The Jalen Hurts to A.J. Brown connection was on full display Sunday for the Philadelphia Eagles. Hurts hit Brown on three of his career-high four touchdown passes as the Eagles routed the Steelers 35-13 at Lincoln Financial Field to move to 7-0 for the first time since 2004.
Brown had six receptions and career-highs of 156 yards and those three touchdown receptions, and he became the first Eagle to produce three receiving touchdowns of 25-plus yards in a game since 1969. Brown had touchdown catches of 39, 27, and 29 yards.
Hurts had a great day on Sunday as he was 19/28 for 285 yards and those four touchdowns, but despite the success, the third-year quarterback felt he could have done more.
“I guess I was in the zone,” he said. “I feel like I could have done more. You look at the third quarter; I think there was an opportunity to make some plays. [We] had some negative plays there before halftime, took some sacks I feel like I could’ve avoided and probably [could have] gotten the ball out. And then we started hitting some; it’s a testament to the receivers we have [and] the protection we had all day. We were unwavering. I think we kept focused on playing to the standard and chasing that. Hell of a game by [WR] A.J. [Brown] making big-time plays. I know he wants some back for sure but a hell of game by him.”
After seven games, Brown has 39 catches for 659 receiving yards and five touchdowns. Hurts, who has a close relationship with Brown off the field, says he trusts his number one wide receiver.
“I have a lot of trust in A.J.,” Hurts said. “I think that’s a lot of the reason why he’s here. We’ve always had a great relationship. It’s been beautiful to see how it’s unfolded throughout the year, personally for him and I, and us on the field. I always had a lot of admiration for his mentality. He’s been doing great things for us; I’m proud of him as a friend and as a quarterback.”
Brown added: “I think we just want to be great. This(Jalen Hurts) is somebody that I call a friend. He knows what I want to accomplish, and I know what he wants to accomplish. When you’re playing for somebody that you love, who you call family, it’s a different meaning behind it. And I know I can’t let him down. We’re just having fun and playing for one another. I’m pretty sure he knows that I’ve got his back, and I know he’s got mine, too. I think that’s exactly what this is.”
The Hurts to Brown combination has been perfect together. At the end of the 2021 season, the Eagles knew they needed a big-play wideout and another game-changer. Brown has been that and more after seven games.
On draft day, the Philadelphia Eagles made a splash move when they acquired wide receiver A.J. Brown from the Tennessee Titans. Following the trade, Brown signed a four-year, $100 million deal with the team.
The 25-year-old has been over one-thousand receiving yards in two of his three seasons in the league. In addition, for his career, he has 24 receiving touchdowns.
With Brown and DeVonta Smith, the Eagles could have one of football’s best wide receiver duos. On Tuesday, Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen discussed what he’s seen out of Brown at training camp.
“His physicalness that he brings to this football team, he’s got great play strength,” Steichen said. “He caught a slant the other day, and I had a flashback watching his tape when he was in Tennessee catching some of those slants. It just brought me back to his tape in Tennessee, where he catches that ball strong with his hands, and then he creates those plays afterwards. He can run a guy over or make a guy miss, but his play strength is very impressive.
Brown and Eagles QB Jalen Hurts have a close bond off the field and work out with each other in the offseason, but for the Eagles to be successful, Brown and Hurts need to bond on the field. Steichen talked about how the two are meshing at this point.
“I think they’re making great strides,” Steichen said. “They’ve spent a lot of time together in the off-season, obviously in spring, and then they threw again in the summer. It shows up, the timing, right?
“With anything, wide receivers and quarterbacks, it’s not like it just happens overnight. It’s been good to see. They’re talking through things right after every period. They are talking about, hey, we got to run it more like this, and this ball needs to be here. Those things take time, but it’s been good to see, and the progress has been really good.”
It’s early, and Hurts has reportedly been up and down thus far at camp, but again, it’s early, which means Hurts, Brown, and the rest of the offense have time to get on the same page but be clear, Brown will definitely be a weapon.