Hurts’ gutsy performance comes up short: 4 observations from the Eagles’ 27-24 loss to the Chargers
Despite Jalen Hurts’ heroic performance down the stretch, the Eagles came up short against the Chargers 27-24.
Hurts’ final drive consisted of poise and clutch plays, capping it off with a 28-yard strike to DeVonta Smith to tie the game with just over six minutes remaining. The Eagles ultimately never got the ball back, with Herbert dissecting the defense and chewing the clock until the end.
A crucial 4th-down conversion and an Ekeler 16-yard run later, Dustin Hopkins sealed the game with a 29-yard field goal. Here are my four quick takeaways from today’s game in South Philadelphia:
DeVonta Smith had a much-needed breakout game
After only having 107 receiving yards over the last three weeks, DeVonta Smith took advantage of a banged-up secondary on Sunday. With starting CBs Michael Davis and Asante Samuel Jr. ruled out, the Heisman winner reeled in five receptions on six targets for 116 yards and a TD.
Hurts has struggled to find Smitty at times this season — and missed him once today in the endzone, but they’re starting to rekindle their Alabama chemistry as the year goes on.
QBs continue to have their way with the Eagles defense
Justin Herbert finished the day completing 84% of his passes — a career-high for 356 yards and 2 TDs. He now becomes the 7th QB this season to throw for at least 73% completion against the Eagles.
Jonathan Gannon continues to coach this defense as if they’re up by 30.
Javon Hargrave asked if he feels like the Eagles should’ve ran more blitzes.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) November 8, 2021
“I ain’t the defensive coordinator.” Just doing what he’s told.
Eagles offense beginning to establish an identity
Jalen Hurts was averaging 34 pass attempts per game over the first seven weeks of the season. He’s only attempted 31 passes over the last two weeks combined. Nick Sirianni has begun to lean heavily on the running game, alleviating the pressure from his young quarterback.
The addition of running back Jordan Howard has left many questioning why he was even on the practice squad to begin with. Howard runs hard between the tackles and has looked fresh since being promoted to the active roster:
- 29 rushing attempts
- 128 yards
- 4.4 yards/attempt
- 3 TDs
One can only wonder why the rushing attack picked up right after Miles Sanders went down. The Eagles have rushed for 412 yards dating back to last week.
Jalen Hurts is still a mixed bag, but has unquestionable heart
Hurts left some big plays on the field — most notably the overthrow to Dallas Goedert during the first drive that would’ve been a walk-in touchdown. He’s still missing throws that NFL quarterbacks should be able to make, but you can’t question his desire to win.
Herbert had just led his team down the field to take the lead and it was up to Hurts to respond. During the only Eagles’ drive in the 4th quarter, Hurts laid everything out on the field, including his body. He converted two critical 3rd-downs with his legs, evading Joey Bosa in the process and finding DeVonta Smith in the endzone.
Hurts needed his defense to give him a chance to win in the end, but that chance never came. Fans can have whatever reservations they choose regarding the second-year QB, but Hurts displayed why people want to see him succeed on Sunday.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher | USA TODAY Sports