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Eagles "Revenge Tour" Continues with Zach Ertz Up Next

The third of four waves of Super Bowl winners from the Eagles' 2017 season is about to hit on Sunday, and so far that group is 0-2 facing their former team
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PHILADELPHIA – Brandon Graham called it “the revenge tour,” and that’s a whole lot sexier than calling it a quirk in the schedule.

It’s both, really.

Two weeks ago, it was Washington’s Carson Wentz. Then came Jacksonville’s Doug Pederson. Now, it’s Arizona’s Zach Ertz. Next week it will be Dallas’ Jason Peters.

Sensing a thread here?

They’re not just former Eagles. They’re former Eagles who were part of the one and only Super Bowl history.

“It’s crazy we’re seeing Carson, Doug, and Zach all right there and I didn’t even think about JP next week which obviously will happen,” said center Jason Kelce.

"…It’s rare that you’re playing a team that you don’t know at least a coach or player that you’ve played with, but the fact that it was four guys that were such a huge part of our organization and team in back-to-back-to-back-to-back weeks, that’s definitely unique.”

The Eagles are 2-0 against their fellow championship-ring wearers.

It’s probably not a fair fight, though, because the Eagles have more Super Bowl winners on their roster capable of ganging up on the one who has departed.

There are still eight players on the roster from the 2017 title team, including heavy hitters Kelce, Graham, Lane Johnson, and Fletcher Cox.

“I know if I wasn’t here I’d be circling the Eagles if I was playing them,” laughed Graham in the locker room on Wednesday. “We don’t worry about it too much, but you’re right, we don’t want at the end of the game people coming over smiling at us. Hopefully, we’re smiling at them.”

Ertz will give his best effort to beat his former team, just like Wentz and Pederson, no doubt wanted to do to earn “revenge.”

On a call with Eagles media on Monday, Ertz was asked if he can be the first Cardinals tight end to have more than 100 yards receiving since Rob Awalt put up 105 against the Cowboys it in 1989. 

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That’s 33 years ago, and it was done by a journeyman who played with three teams during his seven years in the league. Ertz is a potential Hall of Famer.

Ertz's answer to the question was simply, “yes.” 

He then paused and added, “I plan on doing it soon.”

It sounded like a veiled threat that he is going to do to it – or try to do it – on Sunday when the Eagles pay a visit to State Farm Stadium on Sunday (4:25/FOX).

He very well may be targeted enough to make it happen, especially with WR DeAndre Hopkins still serving his six-game suspension for a PED violation.

As much as Eagles fans still love Ertz and as much as Ertz still does for the community, with his House of Hope project on Hunting Park Avenue on track to open in early 2023, they would hate to see Ertz hang 100 yards on their defense.

Unless, of course, it’s in a loss.

“We know he’s a great route runner.," said Graham. "He’s one of those guys, that I know he’s not blocking any of us (laughs), no knock to him, but I’m just saying, we know him just like he knows us.

"On film, you see they do a little switch up, he blocks here and there. We know Zach is a possession tight end and he’s going to go out there and run some good routes, so we have to make sure we stop him.”

Not many teams could do that during Ertz’s nearly nine years in Philadelphia before he was traded last October.

Not in 2018 when he set the NFL record for tight ends with 116 catches for 1,163 yards and certainly not in 2017 in the Super Bowl, where he made a clutch fourth-and-one catch and made the 11-yard touchdown reception that gave the Eagles the lead back for good at 38-33 with 2:21 to play in the game.

“He’s an absolute legend here,” said Eagles tight end Jack Stoll on Wednesday.“You see what he did for this city and everything like that. Anyone like that, I don’t think you’ll see anyone in an 86 jersey here anytime soon."

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Fan Nation Eagles Today and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglesmaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.