After a month of impressive football the Eagles finally had their letdown game.
The Eagles lost 13-7 on Sunday to the New York Giants, a game that was even uglier then the score indicates. Jalen Hurts and the offense struggled all game. Jalen Reagor had crucial, easy drops at the end that could have helped the Eagles pull off the comeback. The only positive was the defense, but considering who they were playing, it is hard to feel too good about the performance.
There will be plenty to talk about from this one, but for now, here is a report card for Sirianni and Hurts:
Jalen Hurts: The Eagles looked terrible on Sunday for the majority of the game.
Jalen Hurts holds the majority of the blame.
Hurts played his worst game since Week 3 against Dallas. He made bad decisions, he missed throws that were there to be made and his accuracy took a step back after improving the last few weeks.
Hurts threw an ugly interception on the second drive of the game in Giants territory, putting the ball a few yards ahead of Watkins at the five-yard line, resulting in an easy pick. The replay showed Watkins was held up and seemed to stop running across the middle, which is why the throw was so far ahead, but it still seemed like a pass Hurts shouldn’t have made.
Hurts worst play of the game came when he made a major mistake at the end of the first half. The Eagles snapped the ball from the two-yard line with eight seconds to play, looking to get off one more play before the half. After his initial read wasn’t there, Hurts rolled to his right, killing the remaining time on the clock before throwing an interception at the goal line. Hurts has to know to get rid of the ball quicker there so the Eagles have a chance to kick the field goal on the next play before the clock expires. In what was a close game, Hurts directly cost the Eagles three points.
Hurts third interception of the game came on an under thrown pass down the right sideline on the Eagles’ second drive of the game. Reagor seemed to have a step on his defender, but the ball was extremely under thrown and it was easily picked off.
Despite his poor play, Hurts did two chances to try to win the game. The Eagles offense got the ball down 10-7 with just over 10 minutes to play in the game. After getting a first down on three straight run plays, they gained one total yard on three-straight passing plays and had to punt.
Hurts then got the ball, down 13-7, with just under three minutes to play. To his credit, he hit Jalen Reagor with two very catchable passes at the one-yard line. Reagor dropped them both.
Hurts did have some nice throws. On 3rd-and-5 he hit Quez Watkins for a 18-yard gain on the second drive of the game, getting the Eagles down to the Giants 25-yard line. He had a nice throw with just over 15 seconds to play in the second quarter, finding Jalen Reagor at the two-yard line for a 21-yard completion.
It shouldn’t be overlooked how Hurts moved the ball on the ground. For as flawed as he can be as a passer, a major difference in Hurts’ game is he can still move the offense with his legs. That matters and was important on Sunday.
The bottom line, however, is that this was the game people have been talking about. A game where Hurts had to make enough throws for them to win. He didn’t do it. Some will view that as a major red flag. Others will point to it as one bad game from Hurts in what has been a very good last month overall.
Time will tell which one it was — but the Eagles’ playoff chances took a hit because of the poor game from their quarterback.
Nick Sirianni: A lot will be made of Sirianni’s play calling on Sunday. There is some truth to the criticism.
Sirianni definitely got pass happy to start the game, calling 12 passes to just four runs on the Eagles’ first three drives. The result was zero points, 1-4 on their own and 54 total yards on 16 plays. To come out and try to throw the ball against one of the worst run defenses in the NFL, especially after just running all over the No. 1 run defense, was certainly a questionable decision even if the offense was in some tough spots early.
Sirianni went back to the ground on the next drive, however, with either Hurts or a running back carrying the ball on five of the first six plays, moving the ball from their own seven-yard line out to the 41. The running continued from there, as Hurts took it up the middle twice for a total of 32 yards, bringing the total to eight runs on 10 plays.
One questionable sequence of play calls from Sirianni came at the start of the third quarter. Coming out of the half the Eagles moved the ball into Giants territory on the opening possession, but then faced a 3rd-and-2 on the 40-yard line. Sirianni called two straight short passes on 3rd and then 4th down. Both fell incomplete. Considering how well the Eagles were running the ball as the game went on, throwing it twice in two short yardage situations was not great by Sirianni.
Still, the Eagles passing attack should be able to get two yards on two plays, which is why it is hard to kill Sirianni too much for his play calling on Sunday. Hurts was playing terrible. He was missing throws to be made and making bad decisions. Sirianni can’t run it 100% of the plays. Or even 80%.
He has to call passing plays, and on Sunday, the quarterback spent the majority of the game unable to execute them.
Sirianni also deserves some blame, obviously, for his team losing this game. The Eagles are better than the Giants. They needed this win. Instead they had a complete no-show on the offensive side of the ball, the side of the ball Sirianni has complete control over.
His decline wasn’t as steep as Hurts, but Sirianni also took a step back on Sunday after a month of improvement.
You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at email@example.com!