PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Nick Sirianni yelled at Jalen Hurts on the sideline for being careless with the ball and losing a fumble. Then the Philadelphia Eagles coach saw his starting quarterback hold on tight to carry the team on his shoulders.
Hurts ran for two touchdowns and threw for another, helping the Eagles come back from an early deficit to beat virus-ravaged Washington 27-17 Tuesday night in a critical showdown with NFC playoff implications.
In his first game back from an ankle injury, Hurts scored on a pair of 1-yard QB sneaks to set the single-season franchise record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 10 and connected with Greg Ward on a 19-yard TD pass.
“He played a great football game — one of the best I’ve seen him play,” Sirianni said of Hurts. “Jalen is able to take tough coaching. He responded great and played a great game.”
Hurts was 20 of 26 for 296 yards passing with the TD and a bad-luck interception when Dallas Goedert dropped a catchable pass and the ball bounced off his right foot and into the hands of Washington’s Landon Collins.
That was a bad bounce for Philadelphia that helped stake Washington (6-8) to a 10-point lead after the first quarter. Behind a dominant effort from their offensive line, it was all Eagles (7-7) from there: They outgained Washington 435-136 the rest of the way and shut down an opponent missing a handful of starters because of COVID-19 protocol.
“I told the guys we had to go in with the mentality of not being denied,” Hurts said. “We had so many things go wrong early in the game, but we overcame it.”
Miles Sanders exploited the holes in Washington’s defense left by those absences and additional injuries, carrying the ball 18 times for a career-high 131 yards.
“Credit to the offensive line,” said Sanders, who became the first Eagles player with back-to-back 100-yard rushing games since LeSean McCoy in 2014. “They’re making it very easy on the running backs to run behind them.”
Well-rested coming off its bye week, Philadelphia finished with 238 yards rushing, becoming the first team with 175-plus yards on the ground in seven consecutive games since the 1985 Chicago Bears. That’s also a first in Eagles franchise history.
“It was unacceptable how they were running around,” Washington defensive end Montez Sweat said.
Goedert made up for his early blunder and a later drop by catching seven passes for 135 yards, including a 45-yard completion.ADVERTISEMENT
Despite the game getting pushed back 54 hours because of Washington’s coronavirus outbreak, the delay did not allow starting quarterback Taylor Heinicke or backup Kyle Allen to clear protocol in time to play. Garrett Gilbert, who signed Friday, completed nine of his first 13 passes and finished 20 of 31 for 194 yards.
“I got nothing but respect for Garrett,” said receiver Terry McLaurin, whose 46-yard catch was the longest play of the game. “It was challenging for all of us, but he did his job and he put it all out there.”
Second-year running back Antonio Gibson ran for Washington’s first touchdown and had 20 of his 26 rushing yards on that drive, when he got the ball on all seven plays. He was slowed by a toe injury, the same thing that derailed his rookie season, and Jaret Patterson had the team’s other rushing TD.
Washington played without five starters who remained in NFL COVID-19 protocol: Heinicke, 2020 All-Pro right guard Brandon Scherff, center Tyler Larsen, cornerback Kendall Fuller and safety Kamren Curl. Reserve defensive tackle Tim Settle and third-string tight end Sammis Reyes were cleared but inactive.
Philadelphia’s only virus-related absence was starting left guard Landon Dickerson.
KING MAKES HISTORY
With Washington running backs coach Randy Jordan unavailable because of COVID-19 protocols, assistant Jennifer King made history filling in for him. King became the first Black woman to serve as a position coach for an NFL game.
“It wasn’t really any drop-off,” Patterson said. “Coach King is great. She deservedly will be a coach one day, and she did really well.”
Washington: CB William Jackson left late in the second quarter with an ankle injury and did not return. … DE Daniel Wise injured his right knee on a cut block in the first half and was ruled out early in the second. Collins left briefly with a foot injury. … WR Curtis Samuel (hamstring) was inactive, and RB J.D. McKissic (neck) was put on injured reserve before the game.
Eagles: TE Jack Stoll was shaken up early in the fourth quarter and walked off the field gingerly after getting medical attention. … WR DeVonta Smith limped off late in the first quarter after an incomplete pass into the end zone but came back on the following drive.
Washington: Visits the division-leading Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night.
Eagles: Host the New York Giants on Sunday.
Now the Rams win over the Seahawks
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — The longest play of the game for the Seattle Seahawks had a bit of luck involved, with Russell Wilson intending for the pass that ended up in Gerald Everett’s hands for a 34-yard catch to go elsewhere.
“Yeah, I got my arm hit right when I threw it,” Wilson said. “That was actually going to (DK) Metcalf, and they kind of chopped my elbow right when I threw it.”
It was one of the few breaks that went Seattle’s way in a frustrating 20-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Tuesday night. From missed opportunities to missed calls, the Seahawks didn’t have enough of those fortunate circumstances to come away with the win.
That’s been the story of an underwhelming season for the Seahawks (5-9), their first losing campaign in Wilson’s 10 years as quarterback, and those mistakes proved especially costly in a result that has the team out of playoff contention.
A running into the punter penalty against reserve outside linebacker Alton Robinson allowed the Rams to kick a 55-yard field goal on their opening possession. A holding penalty against cornerback Bless Austin on third-and-12 extended a drive when Los Angeles was backed up, and the reprieve allowed the Rams to score the go-ahead touchdown.
“Those are things that really we should be able to get through and it should not even be a factor. Those plays, they didn’t do anything. They didn’t do a thing. We did all that to ourself,” coach Pete Carroll said.
“And we’ve won so many of those moments,” Wilson said. “Key moments, key penalties, key little things like that, those things can’t happen in those kind of tight situations with great teams.”
The Rams (10-4) looked anything but, still missing numerous key players because of COVID-19 even after the game was pushed back two days to accommodate them.
The lack of practice time for the home team resulted in a choppy and erratic offense for much of the game. Seahawks edge rusher Carlos Dunlap capitalized on inexperience at right tackle, where Bobby Evans played with starter Rob Havenstein unavailable, to get two of his three sacks lining up on that side.
But Seattle could not take full advantage, in part because wide receiver Tyler Lockett was absent because of the virus. Not having the 1,000-yard option meant Metcalf spent most of the night dealing with cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
Metcalf had six receptions for 52 yards, but Wilson missed him on a deep ball in the fourth quarter. His throw hung up in the air, allowing Ramsey to recover after Metcalf got open down the sideline and tip the ball away on what could have been a touchdown.
“I felt like I was a little short on DK on that one. I wish I could have had that one back maybe, but other than that I felt like we played a good game,” said Wilson, who was 17 of 31 for 156 yards and one interception.
There was one other incompletion that Seattle was left to rue, a fourth-down pass to running back DeeJay Dallas that was broken up by Ernest Jones, even though the rookie linebacker didn’t turn around to play the ball with 3:21 remaining.
“He got hit right when the ball was getting to him,” Wilson said. “Obviously, I think that was a huge play. Could have been a big moment, obviously, because the score right there was 17-10 and the ball would have been on the — I don’t know — 32-yard line, 30-yard line roughly. I don’t know exactly, but that was a big moment.”
Carroll wasn’t thrilled with the no-call for pass interference, but he wouldn’t pin the loss on that one sequence.
Instead, it was the moments that slipped through the fingers of the Seahawks once again that stuck with Carroll.
“This was a game about opportunities,” he said. “Some of them we captured and some of them we didn’t, and it’s really frustrating to have to live with that.”