Eagles’ Jalen Hurts wows teammates with powerful running style

·3 min read

Hurts wows teammates with his powerful running style originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Jalen Hurts had no business scoring a touchdown.

He was going to go out of bounds. He was going to get tackled. He was going to lose his balance.

None of those things happened.

Somehow, against all odds, Hurts scored on this 26-yard touchdown run on Monday night to extend the lead in the Eagles’ convincing 24-7 win over the Vikings in front of a national audience.

“That gets me going,” said Dallas Goedert, who had the lead block on the play. “He’ll have a lot of touchdowns this year. It was fun. But that long 26-yard touchdown run was pretty sweet.”

That play from Hurts was the longest touchdown run from an Eagles quarterback since Donovan McNabb had a 40-yarder at Veterans Stadium back in 2002. And it wasn’t easy.

“I just kind of felt it as a player,” Hurts said. “When I’m out there, I try not to make it more than what it is. I just kind of reacted to what I was seeing. I ended up making a play on the touchdown.”

In the days since the Eagles’ big win on Monday Night Football, most of the talk around Hurts has rightfully been about his masterful performance throwing the football. But in this game he also showed why he’s such a unique running quarterback too.

Hurts isn’t the biggest QB. He’s listed at 6-foot-1, 223 pounds, but he runs with a fierceness and determination that few other quarterbacks in the NFL possess. In today’s NFL, the only other real power running quarterback is Josh Allen, who’s 6-foot-5, 237 pounds.

While guys like Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray are adept runners, they don’t run with the same shoulder-lowering style.

“He just has grit,” Jordan Mailata said. “His want-to, to get yards and make plays. I think that’s just why it’s hard to bring him down. Because he’s determined. When he makes his mind up, he’s probably going to do it.”

Hurts rushed for 57 yards on Monday night and he dragged defenders across the goal line on both of his touchdown scores. Through two games, Hurts has 28 rushing attempt for 147 yards and 3 touchdowns. What’s even more impressive, though, is how he’s doing it.

According to ProFootballFocus, Hurts has 105 rushing yards after contact. That ranks 12th in the NFL among all players and first among quarterbacks by a wide margin:

Jalen Hurts: 105

Josh Allen: 45

Justin Fields: 38

Carson Wentz: 37

Daniel Jones: 35

Kyler Murray: 34

Lamar Jackson: 34

“He’s a strong guy,” DeVonta Smith said. “When he does run the ball, he’s explosive.”

A lot of it is determination, but pure strength likely plays a role too. Hurts was a competitive powerlifter in high school and was seen in a video before the 2021 season deadlifting an incredible 620 pounds.

“Oh yeah,” Smith said smiling, “that definitely comes into play.”

Of course, everyone is going to hold their breath whenever Hurts lowers his shoulder. You naturally worry about the cumulative effects these hits might have.

But you can’t blame him for doing anything in his power to get into the end zone. These are special plays and they mean a ton to the offense.

“That’s an explosive play,” Smith said. “Anytime you get an explosive play, that’s good for a team. That’s what it’s all about, being an explosive offense.”

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