Hurts wins 1st QB start as Eagles stun Saints
PHILADELPHIA — Rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts gave the Eagles’ offense the jolt coach Doug Pederson was looking for, using his arm and legs to power Philadelphia to a 24-21 upset win over the New Orleans Saints, who saw their nine-game win streak come to an end.
Making his first start in place of the struggling Carson Wentz, Hurts went 17-for-30 for 167 yards and a touchdown and ran 18 times for 106 yards.
The Saints had gone 56 games without allowing a 100-yard rusher, the longest streak in the Super Bowl era. The Eagles (4-8-1) not only busted that up, but had two players go over the century mark as Miles Sanders ran 14 times for 115 yards and two scores, including an 82-yard TD sprint to put the Eagles up 17-0 at the half — their first 17-point lead since Week 1.
Hurts and Sanders became the first Eagles quarterback/running back duo to rush for 100-plus yards in the same game since Donovan McNabb (107) and Duce Staley (126) in 2002 against the New York Giants.
Hurts’ 106 rushing yards is the second-most by a player in his first career start at QB since 1950, trailing only Lamar Jackson in 2018 (119), per Elias.
With the win, the Eagles snapped a four-game losing streak while staying within striking distance of the division-leading Washington Football Team.
Player and team sources told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that it’s Hurts’ job for rest of season, barring injury or disastrous play. The Eagles still have every intention to keep Wentz and have him be a major part of their team moving forward, sources told Adam Schefter. So while there is some sorting out to do at the QB position over the long term, it’s Hurts’ show for now.
New Orleans mounted a comeback in the second half but a Josh Sweat strip sack of Taysom Hill on fourth-and-2 with under 10 minutes to play turned the tide. The Eagles followed with a six-play, 53-yard scoring drive capped by Sanders’ second rushing TD of the game, prompting Hurts, the team’s second-round pick this past April, to break into dance.
The win came at a cost as three-fourths of the secondary — cornerbacks Darius Slay (head) and Avonte Maddox (knee) as well as safety Rodney McLeod (knee) — left with injury and did not return. Defensive linemen Malik Jackson, Derek Barnett and Sweat were also hurt.
But the defense still managed five sacks and 12 QB hits on Hill while limiting the Saints to 21 points, which matched a season low for New Orleans. Meanwhile, Hurts helped the Eagles’ offense to its highest point total since Week 6.
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