Again, he had left a double crossing. The franchise quarterback had just thrown a pick-6, his second game-breaking return of the game. The crowd at the Linc went wild.
It seemed like everything was falling apart.
But these are Nick Sirianni’s Eagles and they never fall.
Jalen Hurts put it together like he always does with late TD drives of 75- and 83-yards, and the Eagles rolled past the Dolphins 31-17 at the Linc and on national TV Sunday night in a high-flying battle of 5-1 teams.
A record-setting case for the Dolphins? He scored 10 points.
A great success. A great success. Behavior to win.
The Eagles are now 6-1 and still share the best record in the NFL.
Here are 10 Highlights for tonight:
1. First, he called it on 4th-and-1 with 10 minutes left at the Eagles’ 26-yard line. Then they did it again on 4th-and-1 from the 37 with 8:10 left. Whatever the scouts say, it takes guts to go on 4th down deep in your division, and you have to give Nick Sirianni a lot of credit for believing in his offense enough to call the plays. We all know the combination of Jalen Hurts and the offensive line is unstoppable for those keepers, but your 26? 37 your own? If you fail, you’re giving one of the most successful offenses in NFL history a short shrift. But Sirianni did not hesitate. With the exception of the 2001 wild card game in Chicago when they took a defensive punt with seven seconds left, the first was the deepest the Eagles have ever gone on 4th down and the lead goes back as far as Stathead’s quarterback goes, which is. 1994. And on the second one, it seems like nobody looked away. They just lined up and dropped it on the dolphins’ necks. Serious crime takes many forms. Big, electric, fast-paced games. But Sunday night’s two big games totaled nearly 150 inches of coverage. And because of that, the Eagles are 6-1 and coming off one of the most impressive seasons of all-time under Sirianni.
2. We talked about this during the week and I’m going to talk about it now, but one of Jalen Hurts’ best qualities – maybe his best – is his ability to deal with problems – turnovers, bad plays, losses – and figure things out. . The pick 6 late in the third quarter was a bad play, but what happens? Hurts puts it behind him and drives the Eagles 75 yards in eight TD plays. Hurts had a 12-yard first down and was 5-for-6 for 60 yards, including a touchdown pass to AJ Brown. Are you worried about this change? Sure. He already has 10 this year in seven games after just seven last year. But every quarterback — every player, in every game — faces challenges and Hurts’ ability to bounce back makes him a threat no matter how bad things get, no matter how the game seems to be going, no matter how he’s playing. . Hurts has now won five of six since the bye loss, and hasn’t lost back-to-back games in more than two years. Hurts overcame several challenges Sunday and made many big plays, finishing 23-for-31 (74 percent) for 279 yards and two passing TDs, a rushing TD and a 109.5 passer rating. This year hasn’t been pretty, but one thing we do know is that Hurts will never stop fighting, no matter what.
3. Everyone said the best wide receiver in the NFL would be playing at the Linc on Sunday night, and he was, and it wasn’t Tyreek Hill. Well, Hill still has a better statistical season than AJ Brown, and he’s a great player, but what Brown is doing has never been done by even the best Hill. Brown’s last five games: 131 yards, 175 yards, 127 yards, 131 yards, 137 yards. Are you lying? It had been years since the Eagles had had a guy with 125 yards a season. Brown Sunday set an NFL record with his fifth straight game with at least 125 yards, and he did it on national TV against one of the NFL’s best teams and he did it when the Eagles needed it most. Forget about multiple receptions. There are very few eagles that have performed at this level multiple weeks in a row. Fast in 1983. Reggie in 1987. Shady in 2013. Yes, Carson in 2017. The Eagles patchwork secondary did a great job on the Hill, limiting him to 11 catches but only for 88 yards. After halftime, he was 3-for-23. The Dolphins secondary? There is no chance to challenge AJ Ali at another level right now. A level we’ve only seen a few times in Eagles history.
4. The Eagles’ defense has struggled this year despite not going well every week, and it’s a credit to Sean Desai and his staff that they’ve kept the Eagles in every game despite relying on wide receivers, undrafted players, tight end-riders and road shots. One thing he didn’t do was cause turnovers. Hard way to win. When Darius Slay sacked Tua Tagovailoa early in the fourth on Sunday night, the Eagles had made 161 consecutive plays in the five games since their last possession — Jalen Carter forced Rachaad White in the third quarter of a Tampa game. That’s what made Slay’s INT so great. Also the defense has been playing, you don’t beat a high offense like the Dolphins if you don’t get the ball. Slay was covering Jaylen Waddle when he dropped his man and stepped in front of Raheem Mostert at the Eagles’ 1-yard line for his 28th career touchdown. His 16-yard INT return set the Eagles up on a 78-yard TD drive that gave them the lead 14. Football game. This defense has been very good without intervention. With them, they will be successful.
5. The Dolphins came away with 37 points and 499 yards per game, among the highest showings in NFL history through six games. How did it go for them? He scored 17 but only 10 against the Eagles defense, and that included rushing for 11 scores. He gained 244 total yards – less than half of his season high. They only managed 12 first downs. They were 4-for-11 on third down. They had just 45 rushing yards. They allowed three sacks – as many as they had allowed in their previous three games combined. Eli Ricks. Josiah Scott. Sydney Brown. Zach Cunningham. Terrell Edmunds. Nolan Smith. This was Sean Desai’s masterpiece.
6. Once again, DK McDonald and all the secondary coaches deserve credit for keeping the game at a high level Sunday night – even with injury after injury. It’s really amazing that he stopped the offense that has already happened, and he did it with the one guy who just signed with the Steelers, one of the best free agents he played in his second game, the defense that he had. he played 16 games before Sunday night with another safety who lost his starting job in training camp. James Bradberry and Darius Slay did their thing, and they were special, Terrell Edmunds played like we’ve seen him play, and guys like Eli Ricks, Josiah Scott and Sydney Brown didn’t hold back. The play Ricks made on Tyreek Hill on the Dolphins 4th down late in the fourth quarter was beautiful. This is an undrafted rookie who played 26 games on defense before Sunday, covering the receiver for more than 2,300 yards rushing this year. This was without Reed Blankenship, without Bradley Robey, without Justin Evans, without Avonte Maddox. Amazing performance by the d-backs and the man who prepared them for this.
7. This was a game where the Eagles really, really, really needed their defense to come up big, and they did. And as we’ve seen so many times, it was late in the game that they really took over. Create a two-pronged guide, find a familiar group, and then just take off. The Dolphins don’t give up sacks. They were No. 2 in the NFL through six weeks in sacks allowed, but the Eagles recorded four, including two on back-to-back touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Josh Sweat had two more sacks and now has 5 ½ in seven games and has been playing at an incredible level. He also had two tackles for loss and two quarterback hits. A flat monster. Nolan Smith picked up his first career pick with Fletcher Cox and Jordan Davis — former and future defensive tackles — combining for the bigs in the fourth quarter. But they weren’t the only bags. As the game wore on, the Eagles pressed harder, forcing Tagovailoa to throw the rush. The Dolphins’ offense didn’t score in the second half, and a big reason for that was pressure. Oh, and he also used the No. 1 rush in the NFL for 45 yards and 3.8 per carry. Monster game is defense, monster game in front. This is why the ostriches were built this way.
8. It’s great to see another great game by Dallas Goedert, who was targeted five times and caught five passes for 77 yards, including catches of 19, 22 and 22 yards in the first half, when things were not yet clear for the offense. After 13 catches for 88 yards the first four games, he now has 18 catches for 236 yards over the last three games. He’s the Dallas Goedert we’ve been waiting for and he’s the Dallas Goedert I’m sure we’ll see for the next 10 games. He is too good to be an afterthought.
9. Jordan Davis continues to play at a very high level, and I don’t think he was bad last year, especially before the injury, but he certainly wasn’t the player he is now. These things can take time, and Davis is a very thoughtful child who knew he had to work harder, be better, study longer. It all came together for a 23-year-old 1st-round pick. The way Davis has been able to use his strength to break the sack and get to the quarterback is amazing. We knew he could chase. But his sack on Sunday gives him 2 ½ in seven games — he had none last year — and between him and Jalen Carter he now has 6.0 sacks. They are the ninth team in all-time sacks (since 1982) with two interior linemen 23 or fewer with at least 2 ½ sacks. And there are 10 games left. We talk a lot about how great Carter is, but the Carter-Davis duo has been devastating here for a long time.
10. You have to love how this team is built to get stronger and stronger as the game progresses. They simply chase teams with their physical play, their line of control, their ability to extend drives by converting 3rd and 4th downs and their time-of-possession monsters. It’s a good plan. He caught the ball for 36:43 on Sunday night, and if you’re struggling to reach 500 yards and 37 points per game, your priority will be to keep them out of the backfield. We’ve seen that plan all year. He held the ball 39:28 in the Vikings win, 38:55 in Tampa, 37:55 against the Rams and now 36:43. It’s four games of 36 ½ minutes or longer. The franchise record for a season is five in 1991. The NFL record is seven by Washington in 1989 and the 2019 Ravens. The Eagles are controlling the ball for 34 ½ minutes per game, which means their offense is on the field nine more minutes per game on average than the opposition. This means that the defense is rested by the fourth quarter and they can just leave. It is an invincible way.