Zach Ertz and the Philadelphia Eagles are looking to bounce back this weekend against the Cincinnati Bengals after a tough loss to the Green Bay Packers at home on Monday night.
No. 86 and his teammates will need to break out of their recent 1-4 stretch to get back on track, with their playoff hopes still alive for a Wild Card spot. At 5-6, the Eagles trail divisional opponents New York and Washington in the Wild Card standings, but they will have another crack at each of their NFC East rivals in their final five games.
A major part of a playoff run could be Zach Ertz and his emerging chemistry with rookie QB Carson Wentz. The tandem has combined for 23 catches and 223 yards and a TD over the last four contests.
“It’s a testament to the work that Carson and I have continued to put in together” said the tight end. “After practice, in between[practice] periods we’re constantly out there working with each other trying to get on the same page. With a rookie quarterback or even with a new quarterback last year with Sam [Bradford], we kind of had to develop that chemistry and know where each of us are going to be and what each other are thinking and doing on each and every coverage. I think that’s something that’s going to continue to grow.”
Philadelphia could have to win their remaining five games to secure a playoff spot, a run that begins on Sunday in Cincy. The Bengals have struggled this season after being a regular playoff contender in recent years, posting a 3-7-1 record in this 2016-17 campaign.
The Bengals defense is ranked 23rd in the NFL in total yards allowed per game, a statistic that ZE and the offense will look to take advantage of. Despite surrendering 366 yards per game overall, the Bengals are 13th in the league against the pass—so No. 86 and his fellow Philly pass-catchers will face a stout group of linebackers and defensive backs.
Zach and Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict played against one another in their Pac-12 days, so No. 86 is familiar with the Cincy defender. Much of the talk surrounding Burfict centers around his style of play, which has earned him numerous fines over the years, but ZE just sees him for
“The thing that gets lost with him is that he’s an extremely talented football player,” Ertz said. “He’s a physical football player, he’s a downhill linebacker, he’s been to a Pro Bowl.”
Sunday’s game kicks off at 1 p.m. ET from Cincinnati on FOX.