PHILADELPHIA — Jalen Hurts is in the middle of a stretch no quarterback in the entire history of the NFL has accomplished. Hurts has eight consecutive wins in which his team trails by double digits, the most by any quarterback in NFL history — a mark so unprecedented that no other quarterback has more than four.
As Hurts lead the Eagles from a double-digit deficit for the third time in four games, the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback sat at the podium and reflected after a thrilling 37-34 overtime victory over the Buffalo Bills (which he had the game-winning 12-yard touchdown run).
Even in victory and a 10-1 record intact, Hurts hasn’t set his standard yet. Hurts always talks about “the standard is the standard,” yet he hasn’t felt he’s met that standard he places on himself each and every week.
“I think weird is just a standard. I talk about it all the time. You know, it’s the standard,” Hurts said. “It’s in a sense manipulative to myself because, you know, winning is the only thing that matters, but the standard is pretty darn important, too. And so that’s what it is.”
Hurts was phenomenal in the second half and overtime of Sunday’s win, going 14 of 20 for 167 yards with three touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 134.8 rating, while rushing seven times for 43 yards and a score. When tied or trailing, Hurts has completed 71% of his passes for 1,710 yards with 14 touchdowns to one interception — a league-leading 114.4 rating.
In the second half when tied or trailing, Hurts has completed 67.6% of his passes for 686 yards with 10 touchdowns and no interceptions for a 136.6 passer rating.
The most clutch player in the NFL? The numbers speak for themselves.
“That’s not for me to concern or roll with,” Hurts said on being called a clutch player. “I just try to go out there and play to the standard and be the best I can be for my team. There were times today I felt like I didn’t do that, but when it mattered most I felt like we did a good job of doing what we needed to do.
“We played team football, communicated well, and that’s all in the outcome of what happened. We really were on the same page when it mattered most and that’s all you can ask for. Anything else that I’m named or people want to roll with, I guess that’s for them to do so.”
Hurts overcame an abysmal first half, one which he had a 0.0 passer rating at one point. At halftime, Hurts was 4 of 11 for 33 yards with an interception — a dismal 7.0 passer rating. That was arguably the worst first half of Hurts’ career, yet he managed to persevere.
“There’s probably nobody I’ve played with that’s been more clutch down the stretch,” said Eagles center Jason Kelce. “He’s been so good in crucial situations when you have to have them. That’s a trait you can’t take lightly.
“If you look at most of the best players, that’s a trait you have to have.”
Hurts rises to the occasion when the Eagles need him most, evidenced by his 14 consecutive wins against teams with winning records entering the game — also an NFL record. He’s completed 72% of his passes for 827 yards with eight touchdowns and an interception (119.0 rating) when tied or trailing over the last four games. In the second half and overtime of those games, Hurts has completed 71.7% of his passes for 449 yards with seven touchdowns to zero interceptions for a 142.1 rating.
Of course its a team effort, which is the standard the Eagles intend to achieve so their quarterback can become “Super Sonic.”
“He works, man. He comes to work every day to get better. He puts the work in. I just see it on the field and contribute to it,” said Eagles cornerback Darius Slay. “He’s just a leader, he gotta keep doing what he doing. He got great people surrounding him that can motivate him as well. He’s just a bright, bright kid and he got a big time future. We just gotta continue to help him do what he do.”
Hurts will continue to chase the standard he’s get for himself, the standard that makes great players legends. This is the Michael Jordan mentality, finding ways to be even greater than before.
“In terms of the standard that I like to play to consistently and I’d like us to play to consistently. As a team, enough is never enough,” Hurts said. “So, you just want to continue to strive for more and play to that standard. But in those moments, you just truly never want to get too high or get too low. But we found a way in the end and made it happen.”