’24-Hour Rule’: Jalen Hurts Reveals Eagles’ Offensive Identity

Jalen Hurts

Getty Jalen Hurts only attempted 14 passes in Week 8 but the Eagles beat the Lions 44-6.

Jalen Hurts was all smiles following a 44-6 trouncing of the hapless Detroit Lions. It’s been a struggle at times this season but he miraculously has the Philadelphia Eagles in second place in the NFC East.

Hurts was sporting a shiny pin shaped like an H on the lapel of his tightly-stitched plaid suit after Sunday’s win. When a reporter asked him if it was meant to honor Houston (Hurts’ hometown: the Astros are in the World Series), the dual-threat quarterback quipped: “It’s an H. Whatever you want it to be.”

It was easy to make jokes following a 38-point victory, the largest for the Eagles in a road game since 1981. Hurts only attempted 14 passes as Nick Sirianni finally committed to the ground game. His quarterback threw for 103 yards and ran for another 71 yards. The Eagles’ offensive line was the story in this one.

“We ran the ball extremely well, kind of dominated the line of scrimmage for most of the game,” Hurts told reporters. “We showed we can do that and we want to be consistent with that moving forward. Defense played their a** off. They got turnovers and sacks, made big-time plays throughout the game, so it’s a great team win.”

Hurts has been trying to define the Eagles’ offensive identity since Week 1 with mostly unsuccessful definitions. Are they a run-first team? Or a pass-happy aerial show? It sounds like they are still sorting that all out after eight games, although a season-high 236 rushing yards against Detroit should influence future gameplans.

“We have a 24-hour rule on everything, wins and losses,” Hurts said. “We’ve come out throughout this season and we’ve played different type of football in a lot of these games, and I think that has been figuring out the identity, of who we are, you know what I’m saying? You’re probably going to ask me what is the identity and I think the identity is just to continue to mesh all of these great things we have.

“This melting pot of being able to throw the ball, being able to run the ball, being able to be an effective offense to whatever it is we choose to do. We just want to continue to be efficient but in the end we want to put points on the board. We did a good job of that today. We won the game.”

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Coach-Quarterback Relationship Growing

Sirianni admitted to making a purposeful effort to stick with the ground game in Week 8. Five of his first seven plays were scripted runs. He has often talked about putting a lot on Hurts’ broad shoulders. The Eagles need to find out if he can be the franchise quarterback. But Sirianni decided to scale back his responsibilities versus Detroit and rely on one of the best offensive lines in football.

“I think Jalen’s got big shoulders and he’s able to handle a lot,” Sirianni told reporters. “But we know – essentially you could say he’s still on his rookie year as far as starts goes – that’s going to be able to help him out, when you run it like that. It’s going to create space for him and the offensive line on the play-action game.”

Hurts is now 4-8 as a starter in the NFL, with eight of those under Sirianni’s watch. Coach and quarterback are growing together as the Eagles’ offense continues to evolve on a weekly basis. Philadelphia ranks 20th in total offense, at 348 total yards per game.

“I think that’s the main thing, we’re evolving as on offense,” Sirianni said. “We’re figuring out more and more what we do more, and just evolving and that’s the mentality we talk about in there, get better every day. That’s not a coach thing, that’s a player thing, that’s an everybody thing.”

If that means Hurts only throws the ball 14 times, so be it.

“I’m OK with winning,” Hurts said. “I say it all the time.”

Love for O-Line ‘Swiss Army Knife’

Nate Herbig had to replace Jack Driscoll at right guard in the guts of the game. The 334-pounder started 12 games in 2020 as he bounced between right guard and left guard. He also served as the backup center during Eagles’ training camp. Hurts called him the “Swiss Army Knife” and threw kudos his way for his fill-in duty in Week 8.

“Nate, he’s a hell of a player. He came in last year and played his tail off,” Hurts said. “He held his own and was really one of the top guards at his position. I got a lot of love for Nate and his ability and his commitment to the team, being a little Swiss Army Knife, being able to do it all.”

Driscoll left the game with a right hand injury and never returned. Sirianni should update his status later in the week.

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