After watching his offense start the season sluggish, Philadelphia Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said following Sunday’s 25-20 win over New England that he wishes he would have played Jalen Hurts and his starters during the preseason.
“I’ll definitely re-evaluate some of the preseason stuff next year,” Sirianni said, via the official transcript. “You know, I know they played the first two years that we were here, they only played one series against the Jets in 2022. Maybe I should have played (Hurts) a series or two this preseason, and I already wrote that in my notes. I’m constantly self-evaluating myself. And I’m not promising anything, and I know y’all will remember this conversation and play it, and that’s okay. But I have to — I’ll re-evaluate that.
“You know, second thought, if I had to do it over again right now, I would say, yeah, I would have played starters one or two drives in the preseason. But next year will be a new thing with new situations and new everything, so I’m not worrying about that right now. I’m just got it in my notes to think about right now, though.”
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It’s a long way until next preseason, but the quote underscores that even the head coach saw that Hurts and the first-team offense looked like a group that hadn’t been on the field together since Feb. 12.
After a solid opening-drive field goal and a short-field touchdown, thanks to the defense, the Eagles’ offense hit the skids. Philly went three-and-out on four straight possessions to close the half, something it didn’t do in a single game with Hurts on the field last season. The offense couldn’t consistently move the chains, the pass offense struggled to gain chunk plays — just one reception of more than 15 yards — the run game was slowed, and Philly settled for four field goals on the day.
Hurts, the best player on the field during the Super Bowl loss, struggled, completing 22 of 33 passes for 170 yards with a TD for an 89.2 passer rating. He added nine carries for 37 yards. The QB’s 5.2 passing yards per attempt were his fewest in a game since Week 12, 2021 (averaged 8.0 YPA in 2022).
Sunday marked just the second time the Eagles’ offense scored one or fewer touchdowns with Hurts under center.
“Winning is the only thing that matters,” Hurts said. “I think we obviously have things that we need to work on and have to be better in those situations when the ball is in my hands, and I take full accountability for that. But good thing about it is we get the opportunity to play on Thursday [against the Minnesota Vikings].”
Teams that sit their starters during training camp tend to struggle out of the gate, so we’d expect better results from Hurts and the offense moving forward, starting with Thursday’s home opener.
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