PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jalen Hurts jumped off the field in Washington, waving his arms as Eagles fans turning the stadium into a South Philadelphia rally chanted “MVP! MVP!”
Too soon? No way.
Through three games, three wins and a steep climb up the rankings of Philly’s hottest athletes, Hurts’ performance has skyrocketed to MVP standards and fans are already predicting the NFC East will be won by a walk. Hey, did you hear Rihanna is headlining the 2023 Super Bowl halftime show?? Cool. Bummer for Hurts, however, will be planning the game at halftime and will have to miss the performance.
OK, that’s a bit of a stretch for late September, and with the Phillies still in a pennant race.
But Hurts and the Eagles have barely scratched the surface of what a healthy team can accomplish. Hurts was 22 of 35 for 340 yards and three touchdown passes, one to DeVonta Smith, AJ Brown and Dallas Goedert in Sunday’s 24-8 win over the Washington Commanders.
“I think we still have to play our best ball,” Hurts said.
The Eagles and their fans are thrilled to have Hurts and not his predecessor. Carson Wentz: The quarterback Hurts replaced when the starter went down more often than the price of his authentic eagles jersey still for sale. Wentz was sacked nine times, lost a fumble that set up a Philly touchdown, and all but 24 of Wentz’s passing yards came in the second half, long after the outcome was determined.
your kingdom collapses.
The game went in favor of Philadelphia. So did the franchise’s decision to dump Wentz for Hurts.
“The work we put in in the offseason is supposed to show up at times like this,” Hurts said. “The trust we have in each other, being on the same page to see how it works out now is great. We know there is more and it is only the beginning.”
WHAT IS WORKING
the offense The defense. The Eagles are 3-0 for the 10th time in franchise history and won their first two games on the road for the first time since 2010.
“We see 3-0 teams, 5-0 teams, they start good all the time, but it’s just about getting back to work because this game will humble you very quickly if you get too high up,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said.
WHO NEED HELP
Little bit. It hurts and the Eagles are rolling and it’s hard not to watch them play and think the NFC East is just a formality. But have you noticed? The Eagles scored all 24 points in the first half against Minnesota and all 24 in the first half against Washington. Second-half shutouts may not be much of an issue in one game, but they can certainly come back to bite them when games get tight.
Smith had no catches in the season opener and had seven catches for 80 yards against Minnesota. He went wild against Washington and had career highs with eight receptions, 169 yards, and scored his first touchdown. Smith’s 156 receiving yards in the first half were the most by an Eagle since Kevin Curtis had 205 in September 2007. Nicknamed the Slim Reaper because of his 6-foot, 170-pound frame, he tied a career high for receiving in the first half only with seven.
“You can have a game like that where you don’t get the ball or you don’t get your chances, but when they come you have to make the most of them,” Smith said.
DECREASE IN STOCKS
Wentz. Oh wait. It’s not Philly’s problem anymore. It’s hard to fault a team that plays with the poise and precession of a Super Bowl contender. The Eagles only had 72 rushing yards and have yet to have a 100-yard rusher.
The Eagles suffered minor injuries — cornerback Darius Slay briefly left with a cramp and Goedert bounced back from a shin injury to catch three passes and a touchdown — but nothing that should hinder them against Jacksonville.
9. A small bump for the Eagles in the first two games was a pass rush that had just three sacks. But the Eagles had six sacks in the first half alone. Among the game’s nine, Brandon Graham led Philadelphia with 2½, while Fletcher Cox, Haason Reddick and Josh Sweat each had 1 1/2 sacks. Cox and Graham lead Philadelphia with three sacks this season and are tied for the fourth-most sacks (61) in franchise history.
The reunion tour continues. The Eagles return home to play the Jacksonville Jaguars, coached by coach Doug Pederson. Pederson, of course, was the first Eagles coach to win the Super Bowl, defeating the New England Patriots after the 2017 season. Pederson went 42-37-1 in five seasons. He guided the Eagles to two division championships and three playoff appearances before going 4-11-1 in 2020. Pederson was fired with two years remaining on his contract. Pederson was a starting quarterback at Philadelphia in 1999 and later served as Andy Reid’s assistant coach with the Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs. The Eagles signed him in January 2016 after abruptly firing Chip Kelly a month earlier.
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