Hurts tramples Packers in historic performance


The record books don’t stand a chance against Jalen Hurts.

Nobody has ever done what he did Sunday.

Not Randall. Not Vick. Not Lamar. 

Hurts ran 17 times for 157 yards – 102 in the first quarter – and threw TD passes to A.J. Brown and Quez Watkins in the Eagles’ 40-33 win over the Packers at the Linc.

He became the first quarterback in NFL history to rush for 150 yards and throw multiple touchdowns in a regular-season win. Justin Fields ran for 178 and threw three TDs in a loss to the Dolphins earlier this month, and Colin Kaepernick ran for 181 yards and threw two TDs in a playoff win over the Packers in 2012.

How do you stop him? How do you defend him? How do you slow him down? 

On Sunday night, the Packers couldn’t.

“I ran and they couldn’t get me,” Hurts said with a smile and a shrug.

It really was that simple.

This is not an elite Packers defense, and Hurts just ran away from defenders, broke tackles, extended plays and generally drove Green Bay nuts.

His 157 rushing yards are 5th-most ever by an NFL quarterback and 27 more than the previous Eagles record of 130, set in 2010 by Michael Vick against the Giants.

But he’s not just a runner. He’s now got 17 TD passes and three interceptions this year. He's only the 13th quarterback in NFL history with at least 17 passing TDs and three or fewer interceptions through 11 games.

Pick your poison. Whatever you try to take away, he’ll find another way to kill you.

“I mention often the importance of being able to attack teams in different ways,” Hurts said. “I feel like for us as a football team, as an offense, it’s like your favorite steakhouse, your favorite restaurant – 5-star, ‘boujee’ restaurant you like to go to. You have your steak of the day, your selection of the day. 

“For us, we can kind of do it all. We do everything at a pretty consistent basis, that’s what we strive for. That’s our standard. I feel like there will be games where I have a day like this or an impact in the game on the ground. There’s a day where A.J. (Brown) has three touchdowns in the first half. There’s a game where Smitty (DeVonta Smith) has 150 in the first half. 

“It’s a ton of different scenarios in ways this thing can go as an offense. I think that has helped us a lot, being able to be diverse. At the end of the day, I’ve made myself clear that the most important thing is winning. That’s what we came out here and did today regardless of how it looked. We just want to win. I just want to win and get it done.”

The Eagles are winning, now 10-1 for just the fifth time in franchise history, and Hurts just keeps improving his MVP resume.

With six games left, he’s on pace for just under 4,000 passing yards, just over 900 rushing yards, 26 passing touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 12 rushing touchdowns and a 105.6 passer rating.

Nobody has ever done all that in a season in the NFL’s 103-year history.

“He did a lot of things that are tough to account for,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. “He is an unbelievable talent. We studied him in the draft and to see his progression to where he is today I think is a credit to him and the coaching staff. ... He’s a hell of a competitor and he’s extremely talented. You saw it not only obviously on the ground, that’s one thing. But there’s some remarkable throws as well.”

Take away all his rushing yards and Hurts still has the 3rd-highest passer rating in football.

Take away all his passing accomplishments and he’s still one of only two players in the league with 597 rushing yards, a 4.7 average and eight touchdowns.

Hurts ran for 24 yards on the third play of the game and 28 on the eighth play. He added a career-long 42-yarder before the quarter was over.

Although he didn’t run quite as much the rest of the game, the damage had been done. The Packers had no idea how to defend the Eagles, who finished with 40 points, 500 yards, 363 rushing yards, 29 first downs and nearly 36 minutes of ball possession.

Hurts’ running opens so much in the passing game – and vice versa. The Eagles are averaging 220 passing yards and 162 rushing yards per game, and only 10 other teams in NFL history have done that through 11 games.

“That's big because it forces the defense to have to take one of their coverage guys and account for Jalen with it,” Nick Sirianni said. 

“So you give a little, you get a little, right? If I need to put another guy to make sure Jalen isn't getting loose, then that's one less guy in coverage. If I have to tell the defensive line not to rush a certain way because Jalen can be able to break out, then typically on that you're telling them don't just jet up the field because this guy is going to get through the line of scrimmage and make a play.

“So when teams do that, what happens there? Well, you have more time to throw the football. You have more time to sit back there and digest everything.

“That's huge. The plays that he made with his feet will help us moving forward, him making plays in the pocket, and vice versa. That's why … it's important that you don't limit yourself of what you do and the things you can accomplish out there. So yeah, he had a special game today.”

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