Jalen Hurts scores three touchdowns as the Eagles rally to defeat Washington.
Jalen Hurts was shouted at on the bench by Nick Sirianni for being reckless with the ball and lost a fumble. Then the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles witnessed their starting quarterback clutch the ball and carry the team on his shoulders.
Hurts rushed for two touchdowns and passed for another, helping the Eagles rally from an early hole to defeat virus-ravaged Washington 27-17 in a crucial NFC playoff matchup Tuesday night.
Hurts established a single-season team record most running touchdowns by a quarterback with 10 in his first game back from an ankle injury, scoring on a couple of 1-yard QB sneaks and connecting with Greg Ward on a 19-yard TD throw.
“He had one of the finest football games I’ve ever seen him play,” Sirianni said of Hurts. “Jalen is a hard worker who can handle adversity. He reacted well and performed admirably.”
Hurts completed 20 of 26 passes for 296 yards, a touchdown, and an unlucky interception when Dallas Goedert dropped a catchable throw that bounced off his right foot and into the hands of Landon Collins of Washington.
That was a poor break for Philadelphia, which allowed Washington (6-8) to jump out to a 10-point lead after the first quarter. It was all Eagles (7-7) from then, thanks to a powerful offensive line that outgained Washington 435-136 the rest of the way and shut down an opponent that was missing a couple of players due to the COVID-19 protocol.
Hurts remarked, “I told the lads we have to go in with the mindset of not being refused.” “We had a lot of things go wrong early on, but we were able to overcome it.”
Miles Sanders took advantage of the openings created by those absences and other ailments in Washington’s defence, running the ball 18 times for a career-high 131 yards.
“Credit to the offensive line,” Sanders said after becoming the first Eagles player since LeSean McCoy in 2014 to have back-to-back 100-yard running games. “They’re making it easier for running backs to get behind them.”
Philadelphia ended with 238 yards running after a bye week, becoming the first team since the 1985 Chicago Bears to have 175-plus yards on the ground in seven straight games. This is also a first for the Eagles franchise.
“The way they were sprinting around was inexcusable,” Washington defensive end Montez Sweat said.
Goedert made up for his early gaffe and subsequent drop by receiving seven catches for 135 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown.
Despite the game being postponed for 54 hours due to the coronavirus epidemic in Washington, starting quarterback Taylor Heinicke and backup Kyle Allen were unable to pass protocol in time to play. Garrett Gilbert, who signed on Friday, completed nine of his first 13 throws for a total of 194 yards on 20 of 31 passing.
Terry McLaurin, whose 46-yard grab was the game’s longest play, stated, “I had nothing but respect for Garrett.” “It was difficult for all of us, but he did his job and put it all out there,” says the narrator.
Antonio Gibson, Washington’s second-year running back, scored the game’s opening touchdown and gained 20 of his 26 rushing yards on that drive, in which he received the ball on all seven plays. He was hampered by a toe ailment, which also delayed his rookie season, and Jaret Patterson scored the team’s other running touchdown.
ABSENCES OF COVID-19
Five starters stayed in the NFL, thus Washington had to play without them. Heinicke, 2020 All-Pro right guard Brandon Scherff, centre Tyler Larsen, cornerback Kendall Fuller, and safety Kamren Curl are part of the COVID-19 protocol. Tim Settle, a reserve defensive lineman, and Sammis Reyes, a third-string tight end, were cleared but did not play.
Landon Dickerson, the starting left guard for Philadelphia, was the lone player who was out due to the flu.
THE KING CREATES HISTORY
Because Randy Jordan was unable to coach the Washington running backs due to COVID-19 procedures, assistant Jennifer King made history by standing in for him. King made history as the first Black woman to coach a position in an NFL game.
“There wasn’t much of a drop-off,” Patterson said. “Coach King is a fantastic coach. She deserved to be a coach one day, and she performed well.”
CB, Washington William Jackson departed the game with an ankle injury late in the second quarter and did not return. … DE Daniel Wise was ruled out early in the second half after injuring his right knee on a cut block in the first half. Collins was forced to leave due to a foot problem. … Curtis Samuel (hamstring) was held out of the game, while J.D. McKissic (neck) was placed on injured reserve before to the game.
TE for the Eagles Early in the fourth quarter, Jack Stoll was shook up and went off the field gingerly after receiving medical care. … Late in the first quarter, WR DeVonta Smith hobbled off after an incomplete throw into the end zone, but he returned the next drive.