-game run catching 63 of 86 targets. On the season, Ertz averaged about 10.5 yards per reception. That is exactly what the Eagles need out of him. That is a great average for a tight end.
A full offseason with Carson Wentz
Lastly, a full offseason with Wentz will only make this duo better. This will be the first time in Ertz’s career where he will be able to build a solid relationship with a quarterback during the offseason and carry it into the season. Last season, things were going great with Sam Bradford, but he was traded.
“I think we’re really excited about it,” Ertz said. “Obviously, I’ve had five quarterbacks in four years. It’s hard to build that trust and that chemistry consistently with a quarterback if they’re constantly getting shipped out of here, when Carson was drafted, it made us so excited for us position players because we knew we were finally going to have the opportunity to build that chemistry with one quarterback for a long time.”
Now, Ertz and Wentz can build on their duo they have formed and carry it on into the season. Look for this duo to be even stronger next season, especially after a full offseason.