Jalen Hurts picked a bad night to have a bad night.
The young Philadelphia Eagles quarterback struggled from start to finish in a 41-21 shellacking at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys.
“This one’s on me…I take responsibility for how this game went,” Hurts said, via Associated Press.
Hurts threw a first-drive interception that spelled terrible things to come for the Eagles, who generated just three first-half first downs while falling behind early. The offense sputtered, holding the ball for just 9:39 in the first two quarters, hanging the defense out to dry against Cowboys’ weapons.
At times it looked like Hurts’ head was spinning. He couldn’t hit receivers in stride, missed several early passes and rarely looked comfortable — sometimes fleeing a good pocket early — while struggling to get the Eagles in the right play at times.
Then came disaster to open the 3rd quarter when Hurts targeted rookie DeVonta Smith , who slipped on the route. Cowboys rising star corner Trevon Diggs easily swiped the pass, scampering for the pick-6. Dallas led by 20 at that point, and it was goodnight Philly.
“This didn’t go my way, things didn’t go our way,” Hurts said. “It’s tough. All I can do is take ownership for how I played, and how it affected the team in the end.”
His teammates wouldn’t let the young QB shoulder all the blame.
“Obviously we all know that’s not true. Whenever you get beat like that, it’s everybody. Losses like that don’t happen just because of one guy,” veteran center Jason Kelce said. “But that is the way you would expect Jalen Hurts to feel. Bottom line is the leaders that are really good players ultimately feel that they completely control the situation.
“We’ve got to play much much better across the board.”
Across the board starts with coach Nick Sirianni, who called a horrific game for his young QB, particularly in the first half. Like Sirianni did following Monday’s loss, coaches often blame lack of plays for why the offense struggled or couldn’t get into a rhythm. That explanation belies the fact that they had few plays because the ones he did call turned out to be trash.
In the first half, the Eagles handed the ball off twice to Miles Sanders (27 yards). That’s it. That’s not protecting your young QB.
While Hurts is in his second season in Philly, with Monday marking just his seventh start, he has the experience of a rookie — particularly with last year’s offseason wiped out. We’ve seen every rookie QB struggle this season. Monday night, Hurts joined that sad party.
There were flashes of playmaking ability, notably his late garbage-time TD to Greg Ward, on a play in which the QB scrambled right and threw a one-foot heave on the money in the end zone in traffic. It’s such plays that you can understand the upside Hurts brings to the huddle. But he has to start making the routine plays more consistently, or he’ll never be an NFL winner.
For his part, the 23-year-old isn’t standing around dwelling on his Monday night stinker.
“You take you a deuce, you don’t sit there and look at it,” he said. “You flush it and move on. We’re going to flush it and move on.”
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