Despite a spirited fourth quarter rally and a 10-catch, 112-yard performance from Zach Ertz, the Philadelphia Eagles came up just short of a victory at home against their NFC East rival Washington Redskins on Sunday. The 27-22 defeat dropped the team to a 5-8 record, adding to a frustrating string of four consecutive losses. Zach and his teammates expressed frustration but showed no quit following the game.
The 27-22 defeat dropped the team to a 5-8 record, adding to a frustrating string of four consecutive losses, and the theme of close losses throughout the year for Philly. Zach and his teammates expressed frustration but showed no quit following the game.
“We’ve fallen short a lot. This has been a tough season obviously,” said Zach. “Losing eight games, second most games I’ve lost in a year. So it’s hard, it’s extremely difficult to lose in this league, I mean it hurts especially when we’re so close so often. I felt like we were down in the red zone almost every possession. So we just got to learn how to finish down there, when we’re able to do that, we’ll be a really good offense.”
While the Eagles offense showed flashes of greatness, outgaining Washington in total yards 383 to 334, it wasn’t enough to get the most important statistic: the W.
“You play to win the game, like Herm Edwards said,” Zach commented. “It’s tough. You play the game to get in the playoffs and give yourself a chance at the Super Bowl. In this city, that’s what fans expect and that’s what they deserve. So every time we come up short it hurts, I know it hurts them but it hurts us even more. But we’re going to learn from this, I know we’ve got a lot of talent on this team, I think the future is extremely bright, and we’re excited about it. Obviously, we’re devastated right now.”
No. 86 caught a pass on the first play from scrimmage, fighting for 13 yards and a first down. From that point on, he and signal caller Carson Wentz remained on the same page. The Eagles opened the scoring in the first quarter with a Caleb Sturgis field goal, and added another early in the second quarter. Washington responded with a touchdown to take a 7-6 lead late in the second, before Philly added a go-ahead touchdown from Wentz to running back Darren Sproles to take a 13-7 lead into halftime.
It seemed that Zach was making an impact on nearly every drive, picking up chunks of yardage and 11.2 yards per catch as Philly’s leading receiver.
The Redskins came out of the break firing, scoring two TDs on Kirk Cousins passes to seize the momentum and the lead, 21-13.
Philly wouldn’t back down. After a clutch fourth quarter pick-six by cornerback Leodis McKelvin, Philly took a late 22-21 lead on an 11-play drive. Zach delivered a huge 14-yard reception to move the chains on 3rd-and-7 to keep the drive alive, and Sturgis booted the go-ahead field goal.
Unfortunately for the Birds, Washington led a spirited drive on the following possession that ended with a touchdown. Needing a touchdown and facing smothering pressure on the next series, Wentz was sacked from behind and stripped by Ryan Kerrigan, and Trent Murphy jumped on it to leave the Eagles just short of the comeback.
“I think there’s a lot of pride on this team,” Zach added after the game. “Guys aren’t going to look at it and say ‘this season’s lost’, guys are going to play hard till the end. Until they say we’re officially out of it, we’re going to continue to play hard.”
The Eagles are back in action Sunday at 1 p.m. ET against the Baltimore Ravens.