Jalen Hurts completed one of the longest passes in Eagles history Sunday. He didn’t do a whole lot else.
A week after a dazzling performance against the Falcons, Hurts sputtered through a difficult day Sunday in the Eagles’ 17-11 loss to the 49ers in their home opener.
It wasn’t all him. He didn’t get a ton of help. He must have felt like it was 2020 again with some shaky play calling, dropped passes and a damaging offensive line injury.
But it’s fair to say Hurts struggled. He couldn’t get into a rhythm, he couldn’t find any consistency and other than a couple snaps he couldn’t get the ball to his best weapons.
This was a tough and physical 49ers defense he faced, but Hurts knows he has to be better if he’s going to give the Eagles a chance to win.
What was the issue?
“I think the lack of consistency and finish,” Hurts said. “The biggest thing is just finish, finish, finish. We got two games under our belt now, and on the tape we see what we finish and what we didn’t finish. This game, we didn’t finish more than we did. We have to capitalize on those opportunities moving forward and learn from this feeling.”
Hurts completed only 12 passes, only two longer than 14 yards.
DeVonta Smith and Jalen Reagor combined for 21 yards, Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert for 30 yards, Miles Sanders and Kenny Gainwell for 22 (receiving) yards.
Quez Watkins caught a 26-yarder in the first quarter and a 91-yard non-TD in the second quarter, neither of which led to points.
The next-longest catch by a WR was 11 yards.
Hurts completed 4 passes for 39 yards in the second half.
His last completion to a wide receiver came with 7 1/2 minutes left in the first half.
Very tough to win like that.
The Eagles built this roster with all these fast, speedy, young playmaking wide receivers … then didn’t get them the ball.
That’s not all on Hurts. Nick Sirianni didn’t have the same play-calling knack as he did in the opener. But Hurts has to be better.
“We had a lot of opportunities out there that we didn’t capitalize on,” Hurts said. “I think that’s plain and simple right there. We have to be consistent in our execution. I have to be consistent in my execution and operation as a field general. It’s something to learn from today — a lot to learn from.”
Hurts always has that explosive running ability in his back pocket, and he did run 10 times for 82 yards, including a 27-yarder that set up the Eagles’ only touchdown — a 1-yard Hurts run.
He also didn’t turn the ball over for the second straight game.
But overall it was just a blah performance from the 23-year-old Hurts. He wasn’t alone, but he knows the Eagles need more from him.
“They were things we could control, so that’s what hurts the most,” he said. “We give credit to a good team and a good defense out there. Those wounds out there were self-inflicted.”
Sirianni called a number of deep shots but the Eagles connected on just the one to Watkins. Hurts has a big arm but was underthrowing guys Sunday. The mid-range game was absent. The Eagles connected on just one pass play between 15 and 90 yards.
“I wanted to give those guys an opportunity,” he said. “On some of those, I failed to hit them. It’s something we learn from and move on.”
So in his first season as a full-time starter, Hurts has had one brilliant game and one disappointing game to show for the first two weeks.
Such is life with a young quarterback.
“Whether you win a game or lose a game, you’re going to walk away from that game wanting some plays back,” he said. “We learn from it, and we only go up.”