It wasn’t one of Zach Ertz’s best games. May have been one of his worst.
“I was pretty hot for 24 hours,” Ertz said. “Just really disappointed in myself, the way I played.”
There were two drops, including one inside the Dolphins’ 5-yard line on the third-quarter drive that ended with Jake Elliott missing a field goal. And another play in the end zone that probably wasn’t technically a drop but that Ertz would tell you he should have caught.
After catching 30 passes for 288 yards the previous three games, Ertz was just 3 for 24 in Miami, his second-fewest yards this year.
Blowing a 14-point second-half lead, losing to a two-win team, a crucial drop when a catch could have been a game-breaker … it all led to one pissed-off Zach Ertz.
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.
Ertz isn’t putting up the numbers he did last year, but 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.
But after Sunday’s disaster, he was hardly in the mood to celebrate a few catches.
I took it very personally, a lot of the leaders took it very personally, and the leaders of the team got to step up right now,” Ertz said. “We need our best players to be playing our best football right now and there’s no other way to put it. We put it upon ourselves to execute at a high level, kind of the core group of guys that we have, and we feel like if we’re able to do that, everybody else follows. That’s the makeup of this team. If our best guys are playing their best come December we have a chance to win football games, and that’s where we’re at right now.
Ertz didn’t practice the week leading up to the Miami game because of a hamstring injury he suffered pregame against the Seahawks a week earlier.
He said the three days off Monday through Wednesday, thanks to the Monday night game against the Giants this coming week, gave him a chance to heal, and he feels better now than he has in a long time.
Now he just has to make some plays and help this team win a game they have to win.
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.
Everybody knows the story.
They’re 5-7. Four wins gets them to the playoffs. Then again, they’ve won only four games since Sept. 10.
At this point, just being angry and frustrated might not be enough.
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