Matt Lombardo may be reached at MLombardo@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter

As Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz continues to evolve into a top-tier quarterback, Zach Ertz seems primed to ascend right along with him as a preeminent tight end both because of his desire to become a well-rounded contributor as well as a budding connection with Wentz that will only increase his role and production in this system.

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CHARLOTTE — Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has rightfully garnered plenty of praise for rapid continued development from his rookie season through the first six games of 2017, but over that same stretch, Zach Ertz has quietly established himself as one of the NFL’s premier tight ends.

Just how good has Ertz been?

Despite the fact that Thursday was a relatively quiet statistical game for Ertz (two catches for 18 yards and two touchdowns), he currently ranks No. 1 among NFL tight ends in touchdowns (4), receiving yards (405), and targets (53).

It coincidence that Ertz has already matched his 2016 season touchdown total in just six weeks. According to Pro Football Focus, Ertz has seven end zone targets, which also matches his total from last season, when he was targeted 101 times overall. However, five of those seven targets in the end zone last season came in the final three weeks of the season (2 against the Baltimore Ravens, 3 against the Dallas Cowboys).

Eagles tighten grip on NFC East lead

Some analysts point to Ertz’s strong finishes to seasons through the first four years of his career as a detractor to what he brings to the offense, but it would appear that up until this season, head coach Doug Pederson and Chip Kelly before him, simply weren’t maximizing what Ertz is capable of deep in the red zone.

This season, Ertz is rewarding the belief in the coaching …read more

Source:: New Jersey Real -Time Sports

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