The Philadelphia Eagles will be looking to right the ship with a win during their Week 14 matchup at The Linc against their NFC East rivals, the New York Giants (2-10) on Monday Night Football. With Giants’ rookie Daniel Jones sidelined due to a sprained ankle, the Eagles will face a familiar foe in veteran quarterback Eli Manning, who hasn’t started since Week 2 – a 28-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
Zach Ertz is eager to get back on to the gridiron Monday night after struggling to find his offensive rhythm last week in Miami.
“I was pretty hot for 24 hours,” Ertz said. “Just really disappointed in myself, the way I played.”
After catching 30 passes for 288 yards in the three games prior to Miami, Ertz had three cates for 24 yards against the Dolphins, his second-fewest yards this year.
But, as Zach knows, the key to being successful in the NFL is having a short memory. He will put last week behind him and focus on the Giants.
“Monday morning, come in, train hard, just bust my butt in the weight room, try to get everything out of me, try to take out all my anger in the weight room,” Ertz said. “Come in Tuesday on the off day and get a bunch of catches in, and then just kind of move on. I’ve played over 100 games in this league now, had a lot of success, can’t let one game define me. Obviously, I didn’t put a lot of good stuff on film that I was proud of, but I’m not going to lose confidence in myself, I know the coaches aren’t going to lose confidence in me, and I’ve got to be the player that this team needs me to be these last four games.”
Despite the Giants having a pass defense that gives up 258.6 yards per game (25th) and a 101.7 passer rating (28th) to opposing signal callers, the New York secondary has been stingy with respect to opposing tight ends, so Zach will certainly have to earn his yardage on Monday night. On the year, the G-Men allow the third-fewest yards to the position.
That said, limiting the effectiveness of an All-Pro like Ertz is never easy. Thus far, he still leads all NFL tight ends with 70 catches and leads all NFC tight ends with 736 yards. He’s up to 14th in NFL history in career catches among tight ends with 507.
The Green & White have only allowed three opposing backs to rush north of 100 yards, and they boast the fourth-best rush defense in the league. They have a tough matchup in front of them with Saquon Barkley, but the stout Eagles’ front will look to limit his production.
Stats aside, all the Eagles care about is getting the victory and ending their three-game skid, as they are neck-and-neck with the Cowboys for the NFC East crown.
“Guys are angry right now,” Ertz said. “Guys are frustrated. As a team, we’ve just got to be able to bottle this up and control it on Monday night and go out there and play to the best of our abilities, allow the leaders to lead this football team and find a way to win a game.”
A win on Monday night, will go a long way in determining the outcome of this season. Zach and his teammates know that and are up for the challenge in front of them.
Kickoff from MetLife Stadium is set for 8:15 p.m. ET, and the game can be seen on ESPN.