In their final game of the season, Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles offense authored a clunker, a 31-15 blowout loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card Round.
Hurts improved in his second season, which helped propel the Eagles into the postseason. However, Philly was beaten from the beginning against the Bucs.
As the NFL’s No.1 rushing offense, Philly entered the game. Philly, who was the NFL’s No. 1 rush offense, was stopped by the Bucs’ defensive run D, which resulted in just 44 yards of rush yards.
For Philly to defeat Tom Brady and the Bucs, Hurts was needed to shine. The QB was unable to make a few throws and struggled. Hurts completed 23 of 43 passes (53.3%) for 258 yard, one touchdown, and two interceptions.
Hurts was left in a walking boot after the loss. The QB stated that the ankle injury was something he has been dealing with for some time, but didn’t blame Sunday’s struggles on it.
“Regardless how I feel, today we didn’t play well enough,” Hurts said. Hurts admitted that he did not play well today, and added that he hopes he doesn’t need offseason surgeries.
The QB was sometimes scattered, running too much from good pockets and missing open receivers. Hurts failed to hit deep targets again, with Hurts completing only 2 of 11 passes for 63 yard and an interception on deep passes. He completed 5 of 21 passes for 100 yards, and 2 INTs when passing over 10+ air yards. Next Gen Stats says that this is his record.
Hurts was under pressure 19 times, sacked twice and ran eight times for 39 yards. This led to the Eagles’ dominance on the ground. After Philly was trailing 31-0 in the fourth quarter, Hurts threw most of his passing yards in garbage time. The Eagles were unable to win against the Super Bowl champions because of his two intercepts.
Hurts stated that “we didn’t do their jobs well enough.” “I wasn’t doing my job well enough. I didn’t communicate or do the little things right. Certain, I could have been more efficient. There are many areas that we could all shoulder together, but I am accountable for my actions.
Coach Nick Sirianni acknowledged Hurts’s inept play, but said he still believes in the young QB as he moves forward.
Sirianni stated, “We’re all going to say for today’s match, he didn’t play his best game as we all know.” “But you don’t take the 17-weeks of work he did — and I know that he didn’t play in 2 games, so 15 week — and then say you put everything into this game. We all get judged on how we played the last game. I can understand that. Jalen was a person I felt grew over the course of the year. He improved as a passer. He improved his ability to read defenses and get the ball to the correct place. He excelled in his ability extend plays. Not only did he make plays with his feet but also on the scramble. The one I remember today is the one where he scrambled to throw the interception. He also had other scrambles which were great plays.
Offseason talk will likely focus on Hurts’ disappointing playoff performance and whether he is a good choice to be the franchise quarterback in Philly. Sirianni has no doubts.
The coach stated, “I feel happy with the position we have right here at quarterback.” He had a great season and has come a long ways, I thought. Jalen has the kind of football character I expect, the toughness he possesses, the love for the game, and the character he embodies. Jalen, the player and the person, is a great guy. So, I feel good about him. This was the game we were not going to be happy with: me, him and multiple other guys on that football team. But, I am really proud of how he performed this year, and the leader he has been on this football team.
While the Eagles enjoyed NFL also-rans, they struggled against playoff teams. The Eagles are now 0-7 against postseason teams after Sunday’s defeat to Philly.
Hurts stated, “This game doesn’t define us. It does not determine who we are. It does not define our character.” “I know we’ll be back as a football club. This is a feeling we’ll all feel, a feeling that will slowly simmer in our hearts. The youth on this football team are definitely hungry.