The Eagles routed the 49ers on Sunday but the game was not without controversy. Zach Ertz had to answer for throwing at Alshon Jeffery, and whether the beanball was intentional.
"I was trying to dust him off," Ertz said. "From my perspective, it kind of looked like he was crowding the plate, so I wanted to brush him back a little bit. Unfortunately, I slipped and it just hit him."
Ertz and Jeffery were the latest players involved in the Eagles' elaborate baseball-themed touchdown celebrations. Only this time, Jeffery's 53-yard home-run touchdown wasn't followed by an imaginary home run in the end zone.
Instead, Ertz plunked Jeffery, and the wide receiver did not take kindly to the hit by pitch. Jeffery charged the mound, and Ertz ran away — all part of the choreographed madness after the Eagles took a 20-point third-quarter lead.
"He's a big and intimidating guy, so I just wanted to get out of there," Ertz said. "Hopefully, all of my teammates would stand up for me, but unfortunately, they didn't. They were on his side."
Nobody bothered to hold Jeffery back as he rushed the pitcher, but that's OK. He planned the whole thing.
"I'll take credit," Jeffery said of the unique take on baseball celebrations.
The NFL changed the rules in the offseason to allow for group celebrations, and the Eagles are one of the teams taking full advantage and having a blast with it. In other words, you can count on the offense to keep coming up with new ways to celebrate together as a team, regardless of who crosses the goal line.
"No matter who scores, we're going to keep having fun," Jeffery said.
"We're just trying to get the timing — who's going to do this, who's going to do that. Whoever scores the touchdown has to be the main character, but other than that, we're just trying to figure out who's going to do the rest of the stuff."
It's a great sign because it means the Eagles are crossing the goal line with enough frequency to not only coordinate celebrations but also keep coming up with new acts.
The celebrations serve as a commentary on this team as well. This group continues to bond and have fun together, and that's never more apparent than when they get six.
"It's a blast right now," Ertz said. "We're having a lot of fun. We're playing extremely loose. We have a lot of confidence each and every week when we go out there. It's a fun group.
"We have a lot of unselfish guys that all they care about is winning, so it's a really fun environment right now."
The Eagles improved their record to 7-1, which remains the best mark in the NFL. With home-field advantage and a bye in the postseason on the table, and Super Bowl conversation all around town, the team would have every excuse to stiffen up and start getting tight.
But it doesn't look or sound like that's going to happen, and the celebrations are just one reason why.
"We're just living in the moment, staying in the moment," Jeffery said. "Just keep going."