Eagles’ Hurts: ‘I hold myself to a high standard of play’

The Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive struggles continued on Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Philadelphia, who had only 273 yards of total offense in a 21-18 victory over the Panthers last Sunday, totaled only 213 yards of total offense in the team’s 28-22 loss to the Buccaneers at Lincoln Financial Field. 

Philadelphia scored only seven points in the first half but made the game close in the fourth quarter. However, it was too little, too late.

“Just like us, we prepare as well as the other team,” Eagles OT Jordan Mailata said postgame. “I feel like [the Buccaneers] came out there and knew what we were doing right away. We just had to adapt – and it took us a little bit of time to adapt – but like I said, they do their homework, too. Just like we do. We have to learn to adapt, and we have to learn to adapt faster.”

Second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts was only 12/26 for 115 yards, touchdown, interception. He also added two touchdowns on the ground. Hurts struggled with accuracy and were not very sharp, but he made no excuses after the game.

“I don’t want to make excuses for anything,” Hurts said. “I know I hold myself to a high standard of play, and I am trying to go out there and play at a high level for the guys around me. We all do that. We all have that mentality to go out there and play together and have each other’s backs. You look at this game and this past game that we played in, and we started off slow. This whole year, we kind of shot ourselves in the foot, and we know, and we believe.

Despite the struggles, Hurts remains confident.

“I have unwavering faith in the guys on this football team and everybody on this field and that we have everything we need,” Hurts said. “It is just a matter of us putting that together. It is tough, but I have unwavering faith with everyone in this building and that it will come. To go toe-to-toe with a team like that, as bad as I started. It is bad, and we didn’t click early. When it came down to clutch time, at the end of the game, we ran out of time.”

Philadelphia’s best weapon on offense running back, Miles Sanders, had only one carry for one yard in the first half, but Sanders was more involved in the offense in the second half. He had eight carries for 55 yards, and the Eagles’ offense benefitted. 

When asked if the offense worked better when Sanders is involved, Hurts said the following:

“We saw the production later on in the game.”

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni explained why we saw Sanders get more touches later in the game.

“The way they were playing at the end of the second quarter into the third quarter is when they started playing the zone read a little bit different, which opened up a couple of those runs that we had called for that,” Sirianni said. “It was good adjustment by our offensive staff getting to those runs after they made a little adjustment how they were playing the zone read.”

The Eagles’ offense has to be better. That includes both Hurts and Sirianni. The offense seemed very predictable on Thursday night. It’s clear if they want to get better, Philadelphia has to give Sanders more touches in the run game going forward.