Jalen Hurts doesn’t care if there is a million people watching or one person watching him. His mindset stays the same heading into Thursday’s prime-time national TV matchup against the defending Super Bowl champions.
The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback has one goal in mind: win the game. That might be easier said than done when Tom Brady is staring him down from the opposite sideline. Or when matching wits against a Todd Bowles’ defense. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers bring the top-ranked rushing defense into Lincoln Financial Field, one giving up just 45.8 yards per game.
“Some people go out there and play different than what they’re accustomed to,” Hurts told reporters. “Make arrangements and changes, and some don’t. I think regardless of the opposition and what they do, it comes down to us doing our job and I believe that and I’ll continue to say that. It’s about us executing to the highest level and playing the ball the way we know we can play ball and putting it all together. It’s about us doing that.”
The Eagles are sure hoping things go better than they did the last time out in front of a national audience. Philadelphia was throttled 41-21 by the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football on September 27. Hurts was picked off twice in that one despite throwing for 326 yards. Different game, new opportunity.
“We just want to go out there and win the game,” Hurts said.
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Hurts Shows Respect to Tom Brady
Hurts showed up wearing a t-shirt reading “OneMindSet” on his latest Zoom call with reporters. He was supporting a charity foundation founded by his old college teammate Chanse Sylvie from Oklahoma. They are hoping to “empower communities and rectify the wrongdoings of systemic racism” through a variety of ambitious initiatives.
The phrase could also apply to what Hurts shares in common with Brady, the guy he’ll looking to out-sling in Week 6. The seven-time Super Bowl champion enters the game as the NFL’s leader in passing yards. Hurts understands the challenge.
“Obviously he’s been in the league for a very long time, done a lot of great things,” Hurts said of Brady. “So obviously a lot of respect for him.”
Nick Sirianni Shares Message to Team
Head coach Nick Sirianni has tried to keep his messaging to the team simple. He doesn’t want anyone to overthink out there or let the moment get too big.
“You want to play the same way, every single time,” Sirianni told reporters. “And that’s been our message from the beginning. That’s been our message this week, as well. Just play within yourself, know your role, play within yourself and good things will happen.”
Remember, this is Sirianni’s first time playing on a short week. And seeing Brady warming up on the other sideline could raise the stress levels for players and coaches.
Said Sirianni: “I think when you press, when you’re playing – whether it’s a Thursday night game, whether it’s a playoff game – when you press like that, that’s not what you want.”