Jalen Hurts Sounds Off on ‘The Standard’ After Eagles Beat Lions

Getty Eagles WR AJ Brown hauled in 10 balls for 155 yards in his Philadelphia Eagles debut.

It kind of felt like a wake scrolling through the Twitter comments. The Philadelphia Eagles escaped Detroit with a victory in Week 1, but the team – one with a fringe claim on being a Super Bowl contender – came out flat and looked soft. The standard they talked about setting is in the early rising stages.

If that sounds harsh, it was meant to be. They were outscored 14-0 in the fourth quarter and nearly squandered a 38-21 lead. Give them credit, though. When they needed first downs to salt away the dub, they did it. Miles Sanders rumbled for 24 yards before the 2-minute warning. Four plays later, Jalen Hurts – after back-to-back Boston Scott runs – gutted out a 4th-and-1 with 1:06 showing on the clock. The Lions were out of timeouts. Game over.

“We talk about a standard for ourselves, and the standard only rises,” Hurts told reporters. “We know we didn’t play to the standard we wanted to play to consistently all afternoon. We know we didn’t meet our standard but it’s a great feeling knowing that you didn’t meet the standard, but you were still resilient enough, had enough ‘dawg’ in you to get the win.”

Hurts finished 18-of-32 for 243 yards through the air, adding another 90 yards on the ground. His 50 rushing yards in the first quarter were the most for an Eagles quarterback since Michael Vick in 2013. Hurts was far from pretty all the time (that opening drive was brutal) but it’s tough to argue with the result. The Eagles are 1-0 as they travel back home to face the Minnesota Vikings in the home opener on September 19 (Monday Night Football, 8:30 pm).

“We talked about not riding waves of the game,” Hurts said, “and being able to control what we can and there were times where the execution wasn’t as we like it to be on both sides of the ball. But, I think in the end what made the difference was we were resilient. We played together through the good, the bad, and the ugly and we had each other’s backs. It’s always good to get the win.”

And no one was gloating after Sunday’s win. Hurts, the consummate professional, was quick to throw kudos on the franchise the Eagles humiliated 44-6 last season. These aren’t the same old Detroit Lions.

“They have a great football team. It’s clearly not the same football team we played last year,” Hurts said. “They were flying to the ball. They played very physical. And they played with a next play mentality and so I have a lot of respect for them.”

Nick Sirianni’s ‘Faith’ Rewarded in 4th Quarter

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni didn’t think twice about going it for a game-sealing 4th-and-1 late in the fourth quarter. He trusted his players, specifically his mountain-moving offensive line, to get the job done. Knowing the Lions were out of timeouts, Sirianni called Hurts’ number.

Sirianni never had a doubt. Why was he so confident? Perhaps George Michael sang it best.

“Faith, faith in the players,” Sirianni told reporters. “We’ll just be aggressive because we trust that offensive line. We trust Jalen. We trust the backs. We got one of the best blocking tight ends in the NFL [Dallas Goedert] and he just so happens to be one of the best receiving tight ends in the NFL. It’s just faith.”

More Negatives Than Positives in Week 1?

There was an unmistakable negative stench blowing around Philly on Sunday afternoon. Despite the Eagles’ 38-35 win in Week 1, a lot of the preseason Super Bowl vibes had faded by dinner time. Blame the defense.

Jonathan Gannon’s unit couldn’t stop the ground attack: 181 rushing yards for Detroit, 144 of them via Philly native D’Andre Swift. They couldn’t get any pressure on the quarterback: Jared Goff was sacked only once; and they (almost) folded in the guts of the game: outscored 14-0 in the fourth quarter.

Yes, the Eagles have much to improve on before taking the field in Week 2. And they’ll dissect the game tape at practice this week.

“We’ll look at it. We’ll clean it up,” Sirianni said. “Like I said, it’s always nice to know that we have a lot to clean up, and that’s offensively, defensively, and special teams. But we were able to get a win and, in this league, on the road, in your first game, we’ll take it any way we can get it.”

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