Once Eagles' Jalen Hurts started running, Colts had no chance

Once Hurts started running, Colts had no chance originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

When the Eagles had a critical 3rd-and-1 early in the fourth quarter? Give the ball to Jalen.

When the Eagles had a crucial 4th-and-2 later in the fourth quarter? Give the ball to Jalen.

When they had a pivotal 3rd-and-goal in the game's final minutes? Give the ball to Jalen.

At some point Sunday, the Eagles threw the playbook out the window and just let Jalen Hurts run. Something he hadn't done a lot of lately.

And the Colts, who held the Eagles to six points through three quarters, couldn't stop him.

Hurts ran eight times for 49 yards and four first downs -- in the fourth quarter alone -- and rallied the Eagles back from a 10-point deficit to a dramatic 17-16 win over the Colts.

Hurts' seven-yard TD run with 1:24 left was the game-winner and gave Hurts his first career comeback win in the last two minutes.

"You put the ball in your player's hands that you trust to make the plays at that time," Nick Sirianni said. "I think you keep seeing it. When we need a drive, need some points, we can always lean on our offensive line -- you can always lean on them -- and Jalen is special with the ball in his hands,"

This was the first time since 2010 and that historic 38-31 win over the Giants at MetLife -- the DeSean Jackson punt return game -- that the Eagles have won a game after trailing by 10 or more points going into the fourth quarter.

They had lost 41 consecutive such games.

"I feel like there was never a doubt," Hurts said. "I feel like there was never a doubt. Even when you lose there is never a doubt. ... There was never any doubt because of the belief we have in one another, the way we work. We were able to pull it together at the end."

On the Eagles' two 4th-quarter touchdown drives, Hurts was 3-for-5 for 36 yards passing -- including a 22-yard touchdown to Quez Watkins -- and 8-for-49 rushing, including a 7-yard touchdown.

His 23-yard scramble set up the Watkins touchdown and then on the game-winning drive he converted a 4th-and-2 just after the two-minute warning -- get stopped there and you lose the game -- and then scored the game-winner with that seven-yard run at 1:24.

He finished with 86 yards and a 5.4 average rushing and a 72 percent completion percentage and 107.1 rating passing.

Hurts is the first Eagles quarterback with 85 yards rushing and a passer rating over 105 since Randall Cunningham ran for 124 yards and had a 135.4 rating in a 48-20 win over the Patriots at the Vet in 1990.

"He was just calm and, to be honest, joking," A.J. Brown said. "He showed great poise, great confidence. There was never a doubt in his mind."

The game-winner was drawn up beautifully by offensive coordinator Shane Steichen. The Eagles were in a one-back look, which they rarely run Hurts out of.

"Yeah, it was something we did not really see (on film)," Colts edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue said. "Alerting for the quarterback draw was really an empty."

Another twist was Jason Kelce pulling to the right and drawing spy Bobby Okereke with him, since defenders are taught to follow the center because the ball will follow him.

Kelce taking the spy out of the way opened up a gaping lane right up the middle for Hurts, who scored untouched for his eighth rushing touchdown of the season.

"That was one that was in the bag and we pulled it out, and I think we pulled it out at the right time, at the right game," Hurts said. "Hell of a call by coach. Hell of an execution by the O-linemen. We found a way."

Hurts hasn't been running much lately, a product of his growth as a passer and the Eagles' desire to reduce the pounding he was taking.

But with Dallas Goedert out and the offense scuffling, the Eagles had to go to one of their most reliable plays. This was the most Hurts has run in six weeks, and the Eagles needed every one of his yards, every one of his first downs, every one of his big plays.

"We were in that situation last week and if we executed to our standard, if we execute and have positive plays and don't turn the ball over, good things happen," he said.

"I know there was an example last week a couple times where good things didn't happen because we didn't control the things we can control. That's on all the turnovers we've had. So, this week we kind of tried and get a good thing going. Just execute, control what we can, stay diligent in our plays and kind of just trust it and play together.

"I think that's what we did today when it mattered most. Protected the ball when it mattered most on that last drive, and we won the game."

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