Monday Night Football: Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts dominant in 24-7 win over Vikings – WPVI-TV

Monday Night Football: Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts dominant in 24-7 win over Vikings - WPVI-TV

PHILADELPHIA — Jalen Hurts rolled right, scampered down the sideline and fumbled to the 5-yard line, where he was enveloped by a defender with another in pursuit. Hurts twisted his body, lowered his head, dragged two defenders with him and powered his way for an adrenaline-filled 26-yard touchdown run that nearly broke the game.

Maybe, or so the Eagles can hope, there are many more plays like the one before.

Hurts had 301 total yards in the first half in the breakout game of his young career, finishing with three total touchdowns as he led Philadelphia to a 24-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night.

“Great performance on a great stage,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) runs down the field during the first half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022, in Philadelphia.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Trying to prove he can play like the best franchise QBs in the NFL, Hurts looked completely unstoppable from the opening drive.

Hurts hit five receivers on 5-for-5 passing — highlighted by a 19-yard strike to AJ Brown — and finished the drive himself with a 3-yard scoring run. In the opening win against Detroit, Hurts failed to complete a pass on five attempts and the Eagles turned the ball over on downs on the first drive of the game.

Turn the ball over on downs?

That seemed like just a rumor against the Vikings. The TD was just the takeoff for the 24-year-old Hurts throwing, running, imposing his will with all his available tools against a Vikings defense that couldn’t solve him in his 21st career start. He finished with 333 yards passing and a touchdown, and 57 yards and two scores on the ground.

“Another outstanding performance. He threw some unbelievable balls. He made a lot of plays,” Eagles center Jason Kelce said. “This was a really great, well-rounded game for him.”

On the first play of the second quarter, Hurts connected with a wide open Quez Watkins for a 53-yard TD and the 14-0 lead.

“It always comes with time and as time goes on you find more comfort in what you’re doing,” Hurts said.

Darius Slay, who had two interceptions against a hapless Kirk Cousins, called each of the Eagles’ trio of talented receivers Batman.

It was, Brown, the “swollen” Batman who had five catches for 69 yards; DeVonta Smith was the “skinny” Batman who had seven for 80 yards; and Watkins was the “quick” Batman who had the burners for the easy score (and 69 total receiving yards).

Why are they all Batman?

“No Trash Cans. We don’t have sidekicks,” Slay said.

Pains dazzled with the 26-yard TD with 1:58 left in the half and Jake Elliott still had time to kick a 38-yarder and the Eagles took a 24-7 lead into halftime.

“I don’t think it matters how we score as long as we put points on the board,” Hurts said.

In a Week 2 filled with improbable comebacks, it might not have been wise to count the Vikings out.

But Cousins ​​and wide receiver Justin Jefferson — famously passed over by the Eagles in the 2020 draft — never got anything of substance against the Eagles and maligned defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon. Slay had his second interception of the game in the fourth quarter when the scoreboard soon flashed “Big Play Slay.”

“It felt at times, myself included, like we pressed a little bit,” Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell said.

Pains had 50 yards rushing and 251 yards passing in the first half. Cousins ​​finished the game 27 for 46 for 221 yards and three interceptions. His only TD was on a 2-yard pass to Irv Smith in the second quarter. Jefferson had six catches for 48 yards a week after he had 184 receiving yards and two TDs in a win against Green Bay.

“I don’t take any match lightly, but he’s one of the best in the world. I’m also one of the best in the world. I was looking forward to the match,” Slay said of Jefferson.

PHILLY CELEBS

Bryce Harper (wearing an Eagles hat), James Harden (who was handed the ball by Slay after his first interception) and Bradley Cooper (wearing an Allen Iverson T-shirt) were among the jam-packed and fight-song-singing crowd at the home opener of Eagles.

Harden was pumped with his souvenir, posting an Instagram photo of his left hand holding the ball with the caption “Gimme That!” The Philadelphia 76ers star took selfies with fans before he left late in the game.

Harden waited in the tunnel for Slay to autograph the football. Harden graciously told Slay that he should have even more interceptions.

“He was shocked that I gave it to him,” said Slay, who noted that he kept the ball from the second pick.

FAMILY RING

Dick Vermeil received his Hall of Fame ring at halftime. In his third season in Philadelphia, the coaching great led the Eagles to their first playoff appearance in 18 years. He led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl appearance in the 1980 season only to lose to the Oakland Raiders, 27–10.

COACH’S ROOM

Vikings safety Harrison Smith was evaluated for a concussion.

UP NEXT

Vikings: Return home on Sunday to play the Lions.

Eagles: Begin a reunion tour on Sunday when they head out to play the Washington Commanders and former QB Carson Wentz. The Eagles return home Sunday, October 2 and play the Jacksonville Jaguars, led by coach Doug Pederson. Wentz and Pederson, of course, played pivotal roles in helping the Eagles win the Super Bowl after the 2017 season.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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