Being hampered by a mysterious knee injury, Hurts only had one rushing attempt in Sunday's game. This was excluding a keeper at the goal-line where he never received the ball and two kneel downs at the end of the game. With just six rushing yards, this was the fewest he has ever had in a game he started.
However, as a transformed pure pocket passer, Hurts delivered one of the finest performances of his young career. He completed an impressive 76 percent of his passes, throwing for 319 yards, four touchdowns, and zero interceptions. His exceptional performance led the Eagles to a thrilling 38-31 victory over the Commanders at FedEx Field.
Throughout the past couple of years, Hurts has had numerous brilliant passing performances. However, this game showcased his ability to dominate as a passer even when his running game was not a factor.
“I know he’s tough and I’m not going to always know (how much he’s hurting) because he’s not going to tell me how he feels because he always wants it on him,” Nick Sirianni said. “That’s what you want from your quarterback, your leader. He played outstanding, completely outstanding. I think what you’re seeing is how good he is playing in the pocket where maybe he’s not feeling the best he can feel and can’t run or isn’t running as much that he’s playing outstanding football. I thought he played lights out.”
Hurts joined Donovan McNabb in 2005 against the 49ers, in 2007 against the Lions, and Nick Foles in 2013 against the Raiders as only the third quarterback in franchise history to complete 75 percent of his passes, throw for 300 yards, and achieve at least four touchdowns while avoiding interceptions.
His passer rating of 135.7 was the second-highest of his career, with his highest rating of 140.6 achieved in a blowout win over the Steelers last year at the Linc. Furthermore, this was the highest passer rating by an Eagles quarterback in a road game since Foles' remarkable 149.3 rating against the Packers at Lambeau in 2013.
Interestingly, this was also the highest passer rating by an opposing quarterback at FedEx Field since Josh McCown's unexpected 137.5 rating for the Bucs in a win back in 2014.
It turns out that Hurts doesn't need to rely on his running ability to be effective. He doesn't even need the threat of running to make a significant impact on the game.
"He's a warrior," said De'Andre Swift. "All I saw was him doing whatever it took to secure the win and making plays like he always does. He's tough."
Following his exceptional performance against the Dolphins, where he achieved a 74 percent completion rate, 279 yards, and two touchdowns, Hurts became the second quarterback in Eagles history to have back-to-back games with at least 70 percent completion rate, 275 yards, and two passing touchdowns. The only other player to accomplish this was Carson Wentz, who achieved this feat for four consecutive weeks in 2018.
Currently, Hurts is completing 68.4 percent of his passes, putting him on pace for 4,547 passing yards, 27 passing touchdowns, and 12 rushing touchdowns. Although his performances may not always be picture-perfect, he is having a historic season and is on track to break franchise records for passing yards and total touchdowns while leading the team with the best record in the NFL.
On Sunday, Hurts displayed exceptional accuracy by targeting A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith a total of 15 times. Impressively, they caught all 15 passes, accumulating 229 yards and three touchdowns. Brown set an NFL record with his sixth consecutive game with at least 125 receiving yards, while Smith recorded seven receptions for 99 yards.
With his 21st win in his last 23 starts, Hurts improved his career record as a starter to 30-12, with a remarkable 29-9 record under the guidance of coach Sirianni.
When it comes to quarterbacks in NFL history, only Daryle Lamonica (36), Kurt Warner (34), Patrick Mahomes (34), Lamar Jackson (34), Dan Marino (33), Ken Stabler (32), and Ben Roethlisberger (31) have achieved more wins in their first 42 starts than Hurts.
“I don’t want to speak for him,” Brown said. “I don’t even want to say that he’s injured or whatever. But he played a great game today. He was hitting us in stride, just controlling the game, controlling the huddle, you know, as always.”