He has 93 catches. With a quarter of the season left.
“It’s insane,” locker room visitor Brent Celek said after his close friend and long-time teammate Zach Ertz broke the Eagles' record for catches in a season.
It is insane.
Ertz caught nine passes for 83 yards in the Eagles’ critical 25-13 win over the Redskins Monday night at the Linc (see Roob's observations), and that gives him 93 receptions for 978 yards this year … with four games left.
Ertz needs just 18 catches the rest of the season to break Jason Witten’s NFL record for catches in a season by a tight end, and he’s on pace for 1,304 yards, which would be only 23 shy of Rob Gronkowski’s record for tight end yards in a season.
This is one of the greatest seasons a tight end has ever had, and the humblest guy on the team doesn’t even like to talk about it.
“It’s cool,” Ertz said after the Eagles got back to 6-6 with the win. “Obviously there’ve been so many great players in this organization and to set the record at home obviously very special but at the same time, the most important thing for me tonight was the win. Something we needed tonight.”
Let’s take a quick look at Ertz’s record-breaking season and career so far:
• Ertz’s 93 catches broke the club record of 90, set in 2007 by Brian Westbrook. It’s already the 12th-most ever by a tight end in a season and just two catches out of sixth place.
• Ertz increased his career total to 414 receptions, third-most ever by a tight end in his first six seasons. He’s within reach of Jimmy Graham (434) and Witten (429).
• Ertz’s 414 catches are just 12 behind Westbrook for third-most in franchise history. After he catches Westbrook, he’ll trail only Harold Carmichael (589) and Pete Retzlaff (452).
• Ertz is on pace for 125 receptions, which would be fifth-most in NFL history, behind Marvin Harrison (143 in 2002), Antonio Brown (136 in 2015), Julio Jones (136 in 2015) and Brown again (129 in 2014).
Ertz and Carson Wentz have such a remarkable chemistry together. They’ve played 39 games together, and Ertz has 211 catches for 2,305 yards and 17 touchdowns in those games.
Last year we were playing at a high level, but I think this year we’ve taken that next step. We see the game so similarly. We talk about football all the time. We’re fully invested in being the best players we can be for this team and this organization. We just love the game of football. We love talking about it. We love the fine art of route running and the timing of the quarterback and the tight end. It’s a lot of fun playing with him. He’s so competitive and so talented.
Ertz was asked post-game about an ESPN report over the weekend quoting an anonymous person inside the locker room as saying the problem with the Eagles’ offense is that Ertz has been targetted too much.
“I hope I’m not the problem,” he said. “I don’t think I’m the problem. I’m just trying to be the best tight end I can be. I’m just trying to put wins on tape. That’s all I try to do.
“I’ve said it all along: I don’t care if I get two catches or 10 catches most important thing to me is winning football games, and I thoroughly believe each guy in that locker room feels the same way.
“There’s never been any selfishness from anyone in that locker room. I don’t want to give it too much merit. It was a good team win, and that’s what I’m focused on.”
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