In his first NFL start, rookie Hurts leads Eagles over Saints 24-21

There were no rookie jitters for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, who handled the New Orleans Saints' top-ranked defense in Sunday's 24-21 win. 

After unseating Carson Wentz in the second half of last week's loss to the Green Back Packers, Hurts brought an energy the Eagles had been lacking in 2020. Head Coach Doug Pederson named the second-round pick the starter last Tuesday. 

"I have come to a decision and I am going to go with Jalen Hurts this week against New Orleans. I looked at the whole thing and decided that for this week to look for that spark again to try to get the team over the hump," Coach Pederson said in a statement. 


Hurts reward Pederson's decision by using his arm and legs to keep the Saints' vaunted defense on its toes. While scoreless, he ran a 13 play opening drive which included third and fourth-down conversions. 

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - DECEMBER 13: Running back Miles Sanders #26 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates after rushing for a fourth quarter touchdown against the New Orleans Saints at Lincoln Financial Field on December 13, 2020 in Philadelphia

After New Orleans missed a 35-yard field goal, Hurts pushed the Eagles into the red zone. On 4th and 2, Hurts connected with wide receiver Alshon Jeffery on a 15-yard touchdown pass. 

The Eagles tacked on a field goal following a tipped pass interception by Duke Riley. 

Hurts, who scrambled for 110 yards, wasn't the only Eagle who contributed on the ground. Running back Miles Sanders pushed Philadelphia's lead to 17 on an electrifying 82-yard touchdown run. 

After some second half adjustments, the youngest starting quarterback in Eagles' history was tasked with his second challenge of the day: Staving off a furious rally from the Saints despite a floundering defensive front.

New Orleans fill-in quarterback Taysom Hill ignited the Saints offense with back-to-back scoring drives to open the third quarter. With the Saints driving in the 4th quarter - and further injures to key defensive players Derek Barnett, Darrius Slay and Rodney McLeod - the Eagles defense thwarted the Saints attack with a 4th down strip-sack by Josh Sweat. 

The defensive stand was all Hurts needed to put the Eagles back up by two scores. Hurts ran a quick drive ending with Miles Sanders' second touchdown of the day. 

Hurts' only mistake was nearly the Eagles undoing. In a run-out-the-clock situation, Hurts fumbled to give New Orleans the ball. A few plays later Hill found Jared Cook for a touchdown to pull it to 24-21. 

Luckily the Eagles recovered the onside kick attempt to secure the win 24-21 win. With the win, Philadelphia snapped the Saints' 9 game winning streak.

The Eagles will head to Arizona to take on Kyler Murray and the Cardinals next Sunday. 


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