It was a hard reality check for the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2. The team left at least 13 points on the field versus the San Francisco 49ers. They ended up losing by six in a 17-11 defeat that put them in a three-way tie for first place in the NFC East.
The first person to take blame for the loss was their first-year head coach. Nick Sirianni was quick to point the finger at himself for calling a bizarre trick play on fourth down from the three-yard line in the second quarter. The Eagles walked away with zero points from that drive, one instigated by a 91-yard completion from Jalen Hurts to Quez Watkins.
“There are going to be times where you’re going to look at it and be like, ‘I want those calls back.’ When they work, it was a good play. They didn’t,” Sirianni said. “So, it was my fault. I didn’t call good enough plays right there.”
Hurts was the intended target on the trick play when receiver Greg Ward took a flip on a reverse. Hurts wasn’t open so the former college quarterback threw the football away. It brought flashbacks of the famed Philly Special, only with a much different result. What made the call more maddening was that the Eagles only ran the ball once to Miles Sanders during the series.
“I’m a playmaker out there on the field, so I want to make all of the plays,” Hurts said. “That’s a play we didn’t make. We didn’t hit it.”
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Stupid Penalties, Overturned Touchdown
In addition to the goal-line snafu, the Eagles had a touchdown called back after a replay showed Jalen Reagor had stepped out of bounds. The speedy receiver touched the white line twice on what would have been a 26-yard scoring strike.
“If it’s a touchdown, it’s probably a whole different outcome of the game,” Hurts said. “It’s a dawg mentality and we move on from it.”
Six points off the board. Three plays later, they had a 47-yard field goal blocked. It was that kind of day for the Eagles who couldn’t get out of their own way. The 49ers fumbled it on consecutive plays in the fourth quarter, but two unnecessary roughness penalties negated them. San Francisco retained possession.
Derek Barnett made a bone-headed decision. Obvious call there. To be fair, the one called on K’Von Wallace was a tough pill to swallow. Yes, he did level rookie running back Trey Sermon on a helmet-to-helmet collision, although it didn’t appear to be intentional. Wallace dropped down to make a tackle on a player who was low to the ground.
“I don’t agree with the call. It is what it is,” defensive tackle Fletcher Cox said. “They threw the flag, they stuck with it and that was a big turning point in the game for us and, as a player, being honest, it just sucked the air out of you when things like that happen.”
Hurts Takes Blame for Missed Connections
Hurts finished 12-of-23 for 190 yards (61.8 QBR) while rushing 10 times for 82 yards and a touchdown. He wasn’t terrible but far from great. The dual-threat quarterback underthrew at least three deep balls, including one potential touchdown bomb to DeVonta Smith.
Smith made just two catches for 16 yards, while Watkins hauled in two balls for 117 yards. After the game, Hurts admitted to missing a few splash plays.
“I wanted to give those guys an opportunity,” Hurts said. “On some of those, I failed to hit them. It’s something we learn from and move on.”
Hurts seemed to hold onto the football longer than he should have in this one. He was sacked twice and lost 13 yards. And his average intended air yards skyrocketed to 14.6, mainly due to that 91-yard bomb to Watkins. Hurts posted a league-worst 3.7 intended air yards in Week 1.
“Whether you win a game or lose a game, you’re going to walk away from that game wanting some plays back,” Hurts said. “We learn from it, and we only go up.”