Eagles’ Jalen Hurts rewards Nick Sirianni for confidence in him

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) scrambles up the field during the second half of Sunday’s game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

One week in and it certainly looks like the Eagles made the right choice with their starting-quarterback situation.

Jalen Hurts, who was given the keys to the offense after Carson Wentz was traded to the Indianapolis Colts, put together a sterling performance on Sunday against the Falcons down in Atlanta — passing for 264 yards and three touchdowns for a 126.4 passer rating in a 32-6 victory.

“Jalen was in complete control there,” Eagles first-year head coach Nick Sirianni said after winning his debut game. “He was in complete control the whole game. He played a heck of a football game. I’m really happy with the way he played.”

With an additional 62 rush yards, he became the first player in the NFL to throw 250 or more yards, pass for three or more touchdowns, not throw an interception, and add at least 60 yards on the ground since — Hurts did it in Week 15 last season.

For a young, second-year quarterback to do what he did was impressive enough, but what stood out to Sirianni was the poise Hurts had during the two-minute drill to end the first half, in which the Eagles went 62 yards on 12 plays to score with two seconds left. It made it a two-possession game and firmly put the Eagles in the driver’s seat.

“Just taking what the defense gave him, methodically going down the field, making big throws when he needed to make big throws, checking down when he needed to check it down, making a run when he needed to make a run,” Sirianni said. “Just good quarterback play to go down and get a touchdown in the two-minute drill. Sometimes you’re thinking, ‘Let’s go get points,’ and then you get to a point where you’re like, ‘All right, let’s go get seven.'”

Now after the opening week of the 2021 season, the Eagles are the only NFC East team with a win. Not a bad start for a team that many projected to finish last.

“I think it’s good to win on opening day,” Hurts said. “All the hard work we put in, all the different changes we’ve endured We’ve had to overcome and persevere with new coaching, new values as a football team, and buying into it. Coming out here, we won and started off the right way.”

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