After their most complete game of 2019, a 31-13 victory on the road against Buffalo, Zach Ertz and the Philadelphia Eagles (4-4) return home to The Linc for the month of November. This, after three consecutive away games where the Eagles went 1-2 over that span. Sunday, The Eagles will battle a familiar NFC foe, the Chicago Bears who sit at 3-4 entering Week 9.
During their Week 8 matchups, both the Eagles and Bears relied heavily on their ground attacks to move the ball. The Eagles utilized a tailback-by-committee approach that accounted for 218 yards and three scores. Philadelphia’s strong day on the ground was aided by the superb blocking efforts by the tight end tandem of Ertz and Dallas Goedert, as well as a solid effort from the offensive line.
For the Bears, their primary back David Montgomery carried the rock 27 times for 135 yards and a score in a losing effort.
Whether the run game is as critical for either team Sunday remains to be seen. Both rush defenses rank within the top-10 in terms of yards per carry and yards per game. That said, there is potential for Wentz and No. 86 to each have a big day. Through the first half of the season opposing quarterbacks have had a 93.6 rating and thrown for 256.1 yards per game against Chicago.
Wentz is coming off of arguably his most efficient outing of the season in Week 8 after recording a passer rating north of 100 and a completion percentage of nearly 71% last week against a stingy Buffalo secondary.
Ertz has played in two career games against the Bears. He accounted for 11 catches on 13 targets for 130 total yards and a touchdown. Additionally, the Bears have proven to be susceptible against opposing tight ends this season. Thus far, the Bears have allowed over 400 receiving yards and two scores to the tight end position.
Although 4-4 is not were the Eagles wanted to be through the first half of the season, Head Coach Doug Pederson is encouraged by the resiliency in his locker room as they fight to stay in the thick of the NFC East race.
“It’s just like a family, there’s going to be adversity,” Pederson said. “There’s highs, there’s lows, people are going to nitpick, people are going to to talk about one another, but it’s how they come together on game day and what they can put behind them. When we just focus on ball this team is tough to beat. That’s the momentum we have to carry not only this week but the second half of our season.”
In a rematch of last year’s down-to-the-wire NFC Wild Card matchup, Zach and the Eagles are preparing for another tough battle. The Eagles emerged last January as the victors, and they have been preparing all week as best they can to build on last week and come out on top once again on Sunday.
Kickoff from The Linc is set for 1 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on FOX.