Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts has built a relationship with Zach Ertz so Hurts’ passing game will take a hit without Ertz.
Chemistry cannot be overrated in the NFL.
As 2020 has proven, teams need the off-season to build relationships with fellow players. While every position group needs it, quarterbacks need chemistry with recipients to accurately time their passports.
For a young quarterback like Jalen Hurts, the people he’s built the most chemistry with should be indispensable on the Eagles’ offensive. One of those people was tight end Zach Ertz, and he has now been traded to the 5-0 Arizona Cardinals.
Ertz makes Arizona’s super team even better, but his departure from Philadelphia undoubtedly makes the 2-4 Eagles worse.
Zach Ertz’s swap hurts Jalen Hurts and the Eagles
Jalen Hurts has proven that he has the talent to become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. This is also because he has something that the best passers-by in the league all have in common.
What Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady and Jalen Hurts have all proven is that their elite tight ends have become preferred targets for securing first downs and moving the chains.
Hurts has dumped the ball with 1,480 passing yards this season, but a significant number of groundbreaking games have passed Ertz’s hands. Ertz caught 18 of Hurts’ 130 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns. By week 5, Ertz had a target share of 15 percent compared to Goedert’s 11 percent. That is a considerable part of the offense that has just been traded away.
It makes sense that the Cardinals would trade Ertz – they’re making a clear game for the Super Bowl with their monumental squad for 2021 – but the only reason the Eagles would trade Ertz is hoping for a brighter future. The 30-year-old’s worth will inevitably decline over time, and the Eagles are already outfitted with Dallas Goedert. With two high profile tight ends, rumors were circulating about trading one of them and it happened to be Ertz.
This way, 23-year-old Hurts can get in touch with his current recipients like Goedert, Jalen Reagor and former Alabama teammate DeVonta Smith. With Ertz in the picture, the fantasy value of this receiver has skyrocketed.
“According to Dwain McFarland of Pro Football Focus, Goedert only ran one route on 59% of the dropbacks in timeshare with Ertz,” wrote Erin Walsh for Bleacher Report. “It should go over 80% now when Ertz is gone.”
Perhaps the Eagles waited until they played against the Buccaneers before swapping Ertz so that Goedert would have time to bounce back on the COVID-19 list and play again for week 7 that will damage Jalen’s potential on the field.