CHARLOTTE, N.C. - All that happened before is forgotten. The mistakes, the misfires, the interceptions.
It’s like they never happened.
Jalen Hurts likes to talk about “next play,” but for him they’re not just idle words. He lives it.
So as bad as he played for most of the game Sunday, Hurts was able to make enough plays at the end of the game to help the Eagles pull out an improbable 21-18 win over the Panthers.
The Eagles overcame a 12-point deficit, their biggest comeback since 2019, when they beat the Giants 23-17 after trailing by 14 (17-3), and their biggest comeback on the road since 2017, when they beat the Giants 34-29 after trailing by 13 (20-7).
Hurts did not play well Sunday by any measure. He missed open guys, threw a bad interception, had only one completion over 20 yards and never really got untracked. Not that he got much help from his coach.
But when the Eagles needed him the most?
He showed up.
With the Panthers holding a 15-6 lead late in the third quarter, he hit a 53-yard bomb to Quez Watkins and then scored on a one-yard keeper, and after T.J. Edwards blocked a punt, he hit a 20-yarder to Dallas Goedert and then scored on another keeper for the game-winner.
He was really bad. And then when his team needed him the most, he was really good.
“He’s such an old soul,” Jordan Mailata said. “He’s got an old head on his young shoulders, and it shows. Very late in games he’s still there talking us up, the grit and perseverance, those are qualities he possesses.
“And he’s all bite and no bark. He talks it and he walks it, and it’s very encouraging to see from your QB and you just want to make sure you have his back.”
In the game’s first 43 minutes, Hurts threw for 88 yards and ran for two yards.
In the last 17 minutes, he threw for 110 yards and ran for 28 yards and two TDs.
That’s a guy that has an innate ability to raise his level when the game is on the line.
“Trying to never get too high or too low,” Hurts said. “What helps most in those situations is teammates and who I have around me. That’s the beauty about it. It’s a team sport. We had each other’s backs today.
"We didn’t play to our standard offensively but it was enough."
Hurts put up outstanding numbers last week and the Eagles lost. He put up modest numbers Sunday and the Eagles won.
You can make the case that we learned as much about Hurts Sunday against the Panthers than we did a week earlier against the Chiefs.
“It’s all about battling adversity and perseverance and the ability to overcome,” he said. “I’ve said it before that I believe in this football team, I believe in these coaches and everybody here. We have everything we need.
“We just need to continue to grow. The process doesn’t change for us. Get 1 percent better every day, pay our rent every day and keep going. It’s far from a finished product or a football team.”
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