In a thrilling 34-31 overtime victory against the Commanders, Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback Jalen Hurts showcased a newfound fire that electrified his teammates and led to his best performance of the season.
Teammates, including receiver A.J. Brown, couldn't help but notice the change in Hurts. "What did I see out of him? That fire. He kind of woke up a little bit," said Brown, who is one of Hurts' closest friends. "It gave everybody a boost. Most of the time, no matter if the game is on the line, he throws a great ball, he's going to be mellow. But that fire showed today and that desire."
Hurts completed 25-of-37 passes for 319 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions. His outstanding performance breathed new life into the Eagles' passing game, which was previously ranked 23rd in the league, averaging only 198.7 yards per game.
One of Hurts' best passes of the game was a 25 yarder, connecting with A.J. Brown, who finished the game with nine catches for an impressive 175 yards.
Although Hurts faced adversity, being whistled for intentional grounding in overtime, he responded with a clutch 9-yard completion to DeVonta Smith, setting up Jake Elliott's game-winning 54-yard field goal.
"He's always ready to go, but especially after the game, he was really amped," said tight end Grant Calcaterra. "Because I think what was really good about this win is we were able to lean on different areas: Jake making that kick, guys making plays. It was just really good to see how good of a team we have. He was real fired up."
Hurts now boasts an impressive record of 21-1 in his past 22 regular-season starts. This achievement places him among the elite quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era, alongside names like Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Joe Montana, and Jim McMahon.
Coach Nick Sirianni praised Hurts, stating, "I think it was his best game this year. I thought he was clutch."
The Eagles faced a 17-10 deficit at halftime, partly due to untimely penalties that extended Washington drives or disrupted their own offensive rhythm. Left tackle Jordan Mailata revealed that the team's poor play ignited a fire within Hurts and center Jason Kelce, who proceeded to rally the team.
"I'm glad I'm with them because they brought me out of a dark first half, and it was inspiring," Mailata said. "Even on the field, saying, 'Screw whatever happened. What matters is right here, right now, and we need to go out here and execute.'"
With this hard-fought victory, the Eagles maintain an unblemished 4-0 record and are preparing for a challenging matchup against the Los Angeles Rams.
Reflecting on his animated demeanor, Hurts shared, "My whole career has kind of been a roller coaster in terms of being in different and unique and unprecedented moments, which you may call pressure. But that's what I was born in. It's a unique feeling being in those situations because you work so hard, and you prepare so hard, and you go through so much to put yourself in the position to where you're comfortable in those moments.
"I think a win like this does so much for the spirit of a team."