Zach Ertz Proving to be Major Red Zone Threat
If you were one of the people complaining about the Eagles’ use of tight end Zach Ertz entering this season, you’re probably weren't alone — but don't just look at his numbers this season, he has been one of the top tight ends in the league since entering the league in 2013 as a third-round pick out of Stanford.
Since 2013, Ertz has 290 yards, 3,368 yards and 19 touchdowns, but his 2017 numbers are the best he's posted, grabbing 43 passes for 528 yards and six scores.
He’s got the eighth-most receptions and receiving yards among the league’s tight ends since 2013. Ertz’s 5.57 catches per game rank first among NFL tight ends and his receiving yards per game rank fourth.
The key number that you don't see on that list; touchdowns.
This season, Ertz has developed into one of the top red zone threats in the league, something that has helped the Eagles morph into one of the top offenses in the league. The Eagles score a touchdown in the red zone 72% of the time, second best in the league, after scoring a touchdown just 49% last season inside the 20.
Ertz has become a red zone weapon, scoring six touchdowns already this season, all of which have come inside the 20-yard line.
Since 2013, Eriz has found the endzone 19 times, 14 of which have occurred in the red zone, six of those have happened this season, and its now 10 straight scores inside of 20-yards.
It’s something Eagles fans have been hoping they were getting since Philadelphia drafted Ertz in the third-round - a true red zone threat.
Ertz has scored on passes of three, 11, one, 17, four and one-yards this season.
“They have a lot of confidence in me to make plays when the ball is in the air," Ertz said after the 49ers game when asked about his success in the red zone this season.
"We spend a lot of time in the offseason focusing on the red zone, from the spring to the summer. We go against a really good defense each and every day, so we have had some really good battles over the spring and summer and it has paid off so far.”
If the Eagles want to make a deep playoff run, you need to have that legit red zone target you can go to when things tighten up - it appears Ertz has become that target.