Eagles’ starters play well against Jets

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.

Eagles’ Brown, Davis shine Sunday night

Sunday night at Lincoln Financial Field, the Philadelphia Eagles held a practice in front of almost 30,000 fans. 

According to Eliot Shorr-Parks, QB Jalen Hurts was 11/18, touchdown. That touchdown was a beautiful 30-yard pass to A.J. Brown.

In addition, rookie DT Jordan Davis, who has been impressive at camp, showed off his tremendous strength. Eagles coach Nick Sirianni discussed what he sees from Davis.

“Size, strength, right? Just a big man who is still figuring out the NFL,” Sirianni said. “That’s an ongoing process.What you see more than anything is just the sheer size of the man and then just his strength. The guys that we went against that have that enormous size in the middle right there, they pose problems.

“So that’s what’s stood out the most to me so far.”

Brown, who was traded to the Eagles from the Titans in the offseason, and signed a four-year, $100 million contract with the team, was excited by the fan support on Sunday night.

The Eagles continue to prepare for their preseason opener, which is Friday night at home against the Jets. At this point, Sirianni is unsure how much the starters will play against New York.

“Still sorting through all that,” he said. “We don’t have to make that decision until Friday. We’ll probably make it a little bit sooner than that, but still sorting through that. Last year we played them, I want to say two series each. We felt like that was a good formula. I’m not committing to that yet. But we’re still thinking it through at this time.”

Eagles’ Sirianni: ‘Jalen(Hurts) is, in my opinion, more comfortable in the offense’

This is a big season for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts as he is looking to prove that he can be the franchise quarterback for the team. 

As he enters his third season in the league and his second in Nick Sirianni’s offense, the Eagles hope Hurts can elevate his game and his team. 

According to Sirianni, Hurts, who led the Eagles to the playoffs after throwing for 3144 yards and 16 touchdowns to go along with 749 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns in 2021, has looked very comfortable in the offense.

“Jalen is, in my opinion, more comfortable in the offense, right,” Sirianni said Wednesday as the team continued voluntary OTAs. “That’s just the part of the process, the second year. He knows where the receivers are going to be versus different looks. He knows where to go with the football a little bit quicker.

“We’ve done our job as coaches, and I don’t want to say we’ve done a good job, but what we’ve done as coaches is figured out what he likes and what he’s good at and all these different things. It’s just accumulating those reps.

“Like we talked about, I think you guys asked me that last year, was some of these quarterbacks that have been played for so long, they’re in year 15, 16, 17, they’re getting better at reading it, why, because they’ve seen the play over and over and over again. That’s the same progression Jalen has.”

Sirianni is confident that Hurts has the character to improve and become a better player.

‘The reason we know Jalen is going to continue to get better is because of the character, and the football character and the personal character that he has,” Sirianni said. “He’s just the type of guy that’s going to reach his maximum potential because of all the off-the-field qualities he has. I’ve also noticed just the crispness of the drop. It’s been the fundamentals — his fundamentals have improved, and he’s really worked hard at that.

“He’s working every day to get better, and I’m really pleased where he is right now, but we have to continue to lay the groundwork. That he went 11 of 12 yesterday in 7-on-7 means nothing. He has to continue to get better and better and better. I don’t know; you guys would have a better feel what he was today. I didn’t keep track. I’ll go watch it when I’m done with you guys, but I thought he had a pretty good day today, too.

“But really what I noticed is he’s really seeing where to go with the football and going there quick.”

On paper, the Eagles have the talent to be an improved team next season, but for that to happen, Hurts, who was solid last season, has to be better.

Eagles’ Roseman on Hurts: ‘I think for us, we have to do whatever we can to continue to help him develop’

As of January 19, 2022, it appears Jalen Hurts will be the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2022.

At their end-of-season press conference, Eagles GM Howie Roseman said Hurts, who led the team to the playoffs in his first year as a starter, had done enough to be Philly’s QB1 next season.

“We talk about [QB] Jalen [Hurts] and the growth he had, really as a first-year starter and second-year player and leading this team to the playoffs,” Roseman said. “I’m tremendously impressed by his work ethic and his leadership. The last time we talked was during camp, and we said we wanted to see him take the bull by the horn, and he certainly did that.”

The second-year quarterback had one of his worst performances of the season against the Buccaneers on Sunday, which seemed to have opened the door for the Eagles to look in another direction. However, Roseman, who has three first-round picks to play with in the upcoming draft, feels he needs to build a better team around the 23-year-old Hurts. 

“I think for us, we have to do whatever we can to continue to help him develop,” Roseman said about Hurts. “And how do we do that? By surrounding him with really good players, players who continue to grow. That’s a huge part of developing; they grow. How they are in their second year is not how they are going to be in year four, five, six, and seven. And they are also products of the people around them. That’s on us to continue to build this team.”

This season, Philadelphia finished the season 9-8 and was the seventh-seed in NFC. Going forward, Roseman wants the Eagles to be in a position to have home playoff games.  

“We are not happy about the fact that our season ended in the playoffs,” he said. “We want to build a team that has home playoff games, gets to play in front of our fan base, and really build a team that gets a bye.

“Those opportunities, those assets you talk about, allow us to continue to build and really helps us add good players to this team. Our job is to look at everything, to evaluate every position, every player. We do that not only for right now in this moment, but we also do it, so we have information when players become available at any position.”

A lot can happen from now until the start of next season. Hurts is the guy for now, but if the Eagles could still upgrade the position, I’m sure Roseman will do everything in his power to do so.

 

 

 

Eagles’ Hurts: ‘We’re going to come back hungry, but this season was far from a failure’

For the Philadelphia Eagles to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium Sunday, they needed to play close to a perfect game. Unfortunately, they were far from perfect. Philadelphia turned the ball over three times, leading to 14 points for Tampa Bay. 

After three quarters, the Buccaneers led 31-0 and would defeat the Eagles 31-15 in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs. 

Tom Brady completed 29-of-37 passes in the game for 271 yards and two touchdowns, with no interceptions.

With the win, Tampa Bay will host the winner of Cardinals-Rams in the divisional round, while the Eagles go home and think about next season.

In his first career playoff start, the 23-year-old Jalen Hurts, the youngest Eagles quarterback to start a playoff game, struggled. He was 23/43 for 258 yards, a touchdown, two interceptions. Many of those 258 yards came when the game was out of reach. 

“We didn’t do our jobs good enough, I didn’t do my job good enough – communicating and doing the little things,” Hurts said. “I could have been better, definitely, and I think there are a ton of different areas where we can kind of shoulder this as a team, but I take accountability for my actions and everything.”

The biggest question for the Eagles coming into the season, and the biggest question as the season ends, is Hurts, the team’s franchise quarterback. The second-year quarterback got a ringing endorsement from his head coach postgame.

“Again, we’re all going to say for today’s game he didn’t play his best game, as we all know,” Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said. “But you don’t take the body of work that he had for 17 weeks – and I know he didn’t play two games, so 15 weeks – and put everything on this game. I know we’re all judged on the last game that we play, I understand that and fully get that, but I felt like Jalen grew throughout the year, and he got better as a passer, and he got better reading the defenses, getting the ball to the right place. 

“He developed so much in his ability to extend plays of not only making plays with his feet but also making plays downfield on the scramble. I know the one today; he scrambled and threw the interception. He had some other scrambles that were good throws. So, I feel really good with what we have in place right here at the quarterback position. I thought he had a great year, and he came a long way, and that’s what I expect from Jalen because of the type of football character he has, the type of character he has, the toughness that he has, the love for football that he has. I can’t say enough good things about Jalen, the person, and the player, so I feel good about him. I know again, this wasn’t the game that any of us are going to be satisfied with – me, him, multiple guys on that football team, but I’m really pleased with how he came along this year and the leader he is on this football team.”

Despite the loss, Hurts feels the future is bright in Philadelphia.

“I’m not going to make any expectations for anything, but I know for us as a football team, the sky is the limit,” Hurt said. “And I’ll reiterate, nobody likes this feeling. Nobody likes this feeling. Nobody likes this feeling. We’ll do the things we need to do so we don’t feel this feeling again. I think with the guys that we have, especially in the youth, the young guys we have, we’re hungry. We’re going to come back hungry, but this season was far from a failure. It’s only a failure if you don’t learn from it. So, we’ll take it as a lesson; I’ll definitely take it as a lesson. My third year starts tomorrow.”

The Eagles’ 2021 NFL season was a success, but Philadelphia will have an interesting offseason. They have three first-round picks in the upcoming draft. Do they use those assets to trade for a quarterback, or do they use them to build a team around Hurts? 

After the way he played against Tampa Bay, there will be questions about Hurts, and the Eagles will have to answer those questions in the offseason.

Eagles’ Sirianni on Hurts: ‘I know he’s ready for the next game, which just so happens to be a playoff game’

On Sunday, Jalen Hurts and the upstart Philadelphia Eagles(9-8) will try to go on the road and defeat Tom Brady and the world champion Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.

Before losing a meaningless game to the Cowboys in Week 18, the second-year quarterback had the Eagles on a four-game winning streak, and after starting 3-6, the Eagles have won six of their final eight games.

In Week 6, Hurts and the Eagles fell to the Buccaneers 28-22 at Lincoln Financial Field. In that game, Philadelphia was down 28-7, but the Eagles trimmed the lead to 28-22 with just under six minutes left, but they could not get the ball back. 

Hurts, who was 12/26 for 115 yards, touchdown, interception and two rushing touchdowns in the regular season matchup against Tampa Bay, won big on the collegiate level, including winning a National Championship at Alabama, but this is the NFL, and he’s playing Brady in the playoffs, so it won’t be easy.

According to Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni, Philadelphia will have to play very good football to defeat Tampa Bay.

“It’s going to take everybody’s best effort, but the process remains the same of how we go about our business, right? When it’s about the process when you’re process-driven, and you’re results-aware, then you don’t ride the highs and lows of the season,” Sirianni said on Monday. 

Sirianni expects Hurts to be ready against the Buccaneers when it’s all said and done.

“I know he’s ready for the next game, which just so happens to be a playoff game, and he’s going to prepare the same way he has prepared,” he said. “I know, from the outside, it looks like it’s a bigger game and everything, but to us, we understand the consequences of losing, and when you win – you’re done if you lose, so we understand that.

“But our process remains the same through it all, and I’m confident in our process. I’m confident in [QB] Jalen [Hurts’] process that he’s going to go out and be ready to play in this game.”

On paper, the Buccaneers are the better team, and for the Eagles to defeat Tampa Bay, they will need Hurts to be at his best, and they will need the team to be at their best.

However, no matter what happens, 2021 is a successful season for the Eagles.

Eagles’ Sirianni on Hurts: ‘I can’t say enough for him as a leader’

The turnaround for the Philadelphia Eagles(9-7) is almost complete. After starting the season 3-6, the Eagles have won four straight and six of their last seven, including Sunday’s 20-16 victory over the Washington Football Team at FedEx Field.

Like they did in their first matchup, the Eagles trailed 10-0 early, and like last time, they were able to seize control and hold on late as Rodney McLeod intercepted Taylor Heinicke’s pass in the endzone to secure the win. 

Philadelphia will clinch a playoff berth if the Packers defeat the Vikings Sunday night.

Jalen Hurts had another solid performance for the Eagles as he completed 17-of-26 attempts for 214 yards and added 44 yards on seven carries. The second-year quarterback has been one of the big reasons Philly has turned things around, and during the tough times, according to Hurts, the team stayed confident.

“We’ve connected, we’ve communicated, we’ve grown, we’ve put the work in, and we’ve just grown one percent better every day,” Hurts said after the game. “That has been our goal. That has been our true identity. That has been who we are with all the youth, with all the inexperience from coaching to players. We just bought into who we are, bought into what we could be, and trusted in the grind in approaching every day the way we do. In a game like this, to be able to persevere and show straight grit in tough moments in the football game, we found a way to win today. I couldn’t be more proud of this team.”

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni was impressed by what he saw from Hurts, who, despite an ankle injury, was able to move around with no issues against Washington.

“This guy is so tough,” Sirianni said about Hurts. “He looked at me at one point in this game and said, obviously the whole game was tight, so tight part of this game; he looked at me and said, whatever, you gotta call, call, and I’ll make it work. What he was saying to me was run, pass, quarterback, run, quarterback read. Whatever you call, I know how much this game means to our team; I’ll make it work. And that, gosh, the calmness, the confidence, that installs calmness and confidence in everybody. And so again, I can’t say enough for him as a leader, can’t say enough for him as a competitor, can’t say enough about his toughness. I hope everyone knows when I give a player the compliment of being a tough player from me, that’s the best compliment that I can give. I just think so much of our players that are tough. We got a lot of tough guys on this football team. That’s who I think we are as a football team, and Jalen Hurts is the epitome of that.”

Barring anything crazy, the Eagles will make the playoffs, but as Hurts said numerous times, the job is not done.

“I’ve always had the approach of enjoying it when it’s done,” Hurts said. “I’ll let everyone else reflect on how far we’ve come as a football team. I’ll let you guys talk about that. I’ll prepare myself for these questions as they continue to come in. But for me, the job is not done for us. It is not done, so we’re not done yet.”

Eagles’ Hurts: ‘I’ve always admired, from day one, the fight of this team’

The Philadelphia Eagles got off to another slow start against the New York Giants(4-11). Philadelphia trailed 3-0 for most of the first half before tying the score at three at the break. 

Last week against Washington, Philadelphia trailed 10-0 after one quarter but scored 20 consecutive points to take control, and they did the same thing against New York on Sunday.

The Eagles scored 34 straight points, including 17 in the third quarter as Philadelphia routed the Giants 34-10 at Lincoln Financial Field.

Philadelphia improved to 8-7, and if the season ended today, they would be the third wild card team in NFC. If they win their final two games, the Eagles will make the playoffs. The Eagles, who own a 6-2 record dating back to Week 8, have won a season-high three consecutive games.

In the first half, Eagles QB Jalen Hurts struggled. He was 7/17 for 94 yards, including a fumble recovered by Philadelphia. However, in the second half, Hurts got hot, especially in the third quarter, where he was 8/9 for 90 yards, touchdown. The second-year QB finished the game 17/29 for 199 yards, two touchdowns.

After the game, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni discussed Hurts’ struggles in the first half and his ability to rebound in the second half.

“I think that’s a combination of just how our entire offense played,” Sirianni said. “He definitely missed some throws in the first half that he’s going to want back. I thought he went to the right place with the ball…

“Again, he didn’t play his best first half, and when he plays good, the offense rolls, and he did a great job bouncing back that second half. Again, it’s just not on Jalen. We didn’t play good in the skill positions. We didn’t play as good as we played on the offensive line. We didn’t coach as good as we needed to coach in the first half.

“But, again, just a credit to Jalen to rebound and play a good second half because that’s what good teams do; they find ways to win.”

Hurts added on the first half struggles: “It just starts with me. It starts with me. We just didn’t execute, but we put it together and made some big plays and put up some points…

“I’ve always admired, from day one, the fight of this team, the resiliency of this team, the grit, and perseverance of this team. You look at this football team right now, and I just think we have so much character. So much character in how we do things, how we operate, what we strive for, how we work every day, and how we’re able to overcome. I was very happy about that today.”

At one point, the Eagles were 3-6 and seemingly had no shot at the playoffs, but that has all changed, and now they’re two weeks away from possibly making the postseason. 

“I think, again, it just speaks to the leaders we have on this team and the fact that we knew adversity was going to come,” Sirianni said about the Eagles being in the playoffs if the season ended today. “That’s just the way this league is. Adversity hits, whether it’s a two and five start, a postponement of a game and having to play a game off a 13-day rest or whatever it was and then play a game off — I mean, that’s what happens in this league, so you try to prepare yourself for adversity and be able to handle it.

“So, it all comes back to the types of guys that we have in that locker room. A ton of credit obviously to [Eagles Executive Vice President/General Manager] Howie [Roseman] and his staff of how they assembled this team. I said to Howie in there — Howie said, ‘Great job coming back from a two and five start.’ I said, ‘Howie, great job. Like what other first-year head coaches are in the position I’m in?”

The final two games of the season should be interesting. Philly goes on the road to play the Washington Football Team next week. That won’t be easy. Washington plays hard, and it’s a division game. Plus, the Eagles just beat Washington on Tuesday, so it could be challenging to beat a team twice in a short time frame. After Washington, they host the Cowboys, who could be playing for the top spot in the NFC or nothing. Hopefully, for the Eagles, the Cowboys are playing for nothing. 

Both games are winnable for the Eagles, but they have to get off to better starts.

Eagles’ Hurts: ‘The job isn’t done, nowhere near from done’

Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts returned Tuesday night against the Washington Football Team(6-8) after missing one game due to an ankle sprain. 

In his return, Hurts was solid. He completed 20-of-26 attempts for 296 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, and a 110.4 passer rating while adding 38 yards and two touchdowns on eight rushing attempts. 

Hurts now owns the single-season franchise record for rushing touchdown by a QB (10).

The Eagles would generate 519 yards of total offense as they would defeat Washington 27-17 at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Eagles rushed for 238 yards Tuesday and became the first NFL team to record 175-plus rushing yards in seven consecutive games (franchise record) since the 1985 Chicago Bears (also seven). 

With the win, the Eagles(7-7) are tied with the Vikings(7-7) for the third and final wild-card spot in the NFC.

The last time we saw Hurts, he completed 14-of-31 passes for 134 yards and three interceptions against the Giants, which was the worst game of his career, but he said that game is way behind him.

“I flushed that a long time ago,” Hurts said postgame. “I forgot about it. I get to play them this week.”

Hurts is happy to be back on the field and happy to get to .500, but according to him, the job is not done for Philadelphia.

“I think it was very fun being back on the field,” Hurts said postgame. “Being back on the field and getting the win in which we needed. First division win for this football team this year. It can’t come at a better time. We’re back at .500 for the first time ever this year. It’s a big deal, but I know the job isn’t done. The job isn’t done, nowhere near from done. We know what we want to accomplish. I said it to the guys; you just have to have the mentality of not being denied. I’ve said all year that the youth of this football team, the youth we’ve had, and the different things we’ve overcome. Had the experience of the different nuances of having new everything. Right now in December, we can’t be denied of what we want.”

It wasn’t all good for Hurts. After he lost a fumble in the first quarter, which Washington recovered. Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni was unhappy and let Hurts know about it. As a son of a coach, Hurts had no issue with it.

“I’ve been telling him all year that I’m a coaches’ kid,” he said. “Basically, all the coaches’ kids out there know what that means. It means they’ve been coached. They’ve heard everything. In high school, I lived with the guy that was chewing me out. I made it clear to Coach all year, ‘You know, you can get on me a little bit.’ So after the fumble, he came up to me and said what he had to say. Then, later on in the game, he comes back and jokes with me and says, ‘I guess I’m just going to start coaching you like your dad coached you.’ So it was a funny moment. Whatever he said worked.”

Hurts handled his business against Washington, and now he has the Eagles in a position to make the playoffs. Credit to him for bouncing back and a credit to the team for getting the job done.

 

Sirianni on Hurts: ‘When he’s healthy, and he’s back, he’ll be our starter’

“Minshew Mania” was in full effect at MetLife Stadium on Sunday as Eagles backup quarterback Gardner Minshew III made his first start of the season for the injured Jalen Hurts(ankle) against the New York Jets(3-9).

At times, Minshew was magical, especially in the first half. In the Eagles’ first three possessions, which all ended in touchdowns, Minshew completed 11-of-11 attempts for 165 passing yards and two touchdowns, both to tight end Dallas Goedert. He completed 93% of his passes in the first half (14-of-15 for 188 yards). Ultimately, Philly would take a 24-18 halftime lead and would defeat the Jets 33-18.

The Eagles(6-7) scored on their first seven possessions of the game, marking the first time they have done so since at least 2001.

The third-year quarterback ended the game 20/25 for 242 yards and two touchdowns, and more importantly, the Eagles are a 1/2 game behind the Washington Football Team and the San Francisco 49ers for the final two Wild Card spots in the NFC.

“It’s the best time I’ve had since we won last year,” Minshew said after the win. “There’s nothing like that feeling. Glad to do it with this group of guys. They made it easy for me.”

Minshew was solid on Sunday, but that should be expected when considering the defense he was facing. The Jets lead the NFL in points allowed, and coming into this game against the Eagles, have allowed 30.4 points per contest. While fans in Philly may want Minshew to keep the job, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said this week when healthy Hurts is the guy, and he reiterated that after the game.

“There’s been times when he’s been one of the best in the league,” Sirianni said about Hurts. “The way he’s moved around, made plays, we look at that quarterback rating and what he’s had there. He’s played really good football when he’s in, so when he’s healthy, and he’s back, he’ll be our starter.”

Philadelphia continued to run the ball successfully as they had 185 yards on the ground, and Miles Sanders(left game in fourth with a leg injury) had his first 100-yard game of the season with 120 yards on 24 carries.

The final four games will determine if the Eagles can make the playoffs, and after the bye, they host the Washington Football Team for the first of two games in three weeks against WFT. Those games will have playoff implications.

Going forward, if he is healthy, Hurts will have an opportunity to play meaningful football in December.

Notes:

-Philadelphia increases their all-time series lead against the New York Jets to 12-0. The Eagles’ 12-0 mark against the Jets is currently the most wins without a loss by any NFL franchise in a head-to-head series. Philadelphia (12-0 vs. New York; 5-0 vs. Houston) and Minnesota (5-0 vs. Houston) are the only NFL teams with undefeated records against active opponents.

-Goedert’s 36-yard touchdown is tied for Philadelphia’s longest passing score of the season (also Jalen Hurts to DeVonta Smith in Week 10 at Denver). It is the longest TD by an Eagles TE since Brent Celek’s 65-yard catch on 12/19/10 at N.Y. Giants (thrown by Vick). Goedert finished the game with six catches for 105 yards and two touchdowns.

Philadelphia’s defense struggled in the first half. They allowed the Jets to score three touchdowns. However, they blanked the Jets in the second half.