The Philadelphia Eagles narrowly escaped Detroit with a 38-35 win over the Lions, nearly blowing a 17-point fourth-quarter lead. Eagles captain Jason Kelce took a lot of the blame on himself during his weekly podcast, suggesting that the offensive communication was a major issue and that mobile quarterback Jalen Hurts saved the day.
“If you look back at this week, we don’t win that game without Jalen Hurts,” Kelce said on his September 14 podcast. “The protection that broke down early with blitzes or different looks that we didn’t either communicate well or pick up well, his ability to go off beat and make something happen, it saved us. Multiple third downs, multiple drives that were kept going because of the type of player he is. Then, he didn’t disappoint in the air.”
Hurts completed 18-of-32 passes for 243 yards, while running 17 times for 90 yards and a touchdown in a performance that impressed league scouts.
“He has a skill set that’s unique, makes him very dynamic for a defense to defend, and we utilize that,” Kelce said.
Kelce Says Eagles Offense Struggled With Noise
The noise levels under the dome at Ford Field in Detroit can get pretty high, and the Lions fans were certainly amped up for the season opener. Kelce said the process of communicating starts between him and Jalen Hurts.
“The center’s communication, the quarterback’s communication kind of sets what everything is happening for the play,” Kelce explained. “Who’s the Mike [middle linebacker]? Who’s the identified point for the play? Whether the offensive line is going to be sliding [their protection], or they’re going to be in man protection, basically who we’re going to. I think that communication needs to be a lot clearer, and that’s on me.”
Kelce went on to explain some of the things the Eagles could have done differently to deal with a loud stadium.
“In the environment, we didn’t handle it well, we didn’t do signals for the backs, so they knew what was going on, it was too loud for them to hear,” Kelce said. “Guys next to us, I need to be louder to make sure that they’re getting the call. All things that for an older player, this is what I bring value, right? I’ve been in these situations, so I’ve got to be much better at helping and putting us in the right situation.”
Some of those miscommunications led to unblocked pass rushers or blitzers coming free, forcing Hurts to bail out of the pocket and scramble.
“I can’t reiterate how much Jalen Hurts really made that day go, man, because despite all that he was able to make multiple plays that would have been broken into positive plays for our offense,” Kelce said, again lauding the play of his signal caller.
Kelce Not a Big Fan of Playing in Primetime Games
The Eagles will be hosting the Vikings on Monday Night Football this week, and Kelce intimated that he doesn’t exactly look forward to playing those later games.
“I like 1 o’clock games, get in, get your work done, and I’m out of here,” Kelce said. “I don’t need prime time, what are you talking about? Sitting around, 8 o’clock, I don’t get done playing football until 11:30.”
“Listen, I get it, it’s great for fans, it’s awesome for TV, I love watching prime time games,” Kelce said, before revealing that his favorite time slot to play in is 4 P.M. Perhaps that has something to do with drinking stories like this.
Either way, Kelce and the Eagles will be in action under the bright lights on Monday.