New England Patriots

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – NOVEMBER 17: Stephon Gilmore #24 of the New England Patriots gestures during the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on November 17, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

By Ty Anderson,

Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz may be one of the top tight ends in football, but the Patriots’ strategy for limiting his effectiveness in Sunday’s 17-10 win over the Eagles: Make him cry.

That was something Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore believes the Patriots did when it mattered most despite an Eagle-leading nine-catch, 94-yard night from Ertz.

“He was crying,” Gilmore said. “He do that on film a lot. You get into him, he don’t get the ball or get the call and he cries.

“When he doesn’t get his way he complains to the ref. We don’t do that.”

But getting Ertz to the ‘cry’ level wasn’t done by just Gilmore, who finished with two tackles in the win, as the Patriots mixed and match with Ertz throughout the evening, leaving him constantly guessing what the Patriots were going to throw his way.

“Sometimes I was going to be on him, sometimes the safety was going to be on him,” said Gilmore. “You can’t line up in one thing the whole time. You have to keep him thinking. That is one thing we did today. He didn’t know who was going to be on him at certain times. It helped us out a lot.”

That may be an understatement, as the Patriots pitched a second-half shutout and held Ertz and the rest of the Philadelphia offense off the scoreboard on their final 10 drives of the night.

The New England defense will look to keep opponents crying when the Cowboys come to Gillette Stadium next Sunday.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.