Jalen Hurts continues to quiet the doubters who believe that he isn’t the answer to the Philadelphia Eagles’ franchise quarterback situation.
The second-year product out of the University of Oklahoma put on another clinic in a 40-29 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, improving the Eagles’ 2021 record to 5-6 and firmly planting them within the NFC playoff picture.
Hurts passed for 147 yards and rushed for an additional 69 on the ground with three rushing touchdowns — which accounted for all of the Eagles’ offensive touchdowns against New Orleans.
It made him the first quarterback in franchise history to run for three touchdowns in the same game. He also became the first quarterback in the NFL to pull off such a feat since Russell Wilson in 2012.
Of course, those stats mean nothing to Hurts.
“I like winning. That’s the most significant thing we’ll get out of the day for me,” Hurts said. “We played hard, we had some ups and downs in the football game, but in the end we were victorious. There’ll be a lot to learn from this game.”
Hurts has been a focal point in head coach Nick Sirianni’s shift to a more run-heavy offense, which has paid off extremely well over the last four games.
The Eagles have rushed for 175 yards in each of those games, making it the longest streak since they posted five straight games of that many rushing yards in 1950.
Hurts has averaged 56 rushing yards over his last seven games with seven touchdowns, unlocking another threat within the Eagles’ offense.
“I think Jalen is a special player that forces defenses to play different,” Sirianni said of his quarterback. “You look at the tape and again I think I told you guys early in the week, you look at the stat sheet, you look at where they are, you look at their defense, but you also want to do what you do well. We know we have been running the ball well and it’s a little different when Jalen is in there.
“You try to look at some teams that they’ve played that are similar to that, but you want to make them stop what you do well first and that’s definitely what our goal was going out there.”
That kind of dynamic play allows the Eagles to prepare a plethora of looks on the offensive side of the ball, which only makes offensive coordinator Shane Steichen’s life easier.
“I think each week, we have to go in prepared for everything because he’s a unique player,” Steichen said last week. “Obviously, they’re going to play him different than a typical drop-back quarterback that’s not going to do the zone-read game.”