Preseason game number one for the Philadelphia Eagles was a success. Forget the 24-21 loss to the New York Jets at Lincoln Financial Field; it’s preseason. Focus on what the starters did.
Jalen Hurts and the offense were good. The third-year quarterback, who played one series, was 6/6 for 80 yards and a touchdown.
On that scoring drive, Hurts was hit hard by the Jets’ Quincy Williams on a scramble near the sideline on third and long, and a personal foul penalty was called on Williams. The drive was extended, and Hurts, who had a touchdown run called back due to a holding penalty on the drive, would connect with Dallas Goedert on a 22-yard touchdown pass.
After the hit on Hurts, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni was fired up and was seen yelling at the Jets’ sideline. Sirianni discussed his anger following the game.
“I wasn’t mad at Coach Saleh,” Sirianni said. “I was mad at the situation. I was more mad at the player than Coach Saleh. Coach Saleh is a great guy. I have so much respect for him. It was just emotions of the game. I was just sticking up for Jalen [Hurts]. I’ll never apologize for sticking up for my players. I should have handled it a little bit better than I did.
“Obviously, I didn’t want that hit to happen on the sideline. I know it happens, and I know it’s football. I was more mad at the situation, not mad at Coach Saleh. He and I talked after the game, and I wished him nothing but luck, and he did the same. He’s a friend. I have a lot of respect for him.”
Hurts added on the hit, “I’m very pleased to be talking about this hit if this is the biggest takeaway from the night. You definitely don’t want to come out here in these games and take hits, let alone a late hit like that. But it happened. I’m not tripping about it. It happens. I’m healthy. I’m fine. I got right back up and played the next play.”
Regarding the offense, Hurts was happy with the team’s production.
“I think it was good to get out there, get everybody and have the opportunity to play,” he said. “We’ve been working really hard and getting into the phases of things. Just to go out there and execute is really big for us. Good job to the guys out there. Good job to everybody that had the opportunity to go out there and play today.”
Philly’s first-team defense got the job done as well. One of the new guys, LB Kyzir White, made a splash play as he intercepted a Zach Wilson pass on the Jets’ first possession.
“I was just a whole player, and I was playing visual on [Jets QB Zach Wilson],” White said. “I saw it in his demeanor where he was going to go with the ball. Just tried to sprint and make a play on it.”
The starters on both sides were done for the Eagles after the turnover. Job well done.
Philadelphia gets back on the field next Sunday in Cleveland against the Browns.