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Eagles News: “A really weird day” for Jalen Hurts

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 10/11/21.

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Philadelphia Eagles v Carolina Panthers Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

Veteran Packers Have Helped Right the Ship; and a Wild, Gutsy Chargers Win - MMQB
I thought Jalen Hurts had a really weird day, mostly because of how it started. I told him I’d never seen a stat line like the one the Eagles’ quarterback had late in the first half: 12-of-20 for 35 yards. That’s right. Thirty-five yards. Less than two yards per attempt, less than three yards per completion. “It’s something we had to see through and overcome,” he said, from the locker room postgame. “First halves like that, they happen, but we won and that’s all we’re excited about. We overcame so much. We put ourselves in a bad situation with bad execution, missed opportunities on my end. So we overcame that, and that’s the beauty of this game, this sport, is it’s a complete team game.” Making what the Eagles did even better? They’d lost three straight games after pulverizing the Falcons in the opener, their last two by double-digits, and fell behind 15–6 at the half in Carolina Sunday. To say their eventual 21–18 win against a really good Panthers team was improbable would be an understatement. But pushing past the early flurry of screens and quick-hitters, designed to attack an aggressive Carolina defense that was ready for it, was vital after the break. And so it was that in the last minute of the third quarter, still down 15–6, Hurts dropped a 53-yard bomb to big-play magnet Quez Watkins. “We had an opportunity,” Hurts said of Watkins’s deep post. “Quez made a great play in the sense that he sparked us, gave us something, and we just have to take advantage of our opportunities. I say it all the time, and that doesn’t change, regardless of the result: Take advantage of the opportunities, and always apply pressure. And I think we began to apply pressure [there].” Two plays later, after a pass interference call on the Panthers put it on the Carolina 1, Hurts took it in himself. Then, at the wire, as Hurts said, each phase of the Eagles’ team did its part—with 5:35 left and Carolina up 18–13, the defense forced a three-and-out, the special teams blocked a punt and the offense took advantage of its opportunity, with Hurts’s capping a 27-yard drive to win the game with a six-yard touchdown on zone-read keeper. And so ends Philly’s three-game losing skid. “We control everything, we’re the master of our own faith and what we want,” Hurts said. “So we believe that—that if we do our jobs, especially if it’s the right way, good things will happen. We’ve had moments this year where that has happened, and we’ve had moments where it hasn’t.” Sunday, it did, and in a pretty surprising way. And we won’t have to wait long to figure out how much it really means, with the Super Bowl champs set to play in Philly on Thursday.

Eagles vs. Panthers: 18 winners, 4 losers, 2 IDKs - BGN
The passing numbers sure weren’t pretty. Hurts completed just 59.4 of his attempts for 5.4 yards per attempt (gross), zero touchdowns, one interception, and a 62.7 passer rating. Hurts struggled with issues that were hardly new to him. His inaccuracy resulted in too many big plays being left on the field. Plus a big play for the other team with Donte Jackson intercepting a really bad overthrow. Opportunity cost is a real thing. Player evaluation can’t just be a results-oriented activity. The process is entirely relevant. Hurts was really bad on Sunday and the Eagles trailed for most of the game because of that very fact. An elite quarterback doesn’t only put up 21 points and 228 yards of offense in a game where their defense generates three turnovers and their special teams unit blocks a punt. That being said, Hurts obviously did come up big for the Eagles in the clutch. He led the offense to the go-ahead touchdown after getting the ball at the Panthers’ 27-yard line. Hurts’ mobility came in handy on plays where he made correct reads on the defense crashing down on the running back instead of respecting his legs. Hurts deserves credit for composure. Not every quarterback can deliver in the clutch; there were concerns about Carson Wentz’s ability to do that in the past. There’s also something to be said for both Sirianni and Hurts how the team battled for them and didn’t merely pack it in after a bad start.

BGN Instant Reaction Show: Eagles show fight in second half and defeat Panthers, 21-18 - BGN Radio
After an ugly first half the Eagles bounce back to defeat the Panthers 21-18. Jess (Towne) Taylor and Eytan Shander recap the tales of two halves, Jalen Hurts’ performance, the defense and more.

Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Panthers game - PhillyVoice
After an absolutely brutal first two quarters of football, the Eagles trailed 15-6 at halftime, and were lucky to only be down nine points. At one point, Hurts was 12-for-20 for 35 yards, which almost feels impossible to achieve. Hurts wasn’t very good for most of the day. He missed a lot of throws you would expect a professional quarterback to make, including a bad INT to Donte Jackson on a wild overthrow of an open Zach Ertz. The Eagles seemed destined for a fourth straight loss, until Hurts and the Eagles offense finally woke up and started making some plays late in the game. A 53-yard bomb to Quez Watkins got the offense rolling and led to a score, and Hurts found a way to make some plays down the stretch with his legs. His two-point conversion after the go-ahead touchdown was really an incredible play:

Hell and Heaven - Iggles Blitz
The play-calling was a huge issue in the first half. The Eagles went pass heavy. I can live with that when it is working. It wasn’t. And they threw a ton of screens. They weren’t working. At halftime, Hurts was 15-24-74. And he had to get hot to get to those numbers. Seriously. There was a point where he averaged 2 yards per pass attempt. That is nuts. Sirianni believes in throwing to get the lead and then running the ball. I get that. But when the passing game isn’t working and the opposing run defense struggled mightily a week ago, consider running the rock. Sirianni did a good job in the fourth quarter. He mixed in QB runs and got the offense into a bit of a rhythm. He used some option plays on the final drive. They worked well and the Eagles were able to run out the clock. Head coach Sirianni needs to have a long talk with play-caller Sirianni about not being so stubborn and helping his players out. The Eagles had 88 yards at halftime and more than a third of them came on the final drive. That was some ugly football.

The day after: Eagles’ dawg mentality perseveres in ugly comeback win over Panthers - The Athletic
Hurts’ personality aside, let’s unpack his performance Sunday. He finished 22-of-37 passing for 198 yards, an interception and two sacks to go with 30 yards rushing. His 5.35 yards per attempt were a season low (and a career low if you discount the Week 17 finale against Washington), though by TruMedia’s EPA per play (-0.17 Sunday), he was worse against Dallas in Week 3. The game plan did him no favors Sunday, but Hurts also missed several throws in the first half on what looked like easy completions. Most of the time, his performance through three quarters would have been bad enough to take the Eagles out of the game completely. But he also made the clutch throw to Dallas Goedert down the middle of the field that set up the game-winning touchdown and then made the impressive juke-scramble-and-throw on the ensuing two-point conversion. Before that, the offense seemed to find its footing when Hurts pulled a few run options. It remains confounding that Hurts’ ability as a runner is not more baked into the Eagles’ offensive identity. Hurts’ development is never going to be linear. For the most part, Sunday was a step back. Until it wasn’t.

Resiliency, questionable calls, and more in Roob’s observations - NBCSP
5. Even though the Eagles came back and won, I can’t let Sirianni off the hook for ignoring the running game much of the afternoon. Why did it take so long for the Eagles’ offense to start rolling? Because Sirianni’s play calling was so out of whack it really gave Hurts and the offense no chance to succeed. The first half, the Eagles ran 29 plays and four were called runs. Seriously Nick? What are you thinking? He finally started dialing up some runs late in the game because he had no choice. The first three quarters, the backs were 6-for-19, and in the fourth quarter they were 7-for-42. And you see what happened. This is a Panthers team that ranked 23rd in the NFL in run defense coming in. Sirianni got away with ignoring the running game Sunday, but he can’t keep doing this. It’s insanity.

NFL Week 5 takeaways: What we learned, big questions for every game and future team outlooks - ESPN
What’s with the Eagles’ unbalanced attack? Coach Nick Sirianni’s playcalling continues to be off-kilter. In a defensive battle that was tight most of the way, he dialed up 37 passes to 21 runs — eight of which were by Hurts. The running backs received 13 carries total. Their lack of usage is a trend that spans three weeks. Hurts is not consistent enough at this point of his career to carry that much of the offensive weight.

NFL Week 5 Game Recap: Philadelphia Eagles 21, Carolina Panthers 18 - PFF
Offensive tackle Andre Dillard was the only Eagles offensive lineman with a PFF grade above 60.0 on first review of the broadcast film. Still, he allowed three total pressures along with most of the rest of the team’s front five. Center Jason Kelce was the only player who didn’t allow at least three pressures on the day, and rookie Alabama product Landon Dickerson led the team with five pressures allowed.

Week 5: Bills Thump Chiefs On The Night It All Changed In The AFC - FMIA
Defensive Players of the Week — Darius Slay, cornerback, Philadelphia. In a bruising defensive game in Charlotte, Slay had two interceptions. His first, in the first quarter, gave the Eagles great field position at the Carolina 10, setting up a field goal. His second, covering D.J. Moore, set up the Eagles near midfield in the third quarter, but they couldn’t convert it to points. Slay added three tackles, one for a loss.

Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants: 5 winners, 2 losers, and 3 honorable mentions - Blogging The Boys
Winner: CeeDee Lamb. We were all robbed of seeing CeeDee Lamb at the peak of his powers last year when Dak Prescott went down to injury in the very same game that the team just finished playing. As a result, we didn’t get to see Lamb fully frolic throughout NFC East secondaries. That was certainly not the case on Sunday. Dak and Lamb connected on a huge 49-yard touchdown that flipped the switch in the right direction for the Cowboys. Lamb is finding himself in this offense and it is fun to see.

‘Things I think’ after the Giants are battered by the Cowboys - Big Blue View
All I can say is I think watching Daniel Jones stagger trying to walk after the helmet-to-helmet hit with Jabril Cox of Dallas on Sunday was scary. Emily Iannaconi messaged me that it was “terrifying,” and I can’t disagree. The Giants want, no need, Jones to be a major part of the rushing attack. It was fun to watch Jones run through 350-pound defensive tackle Grady Jarrett a couple of weeks ago. This, though, is the danger of making your quarterback a primary part of the running game. You expose him to injuries. Jones was trying to score on a third-and-goal play inside the 1-yard line. He attempted to make a physical play, lowering his head and trying to drive through Cox. He paid the price. This is now two years in a row that Jones has suffered a debilitating injury. As much as the Giants benefit from Jones’ running ability, I think how much they rely on it going forward is something they are seriously going to have to consider.

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory: Washington’s mistakes too much to overcome - Hogs Haven
The team is 2-3 after losing a game that they controlled early. Up next is a home game against the Kansas City Chiefs, who themselves are 2-3 and looking for a win to keep them competitive in their division. KC lost 38-20 at home to the Bills on Sunday. I think everyone has had this inked in as a loss since the schedule was announced, but perhaps Washington can surprise everyone. The only way they will be able to stay competitive with Andy Reid’s team is to play mistake-free football. What they did yesterday against the Saints won’t be nearly good enough.

Seven NFL teams at risk of falling apart due to injuries, major weaknesses - NFL.com
What’s happened to Washington’s D? Everybody loves the Taylor Heinicke story, but the Washington Football Team has a problem with the defense that was touted as one of the best in the league before the season began. That defense was second in the league last season. It entered Sunday ranked 29th in total defense, 30th in scoring defense and dead last on third down. After Sunday, this unit is no longer just overrated or underachieving. It’s just downright bad, particularly in the back seven. There was a 72-yard touchdown pass and a 49-yard Hail Mary touchdown at the end of the first half. Washington has talked a lot about attention to detail, but, at 2-3 and with the Cowboys pulling away in the division, the team has to hurry up and pay attention: Three of the next four quarterbacks this defense faces are Patrick Mahomes , Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.

Panthers 18 Eagles 21: Putrid second half dooms Panthers in Week 5 loss to Eagles - Cat Scratch Reader
The Panthers snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against an inferior opponent and fell to 3-2 on the season. The coaching staff need to take the tape from this game, toss it in a barrel and set it on fire so they can move on and focus on the Vikings game next week. I don’t really know what else to say. This game sucked, and the Panthers lost a game they should have won. Everyone deserves to feel bad for this one, and hopefully they can put this behind them and turn things around before it’s too late.

Buccaneers vs. Dolphins recap: Tom Brady throws for five touchdowns in 45-17 win - Bucs Nation
After leading by seven to start the fourth quarter, Tampa Bay ran away with a 45-17 win over Miami on Sunday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium.

Tom Brady shows up at press conference with right hand wrapped - PFT
The Buccaneers secured a big win on Sunday. Their quarterback incurred an injury along the way. Brady arrived at his post-game press conference with a wrapped right hand. He called it a “football injury” (Captain Obvious). He also said that, in his younger days, he would have hidden it from reporters.

Sunday Late Night Wrap Up #5: Bills handle Chiefs + Chargers outlast the Browns and more! - The SB Nation NFL Show
Find out the top storylines, biggest injuries, and everything else you need to know from Week 5 in about 15 minutes! Rob “Stats” Guerrera recaps every game that was played on Sunday as only we can here at SB Nation.

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