Jalen Hurts struggles through illness: Eagles QB’s inaccuracy, decision-making results in loss to Seahawks

The “Jalen Flu Game” couldn’t match its namesake’s result.

Eagles star QB Jalen Hurts was downgraded to questionable the day before Philadelphia’s “Monday Night Football” showdown with the Seahawks due to an illness. Hurts flew to Seattle on a different plane than the rest of the team out of precaution of spreading the sickness he was dealing with, and he was said to be in real danger of missing the primetime matchup.

Being the competitor Hurts is, it should come as no surprise that the 25-year-old pushed himself to suit up for his team. The Jordan Brand athlete came into the arena rocking a Jumpman jumpsuit, immediately drawing comparisons to Michael Jordan’s historic “Flu Game.”

In sub-50-degree weather with rain spitting at Lumen Field in Seattle, the Eagles’ signal-caller gave it his best effort — but he just didn’t look right.

Even though Philadelphia was in a position to win before Seahawks QB Drew Lock led a go-ahead, game-winning drive with under a minute to play in the fourth quarter, Hurts wasn’t at his best.

Jalen Hurts struggles through illness

Hurts thrashed Seattle’s defense on the ground with a team-high 82 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns, but he couldn’t beat the Seahawks with his arm.

Whether it was his own reads or by design, the majority of Hurts’ pass attempts were on quick routes or screens. His longest completion was an 18-yard pass to tight end Dallas Goedert, and that was on the first drive of the game. He only had four completions of more than 10 yards in the entire contest.

His ball placement was sporadic and his decision-making was questionable. Both times he attempted to throw the ball down the field it cost his team possessions, including the game-sealing turnover on the final drive.

Hurts finished with 143 passing yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions with a 54.8 completion percentage on 31 attempts — a stat line that left much to be desired.

Both interceptions came in the fourth quarter when he was trying to make a big play when there was no need and nothing there.

Jalen Hurts’ first fourth-quarter interception

The Seahawks kicked a field goal to cut the Eagles’ lead to four points, 17-13, with 10 minutes left in the game. The smart move would be to chew as much clock as possible and come away with any points you can on the drive, but Hurts felt the need to take an unnecessary shot down the field.

After the Eagles gained 30 yards in three plays, setting up a first-and-110 from Seattle’s 45, Hurts unleashed a 45-yard bomb intended for wide receiver Quez Watkins in the end zone. Seahawks safety Julian Love tracked the ball down and came up with an easy interception, shifting momentum in Seattle’s favor.

The mistake didn’t cost the Eagles after forcing the Seahawks’ offense to go three-and-out, but it was still a poor decision by Hurts that could have been costly.

Jalen Hurts’ game-ending interception

After Lock engineered a miraculous 10-play, 92-yard go-ahead drive leaving 28 seconds on the clock, all Hurts needed to do was get the Eagles into field goal range with three timeouts to force overtime.

Hurts picked up 20 yards with ease against Seattle’s prevent defense on the second play of the drive, bringing Philly to its own 45. Kicker Jake Elliott is 11-for-12 on 40-plus-yard field goals on the season, meaning the Eagles only needed about another 20 yards to put their boot in striking distance.

Instead of showing awareness of Elliott’s range, Hurts took another ill-advised shot downfield on the next play. He tried to force a 38-yard pass to AJ Brown in tight coverage as Love tracked the ball down again, coming up with an incredible interception to seal the outcome.

The game-ending turnover was Hurts’ 17th of the season, tying him with Josh Allen, Sam Howell and Josh Dobbs for the most in the NFL. 

After the game, Hurts shouldered the blame for his costly giveaways.

“Just trying to be aggressive in that moment. We had multiple opportunities in the game to open it up and we didn’t do that. I didn’t do that. I didn’t do my job good enough. Just gotta be better,” he told the media.

“… We’ve lost games because I can be better, and I accept that.”

With the third consecutive loss, the Eagles surrendered first place in the NFC East back to the Cowboys with three weeks remaining in the regular season.

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