A minimalist quarterback masterpiece by the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts

Jalen Hurts didn’t have to carry the team on his back. He didn’t need to throw 300 yards or run 100 yards. He didn’t have to be Superman.

He just had to be himself. And he did it without fail.

In a minimalist quarterback masterpiece, Hurts threw just 24 passes, passed just 154 yards, ran just 34.

He didn’t do a ton. But he did precisely what was needed for the Eagles to record an easy 38-7 win over the Giants on Saturday night at Linc in the NFC Conference Semifinals.

Hurts was in complete command of the offense, in complete command of the team. There is a certain elegance in not overdoing it and only doing what is necessary. And Hurts did it brilliantly.

“It sounded like the old Jalen to me,” Miles Sanders said. “I’m not going to lie. Just proud of him. He asks everyone to do their best, and we are going to do it just for him because he gives us the best of ourselves.

Since 1960, the only time an Eagles quarterback who started and finished a playoff game threw fewer passes was in 1979, when Ron Jaworski was 12-for-23 in a wildcard win over the Bears at home. veterinary.

It has been 15 years since an NFL team scored 38 points in a playoff game with 24 or fewer pass attempts. It was the Packers in a 42-20 win over the Seahawks in 2008, when Brett Favre was 18 for 23 and Ryan Grant ran for over 200 yards.

This time it was Sanders, Kenny Gainwell, Boston Scott and Hurts who combined for 268 rushing yards. That kept the pressure on Hurts, who threw just seven passes in the second half.

The formula all year has been to pitch to build a lead and run to hold it. The Eagles just went from passing to running earlier than usual on Saturday night against an overmatched Giants defense.

But Hurts was brilliant when needed. He was 7 for 7 with TD passes to Dallas Goedert and DeVonta Smith in the first quarter, and the Eagles pretty much coasted from there.

“I think it was very important for us to get out there and start fast,” Hurts said. “As a football team, we went out and played with a lot of energy. We prepared very well throughout the week, and you always talk about challenging everyone to play their best. ball.

“I’ve really never put a limit on myself and I’ve never put a limit on what this team can do, so there’s always more for us to do. To come out there and play the way we have done tonight, I’m proud of this group, I’m proud of this team and I’m proud of the preparation we’ve put in to get to where we are. There’s a lot to be thankful for, but it has deserved during the week. I’m thrilled to have another opportunity to play for something big again.

He was the Jalen Hurts we saw before he suffered a shoulder injury against the Bears five weeks ago. The MVP candidate from September to mid-December.

He might not be 100%, but he looked 100%.

“Having him there is like – I know that’s high praise, but having him there is like having – I shouldn’t even go – it’s like having Michael Jordan there,” Nick Sirianni said. “He’s your boss. He’s your guy.

“This guy is leading. He brings this calm to the whole team. He plays great football. It’s as tough as they come.

“For me, no one has played better football than him this year.”

Hurts’ 112.2 passer rating was the 4th highest in Eagles playoff history, behind Rodney Peete’s 143.3 in the 58-37 win over the Lions in 1995 at the vet, the 141 .4 of Nick Foles in the 2017 NFC Championship Game victory over the Vikings. at Linc and Tommy Thompson’s 127.3 in the 1947 semi-final victory over the Steelers at Forbes Field.

He is the youngest Eagles quarterback to reach the NFC Championship Game – nine months younger than Donovan McNabb in 2001 – and with a win over the 49ers or Cowboys a week from Sunday, he will become the eighth QB to take his team to a Super Bowl before his 25th birthday.

A year ago, Hurts went through a nightmare in his playoff debut in Tampa.

It was one of the worst playoff performances in Eagles history. It was one of the best.

“I think every experience is useful, not just this game, but all of last season and the last 15 games I’ve played,” he said. “I think it has all been very beneficial. There is a lot to learn from this. I just wanted to come here and play good football. Know what it looks like and find a way to do it.

Subscribe to the Eagle Eye Podcast

Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Embroiderer | Art19 | Watch on YouTube

Leave a Comment