It’s not like it’s terrible. He didn’t do that. It’s just that he wasn’t the Jalen Hurts we all expected.
When Hurts is not at his best, it is difficult for the Eagles to be at their best.
Hurts stumbled through a second straight pedestrian performance Sunday night in the Eagles’ 33-13 loss to the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.
For the first time this year, Hurts did not run or throw for a touchdown. He had a costly fumble at the Cowboys’ 20-yard line when this was still a one-possession game. He only converted one of his first six 3’sResearch and development-Underpasses. He targeted just three receivers. He was completely outclassed by Dak Prescott.
It was the first time in Hurts’ career that the Eagles failed to score an offensive touchdown, the first time that has ever happened since a 17-9 playoff loss to the Seahawks at Linc in 2019, and the first time in a meaningful regular-season game. game of the season since a loss to Washington at FedEx in mid-2016.
Hurts’ ability to rise above the mediocre play around him made him an MVP candidate last year and again this year. But in the past two weeks he hasn’t been able to do that, and the Eagles have suffered two lopsided losses as a result.
“We all have to be better,” Hurts said. “This starts with me. This starts with me as a midfielder. This starts with me as a leader. The tone that I set. And so I accept this challenge.”
Pain was similarly good but nothing special in the 49ers loss. He threw for 298 yards, ran for a TD and threw for a TD in a game that was largely uncompetitive. Most of his production came after the game got out of hand.
On Sunday in Dallas, he passed for just 197 yards. He has thrown as many completions of 25 yards or more as punter Braden Mann. He didn’t throw an interception, but he did lose a fumble for the fifth time this year.
AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith also lost fumbles deep in Dallas territory, although they came in the second half after the Cowboys had built a big lead.
“You talk about execution every week and how important that is,” Hurts said. “I felt like we put ourselves in a good position to get into the high red zone area a few times and we turned the ball over when we got there.
“So I’ve got to do a better job of protecting the ball and creating that energy for us. I’ve got to be better with that.”
It’s been more than two years since Hurts lost back-to-back starts. You have to go back to Weeks 6 and 7 of 2021, his first year as a starter, and the losses to the Bucs and Raiders.
The Eagles haven’t scored a goal before halftime since the Bills game and have just two goals in their last four games. Hurts not cast 1street– Half relegation in the last five matches. The Eagles have trailed by at least a touchdown in the first half in four straight games.
“It’s always a subjective assessment – win, lose or draw,” Hurts said. “It’s always a self-evaluation of how can I be better for my teammates and what can I do to help us be a better football team, how can I do my job better. It starts simply with an honest evaluation of that and then leading and taking action to do things and leading by example.” And then bring the men with you.
“I think it’s a beautiful opportunity for us. You have to have the hunger. You have to have the will, the desire to do it, and I think we have the right people to do it.
The good news is that the Eagles finished the season with four straight teams that currently have a losing record, starting with the Seahawks on Monday night in Seattle. If they win all four, they will win the NFC East and be the No. 2 seed in the NFC at worst.
But they will have to play much better than they did the last two weeks. Hertz must lead the way.
“You don’t win without losing,” Hurts said. “You don’t win without some kind of adversity. That’s just the name of it. We like to come here and be perfect. But perfection is just an illusion. It’s about challenging yourself, learning from your mistakes and getting better.
“There’s going to be bumps in the road. There’s going to be adversity you have to get through. But it’s all about how you respond to it. The nice thing about it is that we control how we respond to it. We just have to keep pushing to win. It’s that easy.”
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