After putting up some monster numbers, Jalen Hurts was asked about how well he played in his second career start.
He had just thrown for 338 yards with three TDs passing and another rushing, no interceptions and 63 rushing yards – unprecedented numbers for an NFL quarterback in his first or second career start.
How happy was he with his performance?
Hurts glared for a moment and looked almost offended.
Then he gave as honest an answer as possible, one that revealed a lot about what he's all about.
“I want to win,” he said. “That’s something we didn’t do today. … I want to win ball games, I want to do what I can to help this team do that and it wasn’t enough today.”
This is a 22-year-old kid who just became the first QB in NFL history to record 400 combined yards passing and rushing with three TD passes and no INTs in his first or second start.
And it was all about the team for him.
And it was genuine.
“I look back on this game and I think about it simply not being enough,” he said. “We missed opportunities and (had) self-inflicted wounds. I couldn’t care less to hear any of the ‘young’ stuff, ‘second start’ stuff, ‘rookie’ stuff. We have a standard we want to play to. I personally have a standard I want to play to.”
The Eagles did lose to the Cards 33-26 Sunday night, but Hurts was magnificent.
He became the youngest Eagles quarterback ever with a passer rating over 100.
He became the ninth quarterback in NFL history with at least four TDs and no INTs in his first two starts.
He became the third QB to rush for 60 or more yards in each of his first two career starts (along with Randall Cunningham and Lamar Jackson).
And all he could talk about was being disappointed.
“Those things that you’re applauding me for were not enough,” he said. “It wasn’t enough today. I think I hate losing more than I love to win. It’s not a great feeling. But it’s a learning lesson. I get to reflect on it, got a nice little plane ride back to think about some things and get back to work.”
Hurts showed tremendous poise and composure, especially after the Eagles fell behind 16-0 in the first quarter.
He wasn’t perfect. He has a lot of work to do. He fumbled three times (but didn’t lose any of them), cost the Eagles a safety when he was called for intentional grounding in the end zone and took too many sacks.
But what a dazzling start for the rookie from Oklahoma in his first two starts in place of Carson Wentz.
“I thought he had great poise out there, great leadership,” Doug Pederson said. “He played obviously physically tough, mentally tough, made some really great throws down the stretch, especially in the second half when we kind of had to put a couple drives together. He played well, played really well taking care of the football. Those are some of the things we talked about, and he’s able to do that. Plus he led the team into the end zone.”
Pederson wouldn’t name Hurts the starter for the Eagles’ game Sunday in Dallas, but come on.
He’s the guy.
Most encouraging from Hurts Sunday was his ability to get the ball down the field. He completed seven passes of 20 yards or more, as many as Wentz completed in his last four games.
“He’s aggressive, he likes to take shots,” said Greg Ward, who caught two of Hurts’ three TD passes. “He loves to play aggressive and that’s what we need and that’s what we ask for and that’s definitely what he’s giving us.”
Hurts became the first Eagle with 330 yards, three TDs and no INTs in a game since Nick Foles against the Vikings in the 2017 playoffs and the first rookie ever (not counting 1987 strike games).
Just don’t expect Hurts to agree.
“I can’t sit here and talk about myself,” he said. “Those 300 yards didn’t win us the game, whatever it was. So that’s what matters. You can go out there and throw five picks, fumble the ball three times, do whatever. It can be 2-0 and we win … that’s all that matters.”
Hurts was incredibly impressive with everything he did on the field Sunday.
He was just as impressive with everything he said after the game was over.
Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast: