Live analysis as Jalen Hurts returns in NFL playoffs

PHILADELPHIA − It didn’t take long for Jalen Hurts to show that he’s back to full strength, or close enough for him to run like he was before he suffered a shoulder injury back on Dec. 18.

Hurts wasn’t the only one, either, as the Eagles completely overpowered the Giants in the first half in taking a 28-0 lead Saturday night in the NFC Divisional Round game.

Miles Sanders had 75 yards running in the first half, and Dallas Goedert and DeVonta Smith caught TD passes. On defense, the Eagles shut down the Giants’ running game and rarely let quarterback Daniel Jones have enough time to throw.

The Eagles outgained the Giants 258-64.

Hurts was 12-for-17 for 118 yards. He threw for 2 touchdowns and ran for another just before halftime. He had 8 carries for 30 yards, ending any doubts about whether his injured shoulder could take a hit.

Hurts set the tone early.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) throws a pass as New York Giants linebacker Jihad Ward (55) tries to rush in on him during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

He started out a perfect 7-for-7 for 89 yards and 2 TDs on the Eagles first two drives. The first was a 16-yard completion to Goedert, who caught the ball with his left hand in stride and continued into the end zone. The second was a 9-yard TD to DeVonta Smith.

If there were any doubts on Hurts’ shoulder, he answered on the second play when he threw deep to Smith, hitting him for 40 yards down to the Giants’ 33.

The Eagles also put the read-option back into their offense against the Giants, using it twice in the first quarter. Hurts gained 9 yards on the second try, and took a hit on his torso. He was fine.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, right, avoids a sack by New York Giants linebacker Tomon Fox during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Philadelphia.

The Eagles’ aren’t nearly as dynamic if Hurts is strictly a pocket passer, like he was in the last meeting against the Giants, on Jan. 8 in the Eagles’ 22-16 win. Hurts clearly stayed away from contact as he threw 35 times while running only 9 times, and 3 of those runs were kneel-downs at the end of the game. Hurts also did not have any designed runs called for him.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *