Philadelphia’s dismantling of the Chicago Bears in Week 10 may have been the Eagles’ best overall performance of the season, and for Zach Ertz, it was his best statistical game of 2017.
Entering the week, the Eagles were riding an eight-game winning streak after thumping their division rival Dallas Cowboys. The sports world was beginning to take notice of how good this Eagles team was, led by a dynamic second-year quarterback in Carson Wentz with a plethora of offensive weapons to choose from. The defense also began to receive praise as one of the league’s best at this point in the season, equipped with a physical front seven and a talented secondary.
The talent of the 2017 Eagles team was on full display against the Bears in late November as they romped to a 31-3 victory and had some fun celebrating for most of the day.
The Philadelphia Eagles beat the Chicago Bears by a score of 31-3!!!! We're now 10-1!!!! #FlyEaglesFly
— Sean Sedor (@SASedor2994) November 26, 2017
The Eagles jumped out to an early lead and led 24-0 at halftime. The combination of Philadelphia’s stifling defense and explosive offense overwhelmed a Bears team that featured a lot of young starters, including quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
Ertz came up big in this game, hauling in 10 receptions for 103 yards, including a touchdown in the first quarter to kick off the scoring for the Eagles on a 17-yard strike from Wentz.
Carson Wentz's 17-yard TD pass to Zach Ertz gives the Eagles a 7-0 lead, 6:04 to play in the 1st. Drive started on the Bears' 44 after a 34-yard punt.
— Colleen Kane (@ChiTribKane) November 26, 2017
Ertz flourished as a reliable target for Wentz once again by securing 10 of 12 targets on the day, consistently keeping drives alive and keeping the chains moving.
Zach Ertz hauled in 10-of-12 targets for 103 yards and a touchdown in the Eagles' Week 12 win over the Bears.
— Sapere Aude (@PrimaScriptura) November 26, 2017
In this game Ertz flashed his great route-running ability that allowed him to thrive in the red zone and helped elevate his game to a Pro Bowl level. On his touchdown early in the game, Ertz fooled Bears safety Adrian Amos and got him to turn the wrong way, which led to an easy pitch-and-catch between Wentz and Ertz for the game’s opening score.
Zach Ertz was about as wide open as can be. Adrian Amos turned the wrong way on a really good route by Ertz. #Bears
— Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. (@wiltfongjr) November 26, 2017
Throughout the season, Ertz exploited defenses in the red zone by using a combination of his size and crisp route running to find space and create separation in a more condensed area of the field. Ertz’s red zone production is a big reason why he was able to secure a career-high eight touchdowns in 2017.
A pair of Nelson Agholor and Alshon Jeffery touchdowns in the second quarter widened the Eagles lead heading into halftime, and the celebrations ensued from there. The game was never close in the second half and the Eagles cruised to their ninth straight victory and tenth of the season.
In the following two weeks, the Eagles would see their winning streak snapped by the Seattle Seahawks and lose their MVP-candidate quarterback for the season against the Los Angeles Rams.
For most teams, their Super Bowl dreams would have come crashing down after losing a key piece like Wentz, but the confidence that had been built up by the Eagles during the early part of the season instilled a determination in this team to keep pushing toward their first Lombardi trophy.
Ertz’s No. 2 performance of the season looks back at the early stages of the season in Week 3 against the New York Giants. The nail-biting victory against a tough divisional opponent would set the tone for the rest of the season that the end result would be different this time, no matter what happened along the way.