The Philadelphia Eagles have started the 2017 season in style, rolling out to a 3 – 1 start to take over the top of the NFC East. Philadelphia comes into the 2017 year as a young team with a roster full of up and coming talent. However, the NFC East has widely been considered one of the most contentious divisions in the NFL. So why has Philadelphia rolled to such a strong start? It has everything to do with the growth of the young QB-TE tandem of Carson Wentz and Zach Ertz.
Zach Ertz and Carson Wentz are the two key cogs that are making the Philadelphia offense click. It isn’t Philadelphia’s running game — that’s non existent — and it isn’t newcomer Alshon Jeffery, a star wide out who has struggled to find his place within the offense. Instead, it is Zach Ertz and his connection with two year battle-mate Carson Wentz. Ertz entered Week 4 ranked 3rd in the NFL in catches, 5th in yards, and he’s just 26 years old on top of it all.
So why has Zach Ertz taken the next step? It’s due in large part to the improve decision making of QB Carson Wentz, but it is also due to Ertz’s own ability to outwork his criticism. At the end of the 2016 season Ertz was absolutely lambasted by a coach when he failed to make a block during a Carzon Wentz run. Ertz said that the moment, “Put things in perspective.” Since then Ertz has been as electric as they come and he is really earning his 5 year, $42 million contract.
Now Philadelphia is adjusting their expectations. No longer happy to be competitive, Philadelphia is starting to dream of a deeper run into the playoffs. Philadelphia has a tough match up with the Arizona Cardinals this week and they’ll be immediately tested to see if the Eagles are as legit as they feel. Philadelphia has struggled with Arizona historically with their only wins against the team, in recent memory, coming in 2008 and 2013. Guess what else happened in both of those years — the Eagles made the playoffs. Philadelphia will be tasked with dispatching an Arizona team that has struggled to get going early this year thanks to a variety of big injuries. Arizona has a depleted offense and a banged up offensive line which means Philly might really start the year 4 – 1.