Two words helped the Eagles win on Sunday.
That has been the mantra from Jalen Hurts this season whenever his teammates make mistakes. When Jordan Mailata gave up sacks on back-to-back plays in the third quarter on Sunday, that was the message from Hurts. Don’t dwell on it. Shake it off. Next play.
So when Hurts threw an interception in the third quarter — the second consecutive turnover from the Eagles — when they were trailing by two scores, guess what Mailata told Hurts.
Hurts, the Eagles’ youngest captain at 23 years old, appreciated the sentiment from Mailata.
“That made me smile because it’s something that I preached and I got a taste of my own medicine at that moment. It felt good,” Hurts said to reporters after the 21-18 win in Charlotte.
“Next play mentality and that dawg mentality and that was a situation where I had to have that dawg mentality and show some perseverance and overcome.”
The Eagles were able to pull out a win on Sunday but it wasn’t pretty. There were plenty of instances where the Eagles — especially on offense — had to get over bad plays.
“We just kept fighting until the end. That’s one thing coach coaches us, perseverance, grit,” Mailata said. “What kind of character do you want this team to have? That next play mentality. Next man up mentality. I think we are going to be just fine.”
There’s a reason his teammates have gravitated toward Hurts since he entered the NFL last year. He has a quiet confidence to him that’s unmistakable. One of Hurts’ great qualities is his ability to avoid letting the highs and lows of NFL life tank his poise.
While there might be reasons to question Hurts’ ability or his long-term fit with the Eagles, it would be really tough to question his leadership. Because Hurts is clearly one of the biggest leaders of this Eagles team.
And it seems like his lessons are rubbing off.
“He’s such an old soul,” Jordan Mailata said. “He’s got an old head on his young shoulders, and it shows.”
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