Eagles cruise to win with 2 touchdowns from rookie Smith

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Denver Broncos
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts scrambles in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

By Scott Charles

Jalen Hurts and DeVonta Smith connected for two touchdowns and the Philadelphia Eagles cruised to a 30-13 victory against the Denver Broncos.

Jordan Howard, Boston Scott and Hurts combined for 214 yards on the ground as Philadelphia won the time of possession battle and kept postseason hopes alive in a crowded NFC Wild Card race.

Melvin Gordon III rushed for 44 yards and recorded a touchdown in his third straight game, but the Broncos fell to an NFC East opponent for the first time this season as they completed its tour against the division. Teddy Bridgewater completed 22/36 attempts for 226 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.

Gordon fumbled on a critical fourth down in the final seconds of the third quarter just outside the red zone. Cornerback Darius Slay picked up the loose ball, attempted to reverse direction but then darted back toward the Eagles’ sideline and extended Philadelphia’s advantage to 14 points with an 82-yard return.

Smith bested his former Alabama teammate Patrick Surtain II late in the first quarter with a highlight-reel 36-yard grab. Smith added his second score with 3:07 remaining in the second quarter after Hurts found him all alone cutting across the back of the endzone. Smith and Surtain were both drafted in the top 10 of the 2021 NFL Draft.

A Philadelphia Eagles fan celebrates a score in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High.Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia also recorded a blocked field goal early in the third quarter to preserve a 10-point lead.

Albert Okweugbunam led Denver in receiving with 77 yards and Broncos’ rookie running back Javonte Williams averaged 6 yards per carry on eight attempts.

Jake Elliot successfully completed three field goal attempts with his longest coming from 52 yards.

Dallas Goedert, one of Hurts’ favorite targets, left the game with a concussion after completing a 3rd and 12 in the first quarter. He’ll be placed in the league’s protocol and attempt to be cleared in time for next week’s game against the New Orleans Saints.

Denver will have the bye in Week 11 before hosting Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers in a critical AFC West divisional matchup Thanksgiving Weekend.