Fri, 08 Dec 2023

Jalen Hurts, Eagles aim to exact revenge vs. Commanders

Field Level Media
28 Sep 2023, 07:40 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports)

Stretching back to December 2021, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts has won 20 of his past 21 starts in the regular season.

He will have an opportunity to atone for the lone blemish on Sunday when Philadelphia (3-0) hosts the Washington Commanders (2-1) in the first NFC East game of the season for both teams.

Hurts and the Eagles started 8-0 last season before the Commanders pulled off a 32-21 stunner on a Monday night in Philadelphia. Hurts passed for two touchdowns and ran for another in that game, but the Eagles turned it over four times -- fumbling on three of their last four possessions -- and couldn't stop Washington on long drives of 12, 13, 14 and 16 plays.

Philadelphia is off to another fast start, opening 3-0 in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1992 and 1993.

Hurts passed for 277 yards and scored both a throwing and rushing touchdown in Monday's 25-11 road win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He also threw his second and third picks of the season, already half of his total from last year's MVP runner-up campaign.

A.J. Brown caught nine passes for 131 yards against the Bucs after being held to 29 yards in a Week 2 victory against the Minnesota Vikings. D'Andre Swift followed up his 175-yard effort against the Vikings with 130 rushing yards at Tampa.

After allowing 364 passing yards and four touchdown throws by Kirk Cousins in Week 2 and 316 yards and three TDs by New England's Mac Jones in Week 1, the Philadelphia defense limited Baker Mayfield to 146 yards and one TD on Monday night.

The Eagles gained 472 yards of offense and had 27 first downs against the Buccaneers, but coach Nick Sirianni still sees plenty of room for improvement.

"Are we playing our best offensive football right now? No, and we shouldn't be yet, and it's a growth," Sirianni said. "All the teams are growing and no one's playing the best football that they should be playing right now. I've been pleased with where we are."

The Commanders certainly did not play their best football in last Sunday's 37-3 home loss against Buffalo. The Bills sacked second-year quarterback Sam Howell nine times and intercepted him on four occasions, losing the shutout on Joey Slye's 51-yard field goal with only 46 seconds left.

Washington converted only one of its 10 chances on third and fourth downs. Through three games, only the New York Jets (21.6 percent) are worse than the Commanders (25.8) on third down. Washington's 19 sacks allowed are six more than any other team.

The Commanders have to quickly forget and reset to get ready for Sunday's road challenge at Philly.

"They're right now in first place in our division," Washington coach Ron Rivera said. "Secondly, they were in the Super Bowl last year. Third, it's a very difficult place to go (with) a passionate group of fans that are up there, but you know, that's the challenge.

"You're going into a very hostile environment. Great fan base, good football team. That's a heck of a combination."

Three players were deemed non-participants for the Eagles' walk-through practice Wednesday: safeties Sydney Brown (hamstring) and Justin Evans (neck) and wide receiver Quez Watkins (hamstring).

Limited participants in Wednesday's session for Washington were tight end Logan Thomas (concussion), running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. (illness) and safety Percy Butler (foot).

--Field Level Media

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