Hurts plays well in preseason opener as Eagles lose to Jets, 24-21

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Philadelphia Eagles
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“One scary moment aside, Jalen Hurts‘ preseason debut couldn’t have gone much better. He went a perfect 6-of-6 for 80 yards in his one series of work, capping his night with a 22-yard touchdown strike to tight end Dallas Goedert. Fans held their collective breath — and coach Nick Sirianni lost his mind, screaming in the direction of the Jets’ sideline — when linebacker Quincy Williams decked Hurts out of bounds following a scramble. But Hurts popped up, dusted off his jersey and completed the scoring drive. Hurts generally took what the defense gave him underneath and mixed in some off-script plays, including a sprint to the right to extend the play before finding Quez Watkins for a 28-yard gain. If he can strike that balance between creator and distributor during the regular season, this Eagles team is going to be a handful.” — Tim McManus, ESPN

That is the best news to come out of an otherwise dreary game which unfortunately saw Jets QB Zach Wilson suffer a non-contact injury which may derail his season. It’s an ACL knee injury – the same knee he hurt last season. This would be a devastating blow for the Jets, who have built everything around him. Their backup quarterback options are Joe Flacco and Mike White. The coaching staff has ties to the 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo, so he could be an option if the injury is season-ending.

After going back to pass with 4:29 left in the first period, Wilson was flushed out of the pocket and scrambled to his right for 7 yards, but went down after the play. He appeared to injure his knee when planting to cut on Philadelphia’s grass field.

Unlike Wilson, Hurts got out of the game apparently unscathed — though he took a vicious helmet-to-helmet, out-of-bounds hit by linebacker Quincy Williams that left Philadelphia head coach Nick Sirianni livid.

Eagles RB Miles Sanders caught two Hurts passes for 20 total yards during the opening drive. Pass receiving is an area of improvement for Sanders, who is in the final season of a four-year deal. He has rushed for 2,439 yards and nine touchdowns in 40 games.

Matchup Hurts plays well in preseason opener as Eagles lose to Jets, 24-21 Hurts plays well in preseason opener as Eagles lose to Jets, 24-21
1st Downs 18 18
Passing 1st downs 12 10
Rushing 1st downs 6 6
1st downs from penalties 0 2
3rd down efficiency 8-15 5-17
4th down efficiency 1-1 4-5
Total Plays 62 68
Total Yards 302 311
Total Drives 10 11
Yards per Play 4.9 4.6
Passing 183 223
Comp-Att 19-34 23-35
Yards per pass 5.4 5.6
Interceptions thrown 1 0
Sacks-Yards Lost 0-0 5-19
Rushing 119 88
Rushing Attempts 28 28
Yards per rush 4.3 3.1
Red Zone (Made-Att) 3-4 3-3
Penalties 4-30 7-45
Turnovers 1 1
Fumbles lost 0 1
Interceptions thrown 1 0
Defensive / Special Teams TDs 0 0
Possession 29:08 30:52

There were several bright spots in the Eagles’ effort besides Hurts and his offense.  Nakobe Dean made five (5) tackles.  Jalen Reagor got four targets in the first half and a few opportunities in the return game. It felt like the Eagles were purposely trying to showcase him for potential trade suitors. He finished with 3 catches for 26 yards.

Center Cam Jurgens had some impressive moments in his rookie debut including some nice downfield blocking.  Gardner Minshew did a nice job of moving the offense in relief of Hurts.

Eagles safety Reed Blankenship looked solid on defense. 

Kyzir White tackled Michael Carter for a 1-yard gain on the Jets’ first drive.  Zach Wilson threw an off-target pass to the right sideline to bring up 3rd-and-9. On third down, Wilson was able to find an open receiver for a first down. White jumped in front of a route to pick off Wilson and give the ball back to the offense.

Jason Huntley was back for the Eagles’ first kick return. He picked up 18 yards. Huntley was back out for the third kick return. He fielded the ball about three yards into the end zone and brought it out for a 43-yard gain. Had a real chance to break it all the way but got tripped up from behind.

Britain Covey was back for the Eagles’ second kick return. He picked up 25 yards, looked good. Covey was back for the Eagles’ third punt return. The ball went farther than he expected, leading him to catch it over his shoulder. He dodged the first tackle but ultimately got swarmed and taken down for a 1-yard loss at the Eagles’ own 5-yard line. Covey was also back for the Eagles’ fourth punt return, which was a fair catch. Covey was back for the Eagles’ fifth punt return, which went for a 5-yard gain. Covey was back for the Eagles’ fourth kick return but the ball was kicked through the end zone for a touchback.

Arryn Siposs’s first punt went for 27 yards, downed at the Jets’ 16-yard line. Not great. The second Siposs punt went 50 yards. Better. The third Siposs punt went for 48 yards. The fourth Siposs punt went for 59 yards, a bomb.

Minshew looked better in this game than he has in most practices this summer. His numbers would look a bit better if it weren’t for two big drops by Pascal (touchdown) and Watkins (first down). Solid showing.

Reid Sinnett had an up and down night at QB in the second half, but did lead a late touchdown drive.

Carson Strong did not play.

Josh Jobe lined up as the Eagles’ second team outside CB along with Zech McPhearson. Jordan Davis drove the Jets’ center back on the play where Wilson got flushed out of the pocket and then got hurt after a run.

Zech McPhearson had good coverage to disallow a throw down the right sideline. Tarron Jackson forced the Jets into a punt after tipping a pass into an incompletion.

The Jets put together their first touchdown drive by going 46 yards on eight plays. The Eagles had a “too many men on the field” penalty in there.

The Jets got to a 3rd-and-goal from the 1-yard line and Tay Gowan helped to break up a fade pass.

On the Jets’ winning drive, JaCoby Stevens tipped a pass that ended up being completed anyway. The Jets’ QB Chris Streveler took off running to put NYJ in the red zone. The Jets pounded the rock to set up 1st-and-goal from the 5-yard line and used their final timeout with 0:24 on the clock. The Jets’ QB found a receiver matched up against UDFA CB Josh Blackwell, who got beat in coverage, for the game-winning touchdown.

Javon Hargrave got banged up with a toe sprain. The Eagles are saying they’re being cautious with him so it doesn’t linger into the regular season.

Scoring Summary

first Quarter NYJ PHI
TD
11:13
Dallas Goedert 22 Yd pass from Jalen Hurts (Jake Elliott Kick)
7 plays, 80 yards, 3:47
0 7
TD
6:28
Jason Huntley 1 Yd Run (Jake Elliott Kick)
7 plays, 20 yards, 2:45
0 14
second Quarter NYJ PHI
FG
13:32
Eddy Pineiro 26 Yd Field Goal
16 plays, 65 yards, 7:56
3 14
third Quarter NYJ PHI
TD
7:32
Zonovan Knight 2 Yd Run (Greg Zuerlein Kick)
8 plays, 46 yards, 4:00
10 14
fourth Quarter NYJ PHI
TD
8:10
Jeremy Ruckert 1 Yd pass from Chris Streveler (Greg Zuerlein Kick)
10 plays, 69 yards, 5:21
17 14
TD
1:40
Kennedy Brooks 2 Yd pass from Reid Sinnett (Jake Elliott Kick)
18 plays, 75 yards, 6:30
17 21
TD
0:16
Calvin Jackson 5 Yd pass from Chris Streveler (Greg Zuerlein Kick)
6 plays, 53 yards, 1:24
24 21
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