NFL

Jalen Hurts sticking to task at hand as Eagles move into playoff spot

Jalen Hurts Eagles
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles are currently in a playoff spot and control their own destiny.

Not bad work for a first-year head coach in Nick Sirianni and a second-year quarterback in Jalen Hurts who has had questions about his long-term fit constantly swirling over him throughout most of the 2021 season.

Hurts has performed well enough — albeit with some inconsistencies, which is common for young quarterbacks — to help overturn a difficult 2-5 start to the season to get his team to 8-7.

Two wins and they’re most certainly in, and that’s the only thing Hurts is focusing on.

“I’m not in the business of talking about anything but being in the moment,” Hurts said. “And everything that we do, it’s focused on getting better every day and being 1-0 every day. We know as a football team, if we can control things that we can control, we should be alright. So, any external factors, any ‘rat poison’ out there, I don’t really care for it. I’m not trying to hear it.”

Quite a mature outlook from a 23-year-old.

“I stay in the moment with everything,” Hurts said. “Everybody has goals, everybody has dreams and things that they want to accomplish. We put so much work into this, so there are big dreams and big goals that we want to achieve, but right now at this moment, I’m just happy we were able to bounce back and find a way to win this game.”

Hurts has performed well since returning from an ankle injury that sidelined him for the Eagles’ Week 13 win against the Jets. All the while, his status as the No. 1 man under center fell into question after Gardner Minshew’s strong performance at MetLife Stadium — one week after Hurts put together a dreadful three-interception performance in a 13-7 loss to the Giants.

In eight games from Weeks 5 to 12, Hurts completed just 55.8% of his passes for an average of 158 passing yards per game to go with 6 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.

Since his return on Tuesday night against Washington, Hurts has completed 37 of his las -55 attempts (67.2%) for 495 yards, 5 total touchdowns and 1 interception.

He shrugged off a rough start against the Giants on Sunday to help spark a monstrous second half that saw the Eagles post 31 unanswered points on their way to a 34-10 beatdown of New York to exact some revenge from Week 12.

Tough sledding awaits Hurts and the Eagles during the final two weeks of the regular season, which doesn’t make a playoff berth such a shoo-in.

Philadelphia travels to Landover, Maryland, to face a Washington Football Team that will have many more reinforcements compared to the COVID-riddled unit they were forced to field against the Eagles last Tuesday.

Then they’ll host the hated Dallas Cowboys to add even more intrigue to a Week 18 matchup that will likely see the Eagles’ season on the line.

But this is a football team that is 6-2 in their last eight and is currently riding a three-game winning streak. It’s not a bad time to be heating up.

“You look at this football team right now, and I just think we have so much character,” Hurts said. “So much character in how we do things, how we operate, what we strive for, how we work every day, and how we’re able to overcome.”

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