Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts finally got his opportunity to play a preseason game on Thursday night as the Eagles hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused the cancellation of the preseason in 2020, Hurts was never able to play in the preseason until now.
The second-year quarterback played two series against Pittsburgh. He led the Eagles to points in his first series, which was highlighted by a beautiful 34-yard pass to tight end Dallas Goedert. Philadelphia may have scored a touchdown on that first drive. However, drops by Jalen Reagor and Zach Ertz forced the Eagles to settle for a 47-yard Jake Elliott field goal.
In the second series, Hurts missed WR Quez Watkins on a deep pass that could have been a 98-yard touchdown reception. After getting a first down on that drive, Philadelphia was forced to punt.
Hurts finished the game 3/7 for 54 yards, and Philadelphia would lose to the Steelers 24-16.
After the game, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni gave his thoughts on Hurts’ performance against Pittsburgh.
“Yeah, I thought he handled it well,” Sirianni said. “He made a really good check and great throw to [TE] Dallas [Goedert] for a big play. He saw what defense was coming and checked the play. A ton of credit to him for that and making a perfect throw there. I thought he went with where we wanted the ball to go versus the defenses they were running. He had a couple drops in there, so I was really pleased with him.”
Hurts added on his performance: “I mean, I want to come on the field and complete every pass, score touchdowns every time I touch the field. The competitor in me is like, ‘damn.’ But I think it was a good day. I think it was, you know, we have to be better on third down, for sure. But coming out there, for the most part, executing. There’s a lot to learn from that, always.”
The star of the game for Philadelphia was Quez Watkins. The second-year wide receiver had the Eagles’ only touchdown after turning a bubble screen pass from Joe Flacco into a 79-yard touchdown reception. Many have been impressed by Watkins this summer, and according to him, he’s worked hard in the offseason to get better.
“This whole offseason, I just made everything personal,” he said. “Everything people said I couldn’t do. ‘I was only fast.’ I just made everything personal and put the work in.”
Philadelphia continues the preseason next Thursday when they host the New England Patriots.