Jalen Hurts searching for answers after Eagles' shocking loss

Hurts searching for answers after Eagles' shocking loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

This time, he didn’t run off the field gleefully shouting into the TV cameras and high-fiving fans. This time there was no jubilant celebration video from the locker room. This time Jalen Hurts seemed to be searching for answers just like the rest of us.

The Eagles lost a meaningful regular-season game Monday night for the first time in 352 days, and the opponent and the nature of the loss left the team in a daze.

Hurts knows everybody on the roster – including the coaches – was looking directly at him for leadership and guidance in the wake of the Eagles’ 32-21 loss to the Commanders at the Linc.

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And he did his best to oblige.

“It was just an overall lack of detail and execution,” Hurts said after his personal franchise-record 11-game winning streak came to an end.

“Today it got us. I think there have been games in the past where you would hear us say (we were) leaving money on the table, opportunities that we didn’t take advantage of. I look at this game and we were repeat offenders of that and today it got us.

“It’s something we have to learn from. It is something we already know and it is something we have to fix and control the things we can in the end when we are out on the field.”

It was a weird game from start to finish. The Eagles took a quick 14-7 lead and then were outscored 25-7 by a team they beat by 16 points two months ago in Landover, Md.

After committing just three turnovers in eight games, they committed four in their ninth game. There were costly penalties, a general lack of discipline and just an almost complete absence of playmaking on both sides of the ball.

“Very uncharacteristic mistakes,” Hurts said. “Those are things that I know that every individual in the locker room takes personally, and we’re eager to fix and we’re eager to have another opportunity to express ourselves on the field. So, we’ve got to look ourselves in the mirror after this one. Take the steps we need to take and acknowledge the things we need to fix them.

“Tonight wasn’t our night. The message for me is control the things that you can. When you do that, you have a pretty good opportunity to be victorious in the end. How do you do it? You prepare, attention to detail, the energy you have, the approach, the mentality towards it, and ultimately playing together.”

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The good news is the Eagles are still 8-1 and have a head-to-head win over the only other one-loss team in the NFL, the Vikings. They are still the odds-on favorite to earn the No. 1 seed in the NFC and a 1st-round bye.

The bad news is the Eagles just lost a home division game to a team with a backup quarterback and a franchise that’s in shambles. And their margin for error for that No. 1 seed got a lot smaller.

“When you win, they say it’s hard to keep the hunger, and I think this team is in a position to dictate on how we want to respond to this adversity, this obstacle in our way,” Hurts said.

“What is done is done, so there is a ‘what-now?’ mentality. And I know my mentality moving forward. I know my attention to detail in terms of my preparation and how that will look moving forward. I know my eagerness to play to the standard moving forward. I know what that is. I know how this team will respond, and I have confidence in this football team.”

Hurts didn’t play great but didn’t play bad. The interception – his first in five weeks – was really on A.J. Brown more than Hurts – and he threw two more touchdowns and ran for another.

The biggest thing Hurts will do now is set the tone for the week ahead as the Eagles try to avoid their first two-game losing streak in 13 months.

“I think in the end, it’s about how you respond regardless of what’s in front of you,” he said. “How do you respond to this scenario? How do you respond to that scenario? How do you respond to the feeling of joy? How do you respond to the feeling of pain? I’ve got a good feeling on how we’ll respond.”