The Arizona Cardinals unleashed their latest weapon Sunday, tight end Zach Ertz, acquired in a trade with Philadelphia, who helped the undefeated Cards overcome a slow start to blast the Houston Texans, 31-5.
"It was good," Ertz said, per the team's official website. "It was fun to win a football game and be a part of this culture and team environment."
Ertz provided the cherry on top of the blowout win, catching a pass over the middle and jaunting to the end zone for a 47-yard touchdown that essentially iced the game midway through the third quarter.
It marked the longest TD reception of Ertz's career, topping a 35-yarder he had in 2014 with the Eagles, per NFL Research. The score also made Ertz the first player in NFL history to have a touchdown catch for two different teams in back-to-back games in a season. Ertz scored a TD in his final game with Philly before being traded to Arizona.
The Cardinals imported Ertz after tight end Maxx Williams went down with an injury. The only undefeated club believed the tight end could thrive over the middle, with DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk and A.J. Green drawing most of the defensive attention outside. So far, so good.
"We have a lot of talent," Ertz said. "I've never seen so much green grass in the middle of the field and that's gonna happen with guys like DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green on the outside."
It wasn't all rainbows and roses in Ertz's first game in Arizona. Kyler Murray and Ertz missed connecting on a TD earlier in the game, and the QB threw an interception targeting the tight end. Ertz blamed himself for the interception, part of the chemistry-building process.
Ertz finished his first game with his new club catching three of five targets for 66 yards and the score.
"He brings a down-the-field presence to the team," Hopkins said. "Maxx and those guys are good, but Zach is a Pro Bowl tight end. So, to be able to have that presence in the field helps out a lot."