Eagles' Unselfishness Reaches New Heights With Ertz

The Eagles took their unselfish nature to new levels on Sunday when teammates insisted on force-feeding Zach Ertz the football in garbage time so he could break 100 yards.

The score was 31-3 with under seven minutes to play in the fourth quarter, and several Eagles starters were already out of the game. Not Ertz. He was busy hauling in a five-yard pass from backup quarterback Nick Foles on 3rd-and-3 against a hapless Bears squad with no hope of coming back - all because it put him over the century mark.

Why was it significant to get Ertz to 100 yards? After all, he'd already reached that mark five times in his career, including a career-best 152 receiving yards last January against the Giants.

This time, it was all because Ertz became the first Eagles player to reach 100 yards receiving in 2017.

"When I was at 9-for-98, they were telling me, 'Hey you just need one more catch, just get one more catch,'" Ertz said postgame. "So we said on third down, I was going to go in there if it was a pass.

"I knew I was getting the ball. I knew it. There was no way I wasn't getting that ball, that last one. It's fun. I mean, I think it shows how close these guys are, how much we truly care about one another. Everyone is happy for the other man's success. I think that's a testament to this team."

Afterward, Eagles coach Doug Pederson tried to pour a little cold water on the idea the goal of the play was to push Ertz into triple-digits, while also admitting he was aware they were closing in on the feat.

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Surely, he knew what would happen when Ertz went back into the game for that third-down call.

"We kind of knew a little bit in the second half he was getting close, but we were still just trying to finish the game," Pederson said. "It just so happened that he was able to catch that last pass from Nick and get the 100 yards."

Ertz had a team-high 10 receptions (on 12 targets) for 103 yards and a touchdown. Yet, while the numbers were seemingly important to his teammates, Ertz's concern was on a victory that improved the Eagles' record to 10-1.

"All we're focused on is winning the football game," Ertz said. "You can tell how much each and every person cares about one another when I finally had 100 and everyone else was so happy for me."

Maybe players grew tired of being asked about the absence of a 100-yard receiving performance in the midst of a nine-game winning streak. As they maintained all along, that it took until Week 12 has been a reflection of the amount of talent in this offense.

It's also a reflection of their heart, because Alshon Jeffery or even Nelson Agholor, with the season he's having, could demand the ball much more.

Instead, everybody keeps on waiting for their turn for the good of the collective.

"It just shows you how unselfish this team is, the fact that it's not all about one guy," Pederson said. "It's everybody. Everybody's making plays on offense.

"The fact that we're spreading the ball around and everybody's involved and we're still being efficient on offense is a tribute to the way these guys work and practice each week."

According to Ertz, their motivation is not difficult to understand.

"All of us have had the individual success, but none of us have really had the team success that we're all striving for," Ertz said. "Everyone is putting their egos aside and just focusing on winning."

The Eagles had 420 yards of total offense against the Bears - 176 on the ground, 244 through the air. That was with perhaps taking their foot off the gas pedal in the second half after jumping out to a 24-0 lead before heading into the locker room.

It's tough to say what's scarier - that Ertz believes this wasn't quite a "complete" offensive performance for the Eagles, or that they did this while half the locker room was feeling under the weather.

"The full team has kind of been under the weather getting back from Dallas early," Ertz said. Obviously, it's tough this time of year.

"Not everyone was healthy, I can tell you that much."

Whatever their ailments, nothing was going to dampen the Eagles' enjoyment of Ertz's chase for 100 yards and another W.

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